T Nation

Bleeding Shins Solved

I wanted to contribute my own solution regarding bleeding shins while deadlifting. I recently reviewed two threads here on this topic, so I know this is a topic of interest. Unless you have extra long arms or very short legs (or you staighten out your legs too early and lift more with your back), you can’t avoid the friction burn of metal rubbing up against the bone before you clear the knee. I combined two elements, my lined nylon track pants and the nylon encased foam pads with the velcro seal that wraps the bar for squats. A towel may work as well. Either one by itself hasn’t worked, but combined and no broken skin. I didn’t even get scraped. Can’t say how heavy you can go before even this method is no longer effective, but I thought it was still worth posting.

888

I started DLing about 6 wks ago for the first time in over 20 yrs. When the shins started bleeding I remembered that I used to wear over the calf socks on DL days. However I decided the bleeding shins look really cool especially if you do cardio afterwards and get a good sweat. Some of the sheeple at 24HF are really concerned when they see blood - do you know you are bleeding? are you okay? can I get you a towel?

i used a narrower stance the other day, so that my shins just barely made contact with the smooth part of the bar…ill try and describe what i mean…

in the middle of the bar theres the 4 inches or so of diamond knurling, then 4-5 inches of smooth bar before the knurling starts again. i lined my stance up so that my shins just barely caught the smooth part before the outside knurling. this is probably 4 inches or so narrower than i would normally stand, and when i took my grip i did so in a fashion that my forearms just barely made contact with the outsides of my calves, but still, there was contact. i was reading about it on www.elitefts.com i think. maybe it was www.westside-barbell.com, i dont remember. anyway, as i said it felt better. and thats not to say deads ever felt bad to me, but this felt noticibly better. im also 5’9", which im sure, at some point, would make a difference

[quote]Brian888 wrote:
I combined two elements, my lined nylon track pants and the nylon encased foam pads with the velcro seal that wraps the bar for squats. [/quote]

The nylon track pants are a good idea, the pad for the squat bar is a bad idea. The reason why is that pad (if I am visualizing this correctly) is pretty thick and it forces the weight away from your body. Going heavy with deads this is a no-no, you want to keep the bar as close to you as possible (hence the bloody shins, with light weight you can just hold the bar away from you). Try to combine track pants and sports tape or long socks or something, but anything thicker than a few millimeters should be avoided.

Good luck with it

imo you shouldnt have to scrape your shins against the bar while deadlifting. I just try to keep the bar as close to my body without touching my shins. i think dave tate has debunked this myth in one of his articles.

I have found that I scrape my shins with the warm-up weights, but when I get into my working weights I do not.

It feels wrong at the heavier weights ONLY if I concentrate on trying to keep the contact with my shins. But if I don’t “try” to keep the contact, and only concentrate on “Up and Back” (which, for me, results in no shin scrape) then I feel like I’m in the proper groove.

Is my spine about to explode?

This is nasty. Seriously, you’re walking aroung with blood on your legs. How do I know you don’t have AIDS, hep, or some other nasty disase?

Being unhygenic is not “cool” or “hardcore.” It’s disgusting.

[quote]dbutkus wrote:
I started DLing about 6 wks ago for the first time in over 20 yrs. When the shins started bleeding I remembered that I used to wear over the calf socks on DL days. However I decided the bleeding shins look really cool especially if you do cardio afterwards and get a good sweat. Some of the sheeple at 24HF are really concerned when they see blood - do you know you are bleeding? are you okay? can I get you a towel?[/quote]

I don’t have this problem coz I got long gorilla arms and a pumpkin head, but wouldn’t some kind of shin-pad like they wear in soccer do the trick? Even a really thin shin-pad (which are made of plastic) should stop any bar hurting your shins in any way … no???

[quote]nptitim wrote:
Brian888 wrote:
I combined two elements, my lined nylon track pants and the nylon encased foam pads with the velcro seal that wraps the bar for squats.

The nylon track pants are a good idea, the pad for the squat bar is a bad idea. The reason why is that pad (if I am visualizing this correctly) is pretty thick and it forces the weight away from your body. Going heavy with deads this is a no-no, you want to keep the bar as close to you as possible (hence the bloody shins, with light weight you can just hold the bar away from you). Try to combine track pants and sports tape or long socks or something, but anything thicker than a few millimeters should be avoided.

