T Nation

Training Anterior Shin & Compartment Syndome

I’ve been trying to gain muscle around my shins after an ankle injury and as part of that I’ve been working my anterior tib on the front of my shins. However, I read some warnings about something called “anterior compartment syndrome”, basically a condition where the muscle gets too big for the fascial sheath and causes pain/swelling/and possibly nerve and muscle death (from circulation getting cut off). Apparently this area is prone to it, but most of the cases in online forums seem to be with runners, but I’m curious if it hits the bodybuilding population, too.

I’m sure many bodybuilders work this muscle and I wanted to see if this is actually something to worry about. Anyone here ever get it? Can I safely work out this area without problems? I’m doing it both for strengthening/injury prevention in addition to general appearance. Are there any preventative measures like stretching the fascia or spacing out workouts or working it in a way that minimizes hypertrophy or maximizes fascial stretching? Or does bodybuilding grow muscles slow enough that the fascia will keep up, unlike running?

Foam rolling and stretching are a good tool. Would foam roll with a general roller then use something like a smooth hard ball for finer and deeper work. I do not think a lot of guys use direct anterior work in their calf routine but read from a couple trainers that for best overall calf development anterior work should be apart of that. That is just my opinion.

I would go as far as looking into single leg workouts on a surface like a bosu to help with stabilizers and proprioceptor training for rehab and injury prevention.