T Nation

Shin protection while deadlifting

I’ve been working out for 3 years now and I love to deadlift. As a matter of fact, I’m the only hardcore lifter in my gym that bothers to deadlift and squat(lol…punny navy guys). But the problem is the bloody shins part. My girlfriend thinks they’re disgusting and now they’re starting to hinder my performance. I know that you’re supposed to keep the weight as close to your body but it gets tougher every week as I go up in weight. I’ve tried wearing long socks that cover my shins but they dont help much. I was even thinking about getting some soccer shin guards. What do you guys (or girls) do?

I posted a suggestion on the Cyberpump site a couple years ago to some one asking the same question. Basically I said to use soccer shin guards. Use the ones that give full coverage – you don’t want the bar to hook a kneecap on the way past. You could also use something similar to what baseball catchers use. These aren’t legal for competition, but could definitely save some skin. I personally don’t have a problem with this, even though my legs are fairly long (maybe I use too much forward lean, I don’t know). You could try doing sumo style, or a T-bar deadlift. The T-bar dead is done sumo style with a home-made bar – basically a T with a threaded end cap to hold the plates on. The description might still be on the Cyberpump site, so you could search there.

I would look at form. I have coached a few lifters who had this problem. Generally they were pulling the bar back into their shins as soon as the leaves the ground. You are doing the right thing by keeping your weight back and the bar close to your legs, but remember you are lifting the bar up, not toward you. Lighten the weight abit and see if you can solve the problem. If you cannot avoid really digging the bar into your shins, there are some specific socks for the purpose. I think Inzer makes some. Regular sock wont work well.
Good Luck

Hmmm… I was deadlifting a couple of weeks ago, finish the last set and only about 5 minutes later noticed I had blood pouring all down my shins. It was the first time, and I don’t particularly want it to continue, so thanks for the replies to Arkanes thread fellas.

I found a hand towel that is quite long, yet not wide. I wrap it around the bar, lengthways.
This does two things:

  1. it saves my shins, coz as Ian King will tell ya - keep the bar in contact with the body all the way up;
  2. it increases the grip size of the bar (a little), which I find to my advantage.
    My towel just happens to be a fraction longer that the two marker rings on the olympic bar are apart.

Don’t start the bar right against your shins. Doing so causes the bar to scrape your shins and forces you to pull the bar forward so it can get by the knee’s. Watch Louis Simmons Deadlifting Secrets video and you will see what I mean. Start the bar a few inches in front of you. I like to start with the bar right above the toes. This makes the line much shorter for deadlifting as well as preventing you from scraping your shins. You will be able to handle more weight like this too.

I think Bigswol makes a very good point about form. However, I have to admit, today I did some heavy DLing–for lil’ ol’ Timbo anyway–and wasn’t quite into it until after the first set when I felt the blood dripping down my shins! That was sweet and set the tempo for the rest of a kick-ass workout. Keep in mind, I’m a pretty-boy, bodybuilder, but a scab or two on my shins is all good by me!

Thanks for all your replies guys. I’ve tried doing a search for Inzer socks but can’t find them. The soccer shin guards seem like the easiest solution and i’ll see if i can tigheten up my form even more. I’ve tried wrapping a towel around the bar and it works but if your shins are already raw, like mine, it’s still going to bleed and sting. So for now I’ll tighten up my form and use some soccer shin guards untill my shins heal. Then I’ll go back to wrapping a towel around the bar. Thanks again.

vichai - you’re supposed to have contact with the bar all the way up? why? i added deads to my program a while ago and i have never bled from them. i’ve had a bruise or two, but no blood. why is dragging the bar up your shin necessary? i usually keep it about an inch away and still have good form.

WEAR LONG PANTS - problem solved

You might want to try one of those pads that wraps around the bar(used for squatting if you dont have any traps).