New Thoughts on Shin Conditioning!

There are two seperate threads going right now regarding proper shin conditioning. And, as it so happens, I was discussing this very topic with one of my fighters today.

My fighter, Eric Kolesar, was originally trained by a bare-knuckle Thai fighter in Hawaii. He's been with our gym a little over a year now. I constantly pick his brain to incorporate variety into our workout, as his style of Muay Thai is almost the exact opposite of ours. Our gym's Muay Thai is designed to use finesse and evasionary tactics. We like to "hit n' run". His style of Muay Thai is an up-and-in-your-face hard style. He is trained to get up in your face and break you.

Sorry, I just got off on a tangent...

Anyway, what we were discussing was proper shin conditioning, and he told me why rolling objects up and down your shins is BAD!!! For the first time in all my training, someone has convinced me why this method of conditioning is actually detrimental to your shins and it makes sense!

Here's the deal. The bottom line is that you should condition your shins by kicking... REPETITIVELY! There is no substitute. The constant shock of impact to the shinbone and upper instep will send signals to your body which will cause your body to respond by thickening and strengthening those bones to withstand the punishment.

Rolling an object up and down your shins does not send these same signals to your body. Instead, "rolling" your shins merely deadens the nerves.

By deadening the nerves to your shin area, you are lulled into a false sense of security regarding the actual conditioning of your shins. Your body will not send you proper signals regarding what is going on, and you can easily over-do it. This can lead to actual bone damage.

If your nerves have been deadened by rolling objects up and down them, you will most likely keep kicking through a bone injury, making the damage even worse!!!!

I am finally convinced that rolling your shins is potentially harmful. I apologize to anyone who has been taking my advice to roll your shins.

The final word is that you condition your shins by kicking the living shit out of a solid heavy bag. When you are done kicking, massage your shins vigorously to restore blood flow, which will help the body toughen them up faster.

Khun Kao

very valuable info here and thanks big guy ! now if you can suggest a remedy for the soreness, that would be great. sorry to sound like a wimp, but i'm usually limping the two days after a MT class. i guess adaptation has not settled in. it's only my second week of class. i thought powerlifting was tough, Shiat ! MT class is murder and i'm loving every minute of it ! hehehe

Khun Kao, You have mentioned massaging your shins before with something, but I can't remember what.

What should I rub on my shins to aid recovery?


When you roll a rolling pin across your shins and deaden the nerves, aren't you only deadening nerves on the skin's surface? I don't see how you couldn't feel an injured shin bone.

I always thought the rolling pin thing sounded a bit strange.

I'm glad I'm not the only lazy person here. lol

Have you convinced Master K of this now as well? He's the one who told me about the rolling pin, but since I don't listen. :-)

You can also use the Nam Man Muay (Boxing Oil) or the Boxing Cream as well to rub it in to your sore muscles. Yes, the bone's density increases as you progressively kick the bag and the nerves on the top of the shin bone become overlapped with a layer of scar material.

Yeah, in retrospect, the rolling pin thing is a bit odd. And I'll have to discuss this with Master K, as I was the one who introduced the rolling pin method to the gym in the first place!

2ez... just massage with your hands. Massage vigorously after your finish the drill, and keep massaging them in between classes. You might not feel much improvement at first, but it will help a great deal in the long run.

Khun Kao

I guess this thread is a little old, but thought that I would toss my 2 cents in. One way I have trained my shins is by hitting them with a rubber mallet while watching TV...this doesn't replace the kicking to do it, just helps or gives you time when you might not have time to go kick the bag.

hope this helps someone