The most valuable weapon of a Muay Thai practitioner’s arsenal is his shins. Well-conditioned shins can increase the chance of winning the fight by many folds. Therefore, every Muay Thai practitioner longs to condition them. Are you also finding ways to do shin conditioning at home?
Then, fortunately, luck is by your side as in this topic, we will discuss blow by blow every single aspect that falls under the umbrella of Shin Conditioning.
So, stick by us till the end, and get ready to engross all the valuable information.
What is Shin Conditioning?
Shins Conditioning is an essential part of Muay Thai training that makes your shin more durable and resistant to damage.
Have you ever hit a heavy bag or a tree? Remember the intensity of that unbearable pain? Well, conditioning the shins requires more or less the same thing. Yes, you need to hurt your body in accordance with Wolff’s Law.
So, in short, in Shin Conditioning, you hurt your body to become immune to the same kind of damage again.
What does Shin Conditioning do? -The Science Behind it!
God has made the human body beyond the limits of our minds. Our body has the ability to get repaired after getting injured and become even more robust.
So, that is what is used in Shin Conditioning.
You kick the hard tree stem or heavy bags. As a result, your shins get damaged, and the bones break. The osteoclasts come into action and start to break and degenerate the old cells.
Similarly, the hard hit on the bone results in the formation of various microfractures. These microfractures are very small fractures that occur on the soft and weak parts of the bone, mainly along the bone sides. Our body starts to recognize these ends are the weak, attackable part of our body and starts to repair them.
When the body repairs it, it deposits extra layers of calcium and nutrients on the damaged part for protection and resistance. As a result, the bones become far stronger, and the bone density increases. Similarly, the muscles itch and get damaged.
The brain also recovers them, strengthens them, and adds to their bearing power. As a result, both the bones and muscles get stronger, immune to attack, and hard to hit.
In this way, the shins are conditioned and become muscular, browny, and well-built from the inside. The weak points of Tibia are hit to get microfractures in doing shin conditioning at home, and then the brain deposits layer of calcium on it to make those areas also equally stronger and insusceptible to attack.
Related Research by NASA
To experiment on whether shin conditioning science works or not, a few NASA astronauts tested. We all know that extended exploration in space results in loss of both muscular strength and bone density.
So, after coming back from space exploration, a few astronauts tried shin conditioning exercises. And surprisingly, the results showed improvement in bone density.
So similarly, Muay Thai shin training helps practitioners develop strong shins.
Now that we are up with what shin conditioning is and its science, let’s move into the details of how to do it at home.
How to do Shin Conditioning at Home? 10 Tips to Follow!
You might have heard things like hitting metal blocks, hitting banana trees, rolling pins in your shins, etc., to do shin conditioning at home. But we aren’t going to discuss all this here.
Let’s keep the process a bit more real and something possible for humans to do.
So, here we will discuss 10 tips for shin conditioning at home that will help you attain rock-hard shins. However, these tips aren’t anything too different or special, and nor are they super hard-core to practice.
So, we will discuss the following 10 tips to develop iron-strong shins at home.
- Pad work
- Bag Work
- Shin Conditioning Stick
- Glass Bottle
- Roller Pin
- Weight lifting
Now, blow by blow, let’s low down into the details of these tips for shin conditioning at home.
The first tip that is useful in leg conditioning for Muay Thai is sparring. If you are a Nak Muay Thai practitioner, Sparring would already be a part of your routine.
To spar for spin conditioning at home, try to get a friend or partner with you.
The focus of Sparring should be on developing strength and microfractures.
In Thailand, sparring is used a lot for shin conditioning, and the fighters play spar at 40% of their capacity without wearing shin guards and even blocking.
It basically helps you to develop the flow of strikes and basic drills. Moreover, it creates microfractures along the Tibia bone that we actually long for. These fractures then heal slowly and build stronger bones.
