Is there anything to apply to shins to help them recover from workouts? I have seen guys apply some sort of "oil" to their shins before a workout. What is that stuff and what does it do? Also, how can I order some?
TheAdonis is correct. Shin pads should only be used when your nursing an injury, or when you have a fight coming up and need to prevent injury.
I personally recommend to n00bi3s the thin white fabric TKD shinpads. They have barely 1/2 inch of padding. Its essentially just enough padding to "take the bite off" of impact. But I encourage people to train without pads to condition their shins.
What you need to do is stop and vigorously massage your shins between rounds. This helps prevent knots from forming and to keep bruising to a minimum. Basically you're getting the blood to start flowing through the bruised tissue, which makes them heal a whole lot faster so that you can get back to work.
Another trick to do is this: When you first start kicking, kick lightly a few times. You will feel a 'sting' in your shins from the impact. As soon as that sting begins to fade, increase the power to the next level until that sting fades also. Keep this up until you are kicking full power. You should be able to reach full power within about 20 kicks or so.
Try to shop around. My instructor sells his for $8. Same brand.
I never believed in Ben-Gay, Tiger Balm, or liniments until I used this stuff.
Also, take care of your skin. I see a lot of newcomers have skin irritation from the bag, but not bruising. (That will come with sparring.) It still hurts, but it is more managable.
Also, PLEASE do not learn what I did the hard way. (My instructor deserves a big I told you so.)
Keep the linament out of your gym bag. It is real easy to throw down the bag and break the bottle. Do not learn this the hard way.
eabeam is SO correct! I make sure to place my bottle into a big ziplock freezer bag, and then wrap a towel or some other cloth around it to insulate it. Also be VERY careful and make sure that the lid is secure! A little leakage goes a LONG way!
Thanks for the tips guys. But what exactly does it do? Also, I always kick the bag without shinpads and sometimes spar without them.. Been kicking for a long time. However, when I hit that occational knee is when it really hurts.
The liniment is a menthol-based product. What it does is 'heat' the area up so that the blood vessels and capilaries dilate for maximum blood flow. This encourages faster healing and prevents soreness.
Clove oil can also help as it numbs the nerves for a short period of time, it is used to stop toothache.
I used to use a mix of rubbing alchohol, clove oil and chilli oil on any post workout soreness, but Deep Heat or Ralgex (sp?) does a similar job.
Also, if you get a raised bruise - or just an area that swells out above the shin immediately massage it out and ice it ASAP.
I always massaged mine out on my bag work, but I had a terrible one from sparring that I forgot about until the next day.
It is still lingering from a month a ago and hurts 30x's worse than kicking with a bruise.