T Nation

Quad Conditioning?


so today felt some major kicks in my quads during muay thai and they sting like a son of a bitch.....so can conditioning such as as in the shin work the same way?? or it is bad for the muscle??


ha, no. Those "shin" conditioning hardens the BONE, not the muscle. The shin is entirely skina bones (well obviously not, but for all intents and purposes). You can't harden your muscles by beating them.


You are not suposted to take the kicks to the quads, thats why you are probably taught to check them. The more you train, more used you'll get to taking them, but no person can walk trough endless bombardment of heavy thai legkicks, no matter if you beat your quads with a baseball bat. Only thing you might achieve that way is injury which is going to prevent you from training checking the kicks and countering with some of your own.


It is bad for the muscle. Don't freak out about getting hit there, but certainly don't go courting extra damage. You do not want to deaden nerves and build up scar tissue in or around your muscle bellies. Also, if you suffer a bad hematoma and are unlucky it can calcify and now you have a wonderful ailment called mysositis ossificans. You will basically be carrying around a little piece of bone in your muscle that will dig into and damage tissue with every kick you take to the thigh. It is not likely, but it is to be avoided.

If your legs get battered, stretch the muscle (gently at first and ramp up over days/weeks) as it heals. This is to aid in remodeling any and all scar tissue that was created during the normal healing process.


Robert A


Well that's a load of bollocks. Any organ in the body can be conditioned. ANY!

As others have mentioned though, don't batter the shit out of them, build into it gradually. Do partner drills with pads on and let them kick your thighs with a little amount of force that is bareable and likewise do the same to your partner. You need to be able to take a certain amount of punishment in Muay Thai, Unlike the bitch ass MMA fighters who buckle after 3 kicks or so. lol...... ok ok, I'm just teasing.


^^ No, sorry, if he's referring to conditoiniong like you condition the shins with repeated impact, no you cannot "condition" muscles (or ANY organs - what???? how about you try doing that to your brain).

The reason bone can be hardened with impact - with a material LESS DENSE THAN BONE (i.e on the heavy bag) is becaue the impact increase bone density. Similar how lifting weights increases bone density.

You wont increase "muscle density" this way.


Yeah, in Japan we did "iron body" training or kote kitai and ashi kitai where you basically beat on each other to toughen your arms and legs. Guys with Bony little arms hurt the guys with more muscle, but I noticed the muscle will adapt faster than the bone.

You will have to do it slow over time or you will injure yourslef. It is also better to start at a younger age, but you can certainly condition your body to take some abuse.


i do not believe this... i would like scientifically verifiable proof :slight_smile:

I've seen peer-revied articles on increasing bone density this way, but the fact that you can do this to ANY ORGAN, sounds like utter bollocks :slight_smile:


I don't know how to prove it but there is something to conditioning the quads. For instance my back leg (that gets kicked a lot less) gets hurt a lot easier than my front leg. Also my front leg quad is slightly harder than the back leg. Likely from getting kicked more.

I don't know whether it's bad for the legs though. I haven't heard anything about that until Robert's post.


absolute bollocks


Seriously bro, get off the computer and jump in the ring, get kicked in the quads for 19 years and then tell me you can't condition your thighs.

You're full of it and by the tone and ideas in your posts I can tell the hardest you've ever been hit would be by a keyboard draw closing on your fingers.

You'd not only be laughed out of most Muay Thai gyms around the world but probably banned from the whole country of Thailand for that preposterous belief.

And yes, you can condition any organ in your body. The sac that contains your brain can even condition to be able to take more and more abuse and protects your brain better upon impact.

If you're so limited in your own brain to think that you can't condition any part of your body, I suggest you stick to hobbies and not sports. Hobbies like crochet or insect collection.

If you want scientifically proven data, head down to an authentic Muay Thai Gym, find a dude your size and proceed to exchange leg kicks with him and see who lasts longests.


BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!! You actually think before you type??? LMAO!!!

PS - Go fuck yourself "humble" you ignorant cock sucker.


OK, here is the deal with my post.

I AM NOT saying that over time muscle does not get "conditioned" to impact. I am hoping we all know it does. It is a different mechanism.

