Race Walking Training

Shin Exercises

When I started race walking, my high school coach asked me how I was doing.  I replied, “I feel fine.”  He then told me I was walking wrong because my shins are supposed to hurt (and they did). While my coach was not completely correct in that shin pain is inevitable, he had hit on a very common problem for novice race walkers:  shin pain.

Race walking utilizes your shin muscles far more than most sports.  However, proper stretching and strengthening reduces or eliminates the shin pain most beginners feel. Stretch your shins well and strengthen your shins with the exercises included here.

Probably the single easiest way to strengthen your shins is to walk on your heels.


  1. Walk slowly, with a stride of no more than six inches. Remember, it’s not a race. 

  2. Focus on how high you point your toes. The higher you point them, the better and more intensely you work your shins.

  3. Maintain this technique for 25 yards. 

  4.  If your shins can’t handle this distance, stop walking on your heels briefly and stretch out your shins.  Once you stretch properly, resume heel-walking the remainder of the 25 yards.

  5. Upon completion, always stretch out the shins completely; you will feel happy you did so later.

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