It is no secret that kickboxers use their shins more than virtually any other sport does. Consequently, you may be wondering how in the world kickboxers do not break their shins more often than they do. After all, the number of kicks endured would sure break even the most durable of bones.
The reality is that kickboxers go through a lot of training just to toughen up their shins to the point that they can endure the harsh hitting that comes with the sport. Shins are not typically broken while kickboxing. Instead, the microfractures that occur during training and fighting toughen up the leg.
Kickboxing and other forms of martial arts have been around for a long time. Athletes have learned how to use their shins to gain an advantage over opponents without breaking their bones at the same time. How do they do this? Continue reading to learn how it is possible to kickbox and not break your shins.
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Do Shins Adapt to Kickboxing?
According to Wolff’s Laws, shins can adapt to the pressure that kickboxing places on them. In addition, muscles and bones can grow stronger when they endure a series of microfractures. This is because they are forced to restore themselves each time a micro tear occurs, becoming more resilient in the process.
It should come as no surprise that constantly kicking an object that is harder than your shin will eventually damage it. However, kickboxers rarely break their bones. Shins are included in this. Instead, the shin is a bone that ends up adapting to the hits that are encountered on a regular basis.
The body can naturally restore the microfractures that do occur in the shin area. In this way, the bone will actually become denser with time, making it even less likely to break as a result of participating in kickboxing related activities. This adaptation is partly due to the calcium that builds up in the bone as the recovery process from various microfractures occurs.
How Can Kickboxers Safely Condition Their Shins?
The key to kickboxing without breaking your shins is to begin by kicking slightly softer objects than your shin. Over time, this will serve to strengthen your shins. This is done slowly and safely in a way that is managed naturally by your body. In addition, the conditioning process will help prevent breakage.
Early kickboxers did not have the benefit of modern equipment. Instead of kick pads and bags, fighters would use tree trunks to strengthen their shins. Ironically, even this practice did not break shins. This is how we know that shins can endure the rigor placed on them by the sport.
Today, it is advised that kickboxers use a combination of kick pads and bags to strengthen their shins. While this helps soften the blow to some degree, it still causes the type of microfractures that is necessary to make the shin stronger. Nevertheless, this conditioning process is what leads to more effective fighting in the end.
Do Kickboxers Need a Recovery Period to Protect Their Shins?
Shin conditioning will hurt your shins, so a certain amount of recovery time is to be expected. While your body is designed to repair these injuries naturally on its own, it is possible to speed up the process by taking some time off and applying some ice to the shins. The recovery process is very important.
Many kickboxers will put some water in a paper cup and then freeze it prior to a conditioning session. As soon as the session is over, the cup is removed from the freezer and the ice exposed. Take that ice and rub it against your shins until you feel the pain subsiding. Another helpful suggestion is to take calcium supplements to help along the recovery process.
Should Kickboxers Be Worried About Their Shins?
It should be made clear upfront that shin conditioning can potentially lead to bone and nerve damage that becomes permanent. It is important to go about the sport in the right way and with the proper understanding of this from the beginning.
This combat sport can lead to broken bones that take years to heal, if ever. However, this is rare if kickboxing is practiced as it was designed. The body is incredibly resilient and understands how to adapt. We just have to be willing to listen to what the body is saying.
Understanding how to kickbox without breaking your shins is important. While shins are a vital part of the sport, there are ways to minimize the damage caused by the constant pounding that is endured by this part of the body.
Learning how to condition the shins properly to absorb the impact is just the beginning, but it is essential to keeping your bones intact.