For Bone:

Impacts spur increases in bone density. And I do mean "impact". Load bearing exercise e.g. walking/jogging/high impact aerobics are correlated with increases in bone density. This makes a strong case for not telling a 90 pound osteoperotic woman to only do water aerobics. Linked to this, but much less understood, is that blood circulation seems to be a factor as well. Supposedly astronauts lose bone density everywhere EXCEPT their skulls (and the head gets and unusually high amount of circulation in free fall (usually gets called zero gravity, it isn't but that is a different subject). If anyone wants to jump on this as a reason so many asian martial arts use skin irritants, thus increasing circulation, over superficial bones that are being conditioned go ahead.

In the case of "hardening" bone micro-fractures, or for that matter larger fractures, heal in such a way that the bone is stronger than it was prior in resisting the forces that caused the fracture. It is subsequently weaker in other directions because of the same healing process. So, slamming your shins into inanimate objects (or people we are trying to make less animate) does in fact start a process where they will become better weapons. It also in theory makes them more likely to fracture if the force comes in directions other than the usual. The fact there is not an epidemic of kickboxers and karate stylists snapping their tibias when they slip and fall tells us that the trade off is worth it.

Now on to muscle/soft tissue. In general soft tissue does not heal "better" than it was before the injury. Post injury gradual loading/stress is needed in order to re-model the scar tissue/injury.

Essentially, bone heals in a way that it is better prepared to deal with whatever hurt it. Soft tissues tend to heal, and then the stresses placed on them determine what they can handle.

Getting hit in training most likely makes it easier to take shots on muscles because of neurological reasons. On a "pain tolerance" level you get used to it. So it sucks less. The "hardening" is real, but it is more a product of muscle tone. You learn to better tense, and thus protect, the muscle. If it "feels harder", that is because it is "flexed more". The goal of "iron body" training for muscle is neurological improvements. In a dead body the "hard muscles" would not be obvious. The "hardened bones" would be more so. So, you are not going for multiple small "injuries" when conditioning your thighs. Injuring the tissue is counter productive. Getting kicked while training, or specifically using many "lighter" impacts with bamboo swords or a training partner can be done with good result, but it is not doing the same thing as conditioning bones.


It may mean that some kickboxers do not know exactly why their training works. I am NOT saying that is the case with anyone in this thread.


Robert A

PS I am trying to go for a non-nerd explanation here. If anyone wants me to nerd it up, I can.



I apologize if I had any part in the shit show between humble and WyldFlower.

WyldFlower is focussing on mechanism and humble is going for training effect.

My take is that you would do well to listen to humble's advice on HOW TO FIX YOUR PROBLEM. My contention is that it will work, but not through the same mechanism as conditioning your shins. The good news is that as long as you put the other guy down being able to write a report on the physics, biology, and chemistry involved is not required.


Robert A


Yeah I wasn't really criticizing your post. I was just more curious about it since I hadn't heard much about the negative affects of it. However, I wonder if it's entirely pain tolerance? I've had many instances where my leg would go numb and when that happens it becomes difficult to move around and balance on your front leg while kicking with the back. (Basically activate and use the muscle because it's numb.) So even if I was use to the pain, wouldn't the muscle in my leg still go numb even if it didn't hurt? Making movement and kicks difficult? Because now that I'm a little better I notice that my leg also doesn't go numb as much these days. Although, I'm sure some pros could still mess my legs up though and we use shin pads for training.



I think it is the combination of "pain tolerance", plus the fact you are more practiced at tensing and protecting the muscle. So, it contracts "harder"/more fully when you take a shot and you are probably better at either absorbing the force or riding the force as well. The leg being "harder" to the touch is likely more due to your body learning that keeping the muscle somewhat tighter even when at rest is protective. I DO NOT think you have built up a callous of scar tissue in the quad to any huge degree, or that it would be a good thing to do so.

