T Nation

Shin Splints No More!


This is a really cool device I used to cure my shin spints, check it out!

A DARD is a device to strengthen the ankles and the anterior tibialis muscles on the front of the shin. I have suffered from shin splints many times and was looking for a way to prevent them. I came across the DARD in many internet articles but the cost to buy one is very high, the least expensive one I found was $69.95 for a standard plate model. Sooo, off to Home Depot I went and came up with this alternative that had a total cost of less than $15.00.

Screw all of the pieces together tightly except for the end cap where the plate goes. You may have to fiddle with it a bit to get the two foot rests parallel. I set the dumbbell collar to the thickness of a 25 pound plate and use an end cap to hold it in place but you could easily use a pair of dumbbell collars as well.

I wrapped the foot rest that my toes hook under with 3/4 inch pipe insulation and duct tape to make it more comfortable. The pictures show the schematic, a commercial DARD, and then three views of the home made one. You use the DARD by hooking your feet under the pads and then pointing your toes toward the wall then towards the ceiling for the required number of repetitions.


The plans:


Another view



Thank you for sharing that.


And another


Even if you don't have a muscle imbalance in your lower legs that causes pain, working the shins is a great way to increase overall muscle mass in this area.


you got those schematics in a clearer picture?

did you have to use any tools for this? cutting? drilling? or was it simply just screwing threaded pipes together?


I've never heard of this device - but am very interested as I often suffer from shin splints.

How do you use the DARD? What is the exercise/motion?


If you right-click (Windows) or control-click (Mac), you can open the image in a new window. It will show up large and clear.

Hog Ear,
I've been doing Anterior Tibialis raises for a long time just by holding a DB between my feet. Have you done that? How does this movement compare?


Much cooler than throwing some weights in my wife's purse and just hanging that on my foot.


Thanks! My daughter has a problem with shin splints and I've been wanting to work the Anterior Tibialis more. A short search confirms your statement that those things are too expensive! Off to home depot.


Great Post! Thank you for the schematic and parts list!


Here's a similar device built years ago from scrap I had lying around. The angle of the weight in this case is in line with the feet, so you use it by sitting on a low object with your legs stretched out in front of you, and the heel support resting on the ground.

Great minds think alike. I also used pipe insulation covered by duct tape for padding.


Another pic. I had shin spints when I built this, but more recently I've had problems with the tibialis muscles getting painfully swollen during long, fast walks, which my wife likes to do. Using it again entirely eliminated the problem.


i got one of the DARDs also, i bought it from an online retailer. it works well. it gets rid of the muscle imbalance of the shin. it will also increase performance and ankle stability. laters pk


It's very simple, just screwing together pipe fittings!


Just hang your legs off the end of your bench, get as full a ROM as possible. I use 15lb and do about 10 slow reps(3 sets).


Thanks a million.
Built one last night, may build another one for a coworker's son who has shin splints.
I may try some foam pipe insulation to cushion the top bar.


Hog Ear,
I've been doing Anterior Tibialis raises for a long time just by holding a DB between my feet. Have you done that? How does this movement compare?


The DARD movement beats em all hands down, I've tried other exercises and none come close.

Hey Larryb- great job!!


Thank you!