Cleaning Martial Arts Gear

How To Condition Your Shins for TaeKwonDo

Cleaning Martial Arts Gear

In a kick heavy martial art like Taekwondo, those new to the martial art often deal with injured shins. Their shins are not conditioned for the demand that a martial art like Taekwondo puts on them.

This leaves many new to training wondering just how they go about conditioning their shins? I have compiled a complete list of ways to condition your shins to help you in your journey through Taekwondo. Also detailing what shin conditioning does and the safety precautions you need to take when practicing these drills and movements.

What is Shin Conditioning?

Shin is the act of deadening the nerves around your shin bone in order to be able to kick harder. When a person has unconditioned shins, the nerves are sensitive to hard impacts. Over time when a person trains and does shin conditioning, their bones get stronger and accustomed to the demand placed on them.

Precaution and Advice for Shin Conditioning

Shin conditioning is a highly controversial topic within striking martial arts. Not every practitioner agrees with these methods and considers some of them dangerous to do.

Doing these shin conditioning drills can be dangerous if you do them wrong and not take proper care when performing them. For beginners, remember the following advice before you attempt any of these methods.

  • Proper Form: Always practice before form when performing roundhouse kicks. Aim to hit with the bottom to middle area of your shin bone. Never with your foot or you can easily break your foot.
  • Hitting Hard Objects: If you try hitting a hard object like a tree or metal beam never ever try to hit it as hard as you can. You will shatter your shin.
  • Try At Your Own Risk: As I said, shin conditioning is a controversial topic that not every practitioner agrees with. Doing these drills remember to take precaution and try these drills at your own risk.

Shin Conditioning Methods You Should Never Try

There are specifically two types of shin conditioning that I do not recommend you ever try. Here are the two as followed:

  • Using A Glass Bottle: A common misconception is that rolling a glass bottle up and down your shin will help harden your shins. There is no research that proves that this works. It is bro science that you should avoid.
  • Kicking Hard Objects: You may have seen videos on instagram or youtube of fighters showing their toughness by kicking anything from metal poles to banana trees. Kicking a hard metal object with an unconditioned shin will definitely break. Also unless you are in Thailand with an abundance of banana trees, don’t go around kicking trees around your home.

Shin Conditioning Methods You Could Try

Running

Good old fashioned road work is a sure way to condition your shins for Taekwondo. The impact from running conditions both the muscles and bones of your legs.

It also builds your muscular endurance, while also increasing the bone density of your leg bones.(including your shin bones.) Looks to add running a few miles 3-5 miles a week before Taekwondo training to supplement your training and condition your shins.

Weightlifting 

Another type of exercise that will help condition your shins for Taekwondo is weightlifting. Specifically exercises that focus on your legs.

Research has shown that when you perform leg exercises like squats and lunges that your muscle and bone density grow over time. Look into weightlifting programs geared towards Taekwondo athletes with a focus on leg exercises to improve the conditioning of your shins.

Bag and Pad Work

Believe it or not the best way to condition your shins is training Taekwondo. This includes kicking the heavy bag and doing pad work often.

When you kick a bag or pad, the impact spreads across your entire shin. At first it may hurt a little, but over time your shins will begin to calcify and harden. Then nerves will start to become less sensitive and you’ll be able to kick harder and faster.

After every training session try these two methods of bag work to condition your shins.

  • 50-100 roundhouse kicks with each leg after every training session
  • 3-6 rounds of bag work with an emphasis on conditioning your shins with roundhouse kicks

Sparring

Another thing you should be doing often to condition your shins is sparring frequently. In your normal Taekwondo training, you have to get in there and mix it up with your sparring partners as often as possible.

When you throw roundhouses at your opponent, your shins will eventually get accustomed to the impact. Becoming harder and less sensitive to the impact. Frequent sparring and bag work is a must for conditioning your shins.

Supplementation

When you participate in combat training like Taekwondo, your bones take a lot of wear and tear. This gives you all the more reason to practice proper supplementation.

The two supplements you should be taking to improve your bone strength are vitamin D and calcium. These two supplements along with a healthy diet will help strengthen not only your shins, but all your bones. Helping your bones be in the best condition possible for your Taekwondo training.

Rest 

Training is important for improving your shin condition, but proper rest is just as important. The time when you rest lets your muscles and bones heal and strengthen.

When you continue to beat down your body without getting rest, your body will never heal or get stronger. You have to listen to your body and rest when it needs it. 

Once you take care of your body in between training sessions, you will get more out of the training. Everything including your shins will get stronger. 

One Last Bit of Advice

I will leave you with this last bit of advice on shin conditioning for Taekwondo. Like with anything it takes time for your shins to become conditioned to the demands of training.

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There is no way around this other than being patient and to keep putting in the work to get your shins stronger. If you follow the conditioning methods listed above, your shins will become conditioned in no time