The best strike to focus on shin conditioning at home is a roundhouse kick. However, always remember to hit below the waist and keep on switching roles with your partner. Moreover, try to alternate the striking legs too. Only then can you come close to the name of Chuck Norris.
You can sparr by both gears on and without gear. If you opt for gears when shin conditioning at home, it is better to wear foam shin guards. Even the shin conditioning MMA gyms also prefer you to wear foam shin guards rather than leather ones because they are more painful for the muscles in the receiving end and help in becoming muscular.
2. Pad Work
Remember the initial Muay Thai training where you used to hit the heavy leather bags? Pad work is almost the same but with more high intensity and shins on.
To practice Pad Work for shin conditioning at home, your partner needs to hold the focus mitts or the leather kick pads high at different locations, and you will have to focus on elevation, and along with it, you will have to launch lightning-fast kicks.
The angle kick is known to work best in Muay Thai shin training. Your entire hip turns over in it, and the sharp part of the shins lands directly on the focus mitts. As a result, the shins get hurt and start to swell. This swelling is a sign of getting injured and microfracture. Over time, the swelling will decrease as the shins become conditioned to it, and even less bruising will be experienced.
3. Heavy Bag
Hitting a heavy or punching bag is a staple of the Muay Thai training regimen, so you must have practiced it. Surprisingly, it helps a lot in shin conditioning at home.
When you hit the heavy bags with your shin, the nerves send the message to your brain to release pain hormones and transmitters. As a result, you feel pain as if hitting an iron wall. But over time, the intensity of pain starts to decrease as your shins become conditioned.
However, be sure to execute the high kicks correctly. Some people focus on hitting high and not in. That’s wrong. It gives a false sense of conditioned shins. Make sure that your shins touch the bag.
Initially, you can start with a cotton-filled bag and end up kicking a sand-filled banana bag.
4. Shin Conditioning Stick
You can also use a shin conditioning tool called the shin conditioning Stick to make your bones and shins stronger and more resistant. But to be honest, this is the most challenging part of shin conditioning at home.
You mostly take a bamboo stick, but PVC pipes can work equally well. You can use this shin conditioning stick in different ways like:
- Rolling from the ankle up to the knee, and the same way down, ensuring that each part of the shin gets equally hurt.
- Tapping with the stick when you move up or down. However, keep the intensity less initially, and keep increasing day by day.
Conditioning shins with stick is the most painful tip of all 10 to practice. But, as it is rightly said, “No Pain, No Gain”, it is the best way to condition shins at home and is widely used to enhance the process by many folds.
5. Glass Bottle
Another shin conditioning tool that people use is a glass bottle. But when I say conditioning with a glass bottle, I never mean to smash the bottle on your shins. NO, NOT AT ALL.
Instead, you can do shin conditioning at home using a glass bottle, similar to using a bamboo stick. You can tap it slowly or roll it up and down, from ankle to the knee and back to the ankle.
6. Roller Pin
Do you remember the Roller Pin your mom used in the kitchen to make tortillas? I may seem crazy to you, but yes, you can use that for shin conditioning at home. It is quite a valuable tool for shin conditioning. You can either use it in the way you used bamboo sticks or glass bottles. Secondly, you can use it as a bat to hit your shins. It is a great way to increase the bone strength of your Tibia bone by compressing it.
However, be careful as the roller pin is heavy, resulting in a macro fracture if hit strongly.
7. Lifting Your Weight and Shin Conditioning Exercises
Although until now, we were discussing kicks and tools, lifting your weight is very helpful in conditioning your legs. It affects the large Tibialis Anterior muscle running from knee to ankle. The exercise for making this muscle stronger and increasing bone density is toe raising. You stand on your foot with shoulder-width apart. Then hold some heavy things or dumbbells in your hand. Slowly but surely, start to raise your whole feet and exert the entire weight on your toes. Weight for 3 seconds, and lower the feet.
Similarly, students’ studies in different universities showed that exercises like running, squats, cleans, and box jumps increase bone density.