Good luck with it[/quote]

I used to scrap my shins, but I read an article at westside that said you should start with the bar a about mid foot and then pull up and back, I hardly ever hit my shins anymore…

[quote]mdragon wrote:

I used to scrap my shins, but I read an article at westside that said you should start with the bar a about mid foot and then pull up and back, I hardly ever hit my shins anymore…[/quote]

The Redemption is Complete…

Wear knee length socks, problem solved. In the W.D.F.P.F it is mandatory to wear knee length socks whilst deadlifting in competition.

As nasty as it sounds, I wonder, would constantly getting your legs scraped up, and then healing, over and over with consistant deadlift training, make your shin bones and muscles tougher? Kind of like how Muay Thai guys kick the bags and posts? Or would it just deaden the nerves?

The muscle around that area, opposite of the calf, is one I have no idea how to train because I don’t know any movements that target it, the most it would do is counter excessive calf flexing or as some kind of stabilizer when leaning backwards (where it still doesn’t seem to be lifting anything, perceptively…). Maybe if you really bulked that muscle up it would make shin bone injuries (internal and external) less painful or easy to happen.

Mentioning the foam, it brings up another thing. I read about people using foam rollers, usually on muscles rather than bones, but still, something about treating the muscles to get rid of adhesions for better flexibility and muscle growth?

Could applying something like that to the middle of the barbell that touches your shins actually make the pressures exerted in deadlifting therapeutic?

I like getting my shins bloody…

I use volleyball knee sleeves. Work great.

[quote]tyciol wrote:
The muscle around that area, opposite of the calf, is one I have no idea how to train because I don’t know any movements that target it, the most it would do is counter excessive calf flexing or as some kind of stabilizer when leaning backwards[/quote]

dorsiflexion my good man. Try to touch your toe to your shin and you’ve discovered what that muscle does. If you really want to bulk it up, try looking up dumbell dorsiflexions.

[quote]Magarhe wrote:
I don’t have this problem coz I got long gorilla arms and a pumpkin head, but wouldn’t some kind of shin-pad like they wear in soccer do the trick? Even a really thin shin-pad (which are made of plastic) should stop any bar hurting your shins in any way … no???

I looked into shin pads, but found that the tools I had readily available at the club suited my needs, and saved me the expense. I as told most pads would be too thick for my application, so I thought, there has to be something else. That’s where the foam roller solved my problem.

888

Dude, just stop deadlifting.

[quote]nptitim wrote:
Brian888 wrote:
I combined two elements, my lined nylon track pants and the nylon encased foam pads with the velcro seal that wraps the bar for squats.

The nylon track pants are a good idea, the pad for the squat bar is a bad idea. The reason why is that pad (if I am visualizing this correctly) is pretty thick and it forces the weight away from your body. Going heavy with deads this is a no-no, you want to keep the bar as close to you as possible (hence the bloody shins, with light weight you can just hold the bar away from you). Try to combine track pants and sports tape or long socks or something, but anything thicker than a few millimeters should be avoided.

Good luck with it

Proper form is very important to me. I don’t want to be one of those guys I observe so often who lift primarily with their lower back. Though use of your lower back is unavoidable, in my way of thinking, the lift has to come primarily from the quads.

The pad has made little difference in how I lift, though I will take your observation into consideration in the future. The foam roller is actually made up of two halves, and it always tends to catch at the seam where the foam is almost non-exsistant, but you still have the inner and outer layer of nylon shielding your shins.

It just doesn’t work well by itself. That’s why the extra pretection from the track pants.

Thanks for your input.
888

[quote]p-dub wrote:
imo you shouldnt have to scrape your shins against the bar while deadlifting. I just try to keep the bar as close to my body without touching my shins. i think dave tate has debunked this myth in one of his articles.[/quote]

In order for this to work for me, I would have to straighten out my legs first, then complete the lift with my back. It’s not the way I want to do deads. Today, I was watching a guy lift, but 75-80% was done with his lower back. With over 3 plates per side, it made me cringe. Mind you, he never touched his shins, either.

BTW, just so there isn’t any misunderstanding, it’s the top part of the shin that’s getting scraped, just below the knee. And I start the lift with the bar about 4" away, give or take, from my legs. My goal is to achieve the same center of gravity as doing a squat, if that’s possible.

Thanks for your input.
888

That’s great. Please just keep that blood to yourself.

[quote]Steve-O-68 wrote:
I like getting my shins bloody…[/quote]