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What to do to strengthen bones? How to strengthen the bones? Is there the best way to strengthen your bones? Which exercises strengthen the shins, arms, and knuckles?
Within this article, I’ll try to explain to you!
In combat sports such as kickboxing, Muay Thai, karate, Wing Chun andTaekwon-Do, a variety of hardcore exercises are often used to strengthen shins, elbows, and knuckles.
Through mechanical irritation from multiple hits, they aim to cause bones to increase their density and strength, and also to make the limbs less painful.
However, In many cases, athletes understand too late the need for such exercises when they have already broken or injured their bones. One good example is the Kyokushin karate fights, where guard shins are forbidden. When the frontal kick “made Geri” is blocked with a sweeping “gedan barai”, the shins can be seriously damaged.
To understand the principle of bone-strengthening, we need to know some basic things about the bone system.
Although the skeleton looks like something solid, firm and unchanging, that’s not exactly the case.
Every bone is a dynamic system that is in a constant process of building and breaking down. The body is so arranged that if something is not needed – it degrades it, and if it is used actively – it builds it up. This principle applies to both bones and muscles.
One of the greatest factors stimulating bone-building is the physical exercises and mechanical loading on them – such as walking, running, jumping, hitting, etc.
They must be accurately measured, otherwise, the effect may be reversed. The problem is that each hit produces micro-cracks in the bones but the process of building bones is relatively slow and requires time and the necessary nutrients (calcium, phosphorus).
If the bones are subjected to permanent overloads without sufficient restoration time, they weaken and can lead to physical stress, cracks or even breakage.
Therefore, when we strengthen the shins and knuckles, this should be a slow and gradual process involving enough time for recovery and complete nutrition.
Otherwise, rushing instead of strengthening will result in a fracture. This applies to most people who have never trained and want to quickly strengthen their bones.
Which exercises strengthen the bones?
The most important thing in these exercises is to be performed wisely, prolonged without a sense of severe pain. In many martial sports, strong pain is tolerated, but the thin line between effectiveness and getting trauma must be found.
If we cross this border, we risk getting more negatives than benefits. It should be known that the shin area is severely painful because there is no protective layer of muscles. Due to the presence of many nerves in this area, every shock or pressure can be very painful. So you need to know your body and find out how much load you can bear.
If you feel severe pain, swelling, or have a bruising, you’d better miss the workout and get some rest. If things do not pass, seek medical assistance.
There are a few commonly known methods for strengthening the bones.
How to strengthen the bones? Exercises with a heavy boxing bag.
Workout with a punching bag is one of the most affordable ways to strengthen the bones. Successive strikes (Mawasi geri, low kicks) with the front of the shins are a good option.
Important in this type of strengthening is that the beginner should select a less hard bag to prevent injuries.
- In the beginning, you must do many, but lighter strikes and every week the power of the hits must be gradually increased.
- If you have strong pain when hit, it is a sign of trauma and needs a few days for resting.
- It is good to have at least 1-2 days to recover from training. Never strike despite the pain in your legs, because this is a sure way to get a fracture.
Light strikes with a stick.
Another popular method of stimulating bone formation is by lightly striking a small stick in the shin areas.
In this method, a thin stick is used to apply multiple knocks on the big tibia and the lower leg area. The hits should not be strong or traumatic, but rather light and bear a feeling of pleasant pain. These knocks on the shin area stimulate the process of depositing minerals in the bones.
With the time when the pain disappears, you may gradually increase the power of the knocks. There must be at least 1 recovery day between the training sessions.
Rolling a stick technique.
Another method uses a wooden stick or a rolling pin that rolls on the front of the lower leg.
For this purpose, any object with a cylindrical shape (even a baseball bat or bottle) can be used. The only drawback of this method is that for some people it is too painful.
So it is better to practice this exercise after the previous two, or when you are more advanced and your bones are better prepared.
Beginners can start with lighter pressure that should be gradually increased or with the weight of the body on the baseball bat/ bottle. This exercise need at least a day or two to recover.
Strengthening by makiwara or wing Chun dummies
Another tried and tested method comes from Japanese and Chinese schools. By striking specially created tools named Makiwaras and Wing Chun dummies you strengthen the knuckles, the forearms, and the shins too.
With the help of Makiwara, you can land constant but not too strong repetitions of punches, to strengthen both the special fists (Seiken; shuto; Ubi) and the legs (sun; hidza).
The same thing is with the wing Chung dummies but there are very specific fast special movements for strengthening the forearms, so to use this type of equipment, you need to learn at least the basic wing Chun techniques.
The “Sepak tekraw” game.
Another method is used in the Muay Thai workout and takes the form of a ball-throwing game from the Asian popular game
Each fighter takes up space in a circle and tries to hit and throw a plastic or ratan ball of other players by knuckles, fists, kicks or elbows strikes.
As is the warm-up, the strengthening practice should be an integral part of the training of every serious fighter.
You better know that the strengthening process is not fast, so you need to be patient and be permanent.
Therefore I recommend that any serious fighter does not underestimate the effect of the strengthening. So it should be practiced after the major part of the workout. About 20-30 minutes are enough to strengthen your main impact surfaces.