To numb the pain while doing shin conditioning at home, you can put ice packs on the bruises to relieve pain in your nerves. It helps in the reduction of pain.
You can practice all the exercises and strikes. But this all will be least helpful if you aren’t giving your body a properly nutritious diet. There, it is recommended to add the following things to your meals:
- 3000 calories daily
- Sufficient intake of calcium and vitamin D
- Proteins and green vegetables
- A lot of water
A proper meal is your fuel for conditioning shins. Therefore, if you give a dirty diesel to your body, the outcome will be the same.
Have you ever recovered from bad health or any health problem without proper rest? No! So, how can you think the opposite in the case of shin conditioning, where you get fractured?
Therefore, it is essential to soothe the bruises by applying some cream and ice and giving them time to heal properly.
But that doesn’t mean to stop Muay Thai training and practice entirely. You can, and in fact, you should do all the other strikes that don’t involve shins.
And with this, the 10 tips to shin conditioning at home come to an end. You can also look for some exercises and workouts that we will discuss later.
How to Heal Shins Muay Thai?
Shin conditioning at home or the gym is equally painful, and you must give it the proper time needed to heal and recover. Apart from that, you can opt for different tips to heal the shins quickly and reduce the pain. A few suggestions are:
- Wrap ice in a cloth or plastic, and apply it to the painful area.
- A warm Epsom bath is known to do wonders as the salt breaks, and the skin absorbs calcium and magnesium.
- Take painkillers like IBUPROFEN.
- Apply tiger balm on the bruises.
- Have patience. If you aim to get rock-hard shins, you have to make your heart the same. Develop patience and a persistent mindset.
Is Shin Conditioning Safe?
Yes, shin conditioning is safe as long as done properly and for a proper time. It is recommended to do shin conditioning exercises and drills four times a week. If you do more than that, the chances of microfracture will increase. Moreover, if you hit the shins too brutally, it can even result in permanent damage to the shins.
So, it is necessary to do all the exercises and drills and follow all the tips correctly if you want to safely do shin conditioning at home.
If done correctly, shin conditioning only brings out the well-built, hard shins.
How do Muay Thai Fighters Strengthen Their Shins?
Muay Thai fighters also strengthen their shins and similarly condition them. They, however, practice in the gym. Apart from the tips mentioned above, a large portion of their workout contains leg-building exercises.
For example, the most common exercises that nearly every Muay Thai includes in his session of workout, and even you can practice at home, are:
- Jumping Squats
- Hill running
- Running steps
- Two-legged jumping
How do Muay Thai Fighters Train Their Shins?
Muay Thai Fighters train their shins for leg conditioning by following more or less the same 10 tips we discussed above. Apart from this, the only additional thing is that they follow a proper workout routine and hit different hard things to strengthen and immune their shins.
Moreover, they follow a proper nutritionist-advised diet and a lot of calcium supplements to create stronger and denser bones after microfractures.
Benefits of Shin Conditioning
Now that we are up with all the tips for shin conditioning at home let’s eye on its benefits too. So, here are a few benefits of shin conditioning:
- The nerves become desensitized, and no longer send the pain signals to the brain.
- The bones become stronger, and the mass of tibia and fibula increases.
- The recovery of muscles from microtears makes them muscular and more robust.
- You develop a flow of executing kicks. As a result, the hesitation decreases.
- The overall fighting form is improved.
Conclusion- The Final Verdict!
To cut a long story short, we can claim that Shin Conditioning brings various benefits to MMA fighters and Muay Thai practitioners. It helps to make their shins as hard as iron. As a result, they benefit from ring competitions where they can execute the kicks using their hard conditioned shins and quickly knock out the opponent.
And with this, the umbrella of Shin Conditioning at home closes. Now, it’s high time for you to practice these tips and condition your shins.
Chris Bent is a professional MMA Trainer who has expertise in both Martial Arts and Karate and he loves to teach Men, Women and Kids.