So I am going with neurological adaptation as opposed to anatomical adaptation. I would expect there to be more complaints of unpleasant side effects if scar tissue or permanently hard (which would make it less able to contract and relax and thus less functional) muscle tissue were the cause of your (or humble's) increased durability. If the accomplished fighters who are best able to shrug off being hit were also the weakest, least flexible, and showed higher incidence of nerve and orthopedic complaints consistent with truly making their muscles harder than I would buy into the scar it up and it gets strong line of thought. We do not see this.

Does this make sense to you?


Robert A


Yeah for the most part. What I don't understand is how you know you're going too hard. There have been a couple times where my legs have been hurt for more than a week from conditioning.


Thank you for confirming your non participation in anything except keyboard athletics.

Robert, I am in agreement that muscle does not condition like bone and having a bachelors degree in Excercise and Sports Science, like you I don't like to lift the reading vocab above the kindergarten level Mr wyld is capable of since most people don't care for the mental masturbation.

But I've been there, done that in the ring and paid my dues against guys who kick like mules. Super heavy weights don't tip tap and without naming names, I have fought guys bigger than me and sparred with guys who are currently ranking very high.

I have 40 stiches on one thigh proving your point about micro trauma and it's effects and I have posted pictures of it in the past so do warn people against taking unnecessary abuse but the point for Mr FLores above is not to be afraid and put off by the small set back he incurred but to embrace it and build up to the level he needs gradually and doing it only through one method tried and tested and proven to work in building his tolerance (hence conditioning) and giving him a higher ability to absorb punishment and continue.

A certain amount of absorbing has to be learned as well. Trying to stiffen up and tense to avoid the pain will only increase likelihood of trauma exploding through the point of impact. Remaining loose and relaxed and rolling with the kick will help lessen the damage. Trying to fight shins with your thighs is not the brightest idea but you can certainly improve your sitution through more and more drills and practise.


hey no, i've been training/fighting Muay Thai for 5-6 years with three amateur fights, although last year was beset with injuries and hospitalisation, including cancer treatment and god knows whatever other bullshit - but hoping to finally get back on the horse this year, inshallah, turn pro by the end of the year capped off with a month long training camp in Thailand - all going well!!

Actually have a film maker friend whose secured us some funding to make a documentary on Muay Thai, so my trip to Thailand might be fully paid for by some film making fund, i'm soooooooooo excited for what we got planned for this year. So yeah, my interest/knowledge/experience in Muay Thai/Combat sports is far beyond "keyboard athletics". :slight_smile:

Back on topic. You've said some ridiculously dumb shit in this thread, and the fact you said it with such conviction makes it all the more embarrassing for you. Like seriously - YOU CAN CONDITION YOUR ORGANS TO IMPACT???!!!!! LMAO!!!! YOU CAN CONDITION THE "SAC" THAT HOUSES YOUR BRAIN TO BE MORE RESILIENT TO IMPACT???! MOTHER-FUCKER YOU HIGH??!!!


Aaaaanyway, I'm glad to see my one-dimensional take on the OP's question and ur ignorant rebuke elicited such a thought-provoking and in depth response from Robert A.

Now try not to be such an arrogant patronising cunt, because i do bite :wink:



ok, put your 3 years against my 20 any day and we'll compare brains and thighs whenever you want.

Incase you're a little behind in terminology, muscles are also considered an organ and if you think you cannot condition your heart to take more punishment than the average person then you're retarded and have no clue or understanding about physiological adaptation. How on earth does your v02 increase and improve? How do your lungs expand, adapt and change? How does your heart musculature adapt to the stressors? How do your kidneys and liver all adapt to the stinging pain you receive from a body punch?

PLenty of research has been conducted proving the meninges in fighters/boxers are thicker and more developed than in laypeople. If you're so uninformed about the topic, best not to speak. Every cell in your body and that's what everything in your body is composed of is subject to an adaptation response. Get a little physiology under your belt and then step up, otherwise stop carrying on like a rude spoilt little shit.

You're a baby. I've had sparring sessions that will make most men cringe but I don't need to compare dicks with an internet hopeful with a supposed 3 fights.

Best also to keep your mouth shut and not use religous terminology in a thread where you hypocritically use vile and derogatory language.

If you call that a bite, then keep bathing in your glory, all you have done is acted like a brat because you got pulled up about something you know jack about.