T Nation

On The DL


any of you guys tear the shit outta your shins by the bar when you're deadlifting? I almost always leave the gym with blood trickling down my shins after deadlifting. The articles here seem to emphasize pulling with your weight back on your heels and your back flat. This tends to pull the bar right up against my shins.

Is this common, or must my form be messed up? One kid in the gym said i looked like i had great form, but then he proceeded to tell me how he cuts his shins a lot too sooo.....

Oh and here's a gorgeous picture of my awkwardly tanned and hairy leg, with scabs on all over my shin.


I've kinda always gone by measuring my form on if my shins are bleeding. on new bars its real bad. if you want there are some ways to make it a little better but you almost always want to be back on your heels and this usually means you'll get deadlinfting scars. I think of em as a badge you can tell lifters if you see em. Ben


I'll let people who know PL answer the form question, but I often tape my shins to avoid this problem and allow previous tears to heal. A good way to do this is to put on several strips vertically and then one or two horizontally or at an angle, the latter strips stopping just short of encircling the calf.

Stopping just short of encircling the keeps the tape on when you scrape without feeling like it's restraining the calf muscle whenever it flexes.


GOOD JOB!!! Yes you should have those battle scars, all the best deadlifters have them, next step is the ripped up quads(You have some big quads). I know that is your OVER hand side, so good form, just dont be a geek wearing soccer shin guards while pullin.

My federation and the IPF just made it mandatory to wear knee-high socks while DL'ing cause it slows the meet too much to wash all the blood off.
Keep pullin' and bleedin'


I have it too, but never really minded. I was told to keep the bar as close as possible when i learned to DL as to maintain my center of gravity. I occasionly wear pants to lessen the cuts, but my cuts aren't horrible. Nothin some neosporin cant fix right? lol


At first, I thought there was a nail sticking out of your shin...


After bleeding all over the bar, my shoes, the platform, and a few other things probably, I decided to try to avoid scraping up my legs again (well, in truth it was just the same scrape reopening constantly). I went for the pulled up socks approach. They only cover up about 1/2 way to my knee but that's just about enough.

Looks kind of dumb, but who cares, and it's damn easy. Plus, you can push 'em down when you're done.


something i have done to reduce shin damage, but not stop, is to wear pants that are made out of polyester like those seen from addidas. but almost anytime i pull i get bloody shins. i love it.


You do realize that with us barbarians tape will rip off alot of hair....


I only really get my shins torn up when I'm wearing shorts while deadlifting.

If I wear track pants, I can usually (though not always) avoid the shredding, giving the skin time to heal.


Although it does change the exercise mechanics slightly, you might consider trap bar deadlifts. No shin damage, it's easier to maintain good form, and most people can actually lift more.


I swear Dave Tate told us (at the seminar) to start behind the bar and that included shins. When he demonstated, his shins were 4" from the bar and he pulled diagonally back toward his lockout position. I believe the print article on DL-ing in Testosterone Magazine said the same. The bar never contacts the shins despite what otheres (MANY) have said and done including myself. If anyone cares, I'll look for it when I get to work.


I'm so glad I use a hex bar. I suggest you wear some warm up pants next time you dl.


I've also heard of some guys wrapping their shins in plastic wrap first, then applying the tape just for that reason.

I personally try to wear sweats on dead days, but sometimes just shorts.

Sometimes I scrape my shins and other times I don't.


Who in their right mind would turn down more tips on form? :slightly_smiling: Educate us, brother!


thanks for the feedback. i kinda like having bloody shins, especially cuz when it mixes with the sweat it really coveres the entire lower leg and makes me look tough. i might try my adidas tho just for fun. if anyone disagrees with the majority here and can explain a better way to dl, then go right ahead though.


The bar should start at the shins but should NOT touch the shins. The bar should be as close as possible without touching. You are giving the bar unneeded resistance.



Deadlift scars are hardcore. Be proud.


Knee high socks and baby powder.

While not ideal, pulling against the shins helps me keep better form by forcing my shoulders behind the bar.

Stay strong and keep deadlifting!


I don't get them too much while deadlifting, but while snatching or cleaning, I tear the shit out of them. It's to the point where its starting to look like just one big scar.