How long for Tough Shins?

Remember this, shin conditioning is as much, if not more mental, as it is physical.

If you think "Ow, shit, that hurts", then you will most likely start to shy away from shin conditioning altogether. However, if you take a knock on the shin and think "ok, that hurt, but its gonna get better over time" then you will progress.

There are a number of people in my gym who have trained for about 4 years who still have dellicate shins, because the minute they get a knock. They think "Fuck, that hurt, where are my shin pads!". Just grit your teeth and bear the pain. It is worth it in the long run.

Make sure that after a hard knock you rub in plenty of Thai Liniment (The best brand is available from and take Calcium tablets too. I take 4 calcium tablets a day, and 6 a day if I have a knock on the shin.

Hope this helps.


As far as how long shin conditioning will take, it depends entirely upon you!

I just started, so of course I have to ask.
How long does it take to get tough shins? How often should I do some extra-curricular rolling-pin/broomstick work? Should I maybe recruit a foolhardy friend for some kick/shield drills?


Preferred method:

Start kicking heavy bag lightly. You will feel a sting at first. When the sting goes away kicking lightly, increase the power until it starts to sting or hurt again. Kick at that power until the pain goes away. Keep this up until you are kicking full power. (you should be able to get to full power kicks relatively shortly, probably 30 kicks or so)

Every so often, stop kicking and massage the shins vigorously. This gets the circulation going again, and will help your shins heal faster, and prevent your shins from getting knots on them.

The "OTHER" way:

The problem with the above method is that b/c we don't start training Muay Thai as early in life as the Thai's do, we are playing "catch up". Thai's start training usually by the time they are 12 years old. They kick the bag literally hundreds of times per day. Hell, they often actually live at their camp, so they have the "luxury" to train like that.

For most of us though, we have jobs, school, families, responsibilities.... All kinds of distractions that prevent us from training like the Thai's do. That's why we use tools such as rolling pins, Coke bottles, broomsticks...

Take one of these objects and roll it up and down your shins. Start doing this lightly. You can even wrap the object so that it is not as hard when you first start.

You do not want to tap or beat your shins. This will not condition your shins evenly and you are more apt to form knots.

Remember, every gym has their own way of doing this, so there are other ways to condition the shins besides what I've mentioned. I have only mentioned the most prevalent methods.

Khun Kao Charuad; SuriyaSak Muay Thai

I hear that you shouldn't do the rolling-pin thing...they seem to just do a lot of bag work in Thaiand from what I understand...

I think KK likes pinwork though...and he does know =)

ttt for him to answer you properly...