2

votes

Deadlift hack- bruising good or bad?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 23, 2011 at 5:23 PM

I've been working on the deadlift the last couple weeks, and I always get a couple quarter-sized bruises on each shin. I've seen some conflicting info on the Crossfit boards as to whether this is indicative of my doing something wrong, or doing it right? Any thoughts? I always feel pretty good the day after, just a little "good" soreness in the hams and glutes, and I typically lift about 100-110 lbs (I wonder if I were DLing 200 lbs, would my shins be bloody? I know that would indicate I'm doing it wrong!)

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on April 09, 2012
at 12:12 PM

Thanks! Yes, I learned from one of Rippetoe's videos- very helpful!

284213562569be43dfda0ad40914da6f

on April 07, 2012
at 06:01 PM

try a hexagonal bar--the so called "trap-bar" deadlift. No scraping possible. I've never scraped my shins doing a conventional DL but i've also moved away from getting my hips as low as possible. The closest I've gotten to doing so is with a clean-style DL where the bar sits as close to your shins as possible while on the ground (my pref method is starting out closer to the middle of the foot)

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on July 13, 2011
at 11:53 AM

I have amassed quite a collection of socks- they do help! Especially my tiger-stripe ones, haha

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on January 27, 2011
at 10:21 PM

Tried the socks yesterday, success! :)

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on January 27, 2011
at 10:21 PM

Tried the socks yesterday, success! :)

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on January 27, 2011
at 10:20 PM

I got some tall socks; no new bruises today, yay!

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on January 23, 2011
at 09:13 PM

Thanks everybody! Guess I'll keep on keepin on, & will procure some tall socks :)

209d2fc1f43df88348031c7c38077172

(693)

on January 23, 2011
at 07:57 PM

I agree. I normally leave some DNA on the bar when I deadlift.

5514047f3281f61b1139fe6483ae6989

(315)

on January 23, 2011
at 07:12 PM

Bloody shins are a right of passage! Over time you will learn to finesse the bar a bit. Whatever you do, do not try and keep the bar off your legs during the lift, that is the easiest way to hurt your lower back. Sweatpants are also a good option.

5514047f3281f61b1139fe6483ae6989

(315)

on January 23, 2011
at 07:11 PM

Bloody shins is a right of passage! Over time you will learn to finesse the bar a bit. Whatever you do, do not try and keep the bar off your legs during the lift, that is the easiest way to hurt your lower back. Sweatpants are also a good option.

0ee98c251b5eef357445aefec99c5d7b

(888)

on January 23, 2011
at 05:55 PM

agreed. My Oly lift trainer told me that during a training period where he does more deadlifts than usual he has less hairy shins, so there ya go!

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8 Answers

best answer

7
B895a5790f9c9eea663f2e8819b8d9c9

on January 23, 2011
at 05:42 PM

Bar to skin on the Dl up and down. It's how you keep the weight as close to your center of gravity as possible. Get crossfit socks and it might be more comfortable.

0ee98c251b5eef357445aefec99c5d7b

(888)

on January 23, 2011
at 05:55 PM

agreed. My Oly lift trainer told me that during a training period where he does more deadlifts than usual he has less hairy shins, so there ya go!

209d2fc1f43df88348031c7c38077172

(693)

on January 23, 2011
at 07:57 PM

I agree. I normally leave some DNA on the bar when I deadlift.

5514047f3281f61b1139fe6483ae6989

(315)

on January 23, 2011
at 07:12 PM

Bloody shins are a right of passage! Over time you will learn to finesse the bar a bit. Whatever you do, do not try and keep the bar off your legs during the lift, that is the easiest way to hurt your lower back. Sweatpants are also a good option.

5514047f3281f61b1139fe6483ae6989

(315)

on January 23, 2011
at 07:11 PM

Bloody shins is a right of passage! Over time you will learn to finesse the bar a bit. Whatever you do, do not try and keep the bar off your legs during the lift, that is the easiest way to hurt your lower back. Sweatpants are also a good option.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on January 27, 2011
at 10:20 PM

I got some tall socks; no new bruises today, yay!

5
Bf2f4215da1b2e0ae384c727ac34ed3a

on April 07, 2012
at 02:38 PM

You should NOT be bruising your shins, if you are, then you have inefficient movement.

If you are scraping your shins, this indicates that you are deadlifting with low hips. A proper deadlift features HIGH hips, this is not a squat.

