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Shin Conditioning


Shin Conditioning: how to condition your Shins properly

Yes it hurts…

Shin conditioning is a very painful workout, let’s face it, but following the motto “adaptation is the key to evolution”, your body – and your brain – will become accustomed to these continuous and voluntary grueling routines: it just takes time, like everything; and just like everything, if you stop practicing it for longer than a week, you have to start (almost) from scratch.

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The routine shown in the above video yes can be performed by a beginner, as long as all tools used to perform each exercise are first covered with a layer of soft material, such as rubber or sponge. Intensity and hardness of hitting can be gradually be increased until bones get used to this first B.M.C. level, then soft material can be safely removed and wooden tools can be used just as bare as shown in this video, taking care of always starting gradually. You can skip the "rubber tools" part by just hitting a heavy bag: this is also a good method to start conditioning your shins.

We recommend dedicating two sessions of shin conditioning per week. Each session no longer than 20-25 minutes.

More and longer sessions might make your shins numb or tingling, but this still depends on factors like your past training, the intensity of your sessions, and whether you can deal with pain or not.

The time you spend for each stage explained in the video  is inversely proportional to the consistency you put in your training: for example, if you kick a bag for a month in order to prepare your shins for stage one, and then you work on stage one but you skip (for instance) two weeks, you may need to get your shins used again by going back to kicking the sandbag. More important, the results shown in the video have been achieved in years, so please consider that hurry plays no role in Shin Conditioning. Before switching to a new stage we recommend to intensify the impact first: only then you can move to the next step. Indicatively this is achieved in roughly one month of dedicated training.

Yes, you can always use padded sticks (made of thin foam, rubber or fabric) if you think it's too painful. When your shins get used to pain, then you can switch to bare wood and hitting harder.

Every form of training is revertible: you need to keep going to achieve results. It would be everyone's dream if one sporadic training session could keep its benefits all life long. After all, Perseverance is the only thing drawing a line between amateurs and professionals. It involves strong mind-set, but if you are motivated, nothing will stop you. For this particular shin-conditioning exercise-set, consider that one-week break is already too much. Two-three weeks would be like starting from scratch.

...you can train as hard as you can, but if your lower leg and ankles are thin by nature (like mine) there's no chance they can resist a strong impact, no matter how big your calves are.

If you body frame, and allegedly your bones, are naturally big, B.M.C. exercises would make your shins just as strong like two bats: believe me, you have a gift. However, if your lower leg is thin like mine, I honestly wouldn't search for that hit, conscious of the limitation of my bone structure. B.M.C. is great for the fighter to resist a block, to be able not to get distracted by pain, and to increase confidence, but honestly trying to hit something bigger means just searching for troubles. A toothpick can be painted with as many coats as you want: you are building layers of material to prevent it to get scratched, but remember that it will always be a toothpick...

In a routine like the one shown in the video, assuming that the Athlete has been performing the exercise for at least a month and in the right way, gradually for his or her own level, and without creating local bruises for hitting too hard to "see what happens", two to three days are a good cool-down period for the shins to heal. Keep in mind that the first time you attempt to perform this exercise, also considering your age, fitness level and frame, your shins may require up to a week to be ready for another drill.

My best advice is to never forget to clap your shins at the end of each session, and gently massage the area you have hit to smooth out local bruises: the most important reason of this practice is to allow more blood to flow for your legs to heal faster. If you skip this passage, you will have bruises next day, and conditioning your shins will be too painful next time

Pro et Contra: our Verdict

  • gives you confidence
  • finally you can hit more times than just once
  • when practiced steadily and correctly, you surely have got two weapons…
  • …as long as your leg frame is not too thin (genetics and/or insufficient leg training)
  • time factor: it becomes useless when not practiced constantly
  • if quick results is your goals, consider getting hurt (plus the time needed to heal that dark bruise on your shin)