In a deadlift, gravity will go to work on pulling your arm so that it is vertical, i.e. until your scapulae are right above the bar. There is no way your shoulders will be able to lift the weight with straight arms if you are using heavy weight, so the bar is not going to budge until your scapulae are directly above the bar. If your hips are low and your torso is too upright at the start of the lift, gravity will swing the bar onto your shins once you have lift-off.If you have your hips in a high position, then you may keep your scapulae just in front of your knees, and no more shin contact. You might bang your shin once in a while, but it will be much more infrequent.

All of the world class deadlifters who are pulling insane heavy weights lift with high hips, and they don't scrape their shins. Google it, watch bendikt magnussin or andy bolton pulling some 1,000lbs, hech even arnold was DLing 700lbs before he started bodybuilding. They all pull with HIGH hips.

If you are interested in more of the technical aspects of the deadlift, Mark Rippetoe has real good youtube videos breaking down the mechanics of the lift.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on April 09, 2012
at 12:12 PM

Thanks! Yes, I learned from one of Rippetoe's videos- very helpful!

3
A1a7413b99e03bc77f02d95c4170ea43

on April 07, 2012
at 08:10 PM

I'm under the impression that it's not ideal to be cutting your legs open when lifting things. I've been coaching CF for a year and a half, and while I do see some beginning athletes doing this, none of our intermediate or advanced athletes do this. I myself can pull up 415lbs and have never scraped myself. Red Rhino basically said everything that I would have, look at pros and see what they do. Rip is the man.

Deadlift set up: Feet under the bar firmly planted on the ground, bar almost touching your shine. Grip should be less than a thumbs width from the smooth part of the bar. Grab the bar, get into position, pull your knees back so your butt is high and your hamstrings SHOULD BE ENGAGED before you begin the pull. Shoulders should be slightly in front of the bar. Before you begin the pull, inhale deeply and hold your breath. This will ensure that you maintain posture as much as possible. When I coach my athletes, the metaphor I use is to make your body like a soda can. When a soda can is full and sealed, you can't bend the can no matter what (ie when you hold your breath). Now, as soon as you open the can, you can twist and wreck the can with ease (ie when you let go of your breath). Pull the bar straight up being careful not to round your spine at any point. Also, always make sure you LOWER THE BAR and don't just drop it. Control is the key here.

Anyway, check out Rippetoe, and check out Greg Everett. They both know their shit. If the socks help, great, but ideally you shouldn't be scraping THAT much.

3
21084e275703e9a3909dafa28e5d29b5

(1103)

on January 23, 2011
at 05:45 PM

Hi Jules, not sure if it's good or bad ( I would assume it's good form as you're keeping the bar close to your body). But have you tried wearing DL socks? I wear knee high/tall socks when I deadlift. I still bruise but helps a lot. Also my max is 265 and I haven't had bloody shins (but I also wear my DL socks).

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on January 27, 2011
at 10:21 PM

Tried the socks yesterday, success! :)

2
D0a103cafaf4768c6dc69b1772a55877

on January 23, 2011
at 05:45 PM

Are you talking about bruising from the bar rubbing against your shins? If that's what it is then- yes that's good- it means you are keeping the bar in contact with your body throughout the movement. It really doesn't have anything to do with how much weight you are using. Get a pair of knee socks/baseball socks and wear then on deadlift days. You won't get the bruising- or at very least you'll bruise less.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on January 27, 2011
at 10:21 PM

Tried the socks yesterday, success! :)

1
74c1777d7d39b053ca64c065dcdb0072

on July 13, 2011
at 02:37 AM

Unfortunately, that is par for the course. Socks really help. I do not know if you need anything fancy though. A thick pair of soccer socks will really reduce the bruising.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on July 13, 2011
at 11:53 AM

I have amassed quite a collection of socks- they do help! Especially my tiger-stripe ones, haha

1
525ceb06bc8862932d853a033411e3b7

(350)

on January 23, 2011
at 09:09 PM

Bloody. bruised shins are par for the course. Keep at it!

0
4c8a3f6cc7ed4444467d2e72de8021cd

on December 13, 2012
at 12:40 AM

From what I have learned, the bar should not scrape or touch the shins, but should be really close to them. Having the bar ride on your shins will create friction and make it more difficult to lift, veering from this, you eliminate that resistance factor. It is like doing sled pulls on gravel as opposed to ice. Then again, I am no professional.

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