Scraping The Shins

Have you ever experienced this? You're half way through your first Snatch or Clean exercise and you notice a scraping pain where the bar has rubbed against your shins. You look down and see blood. Chances are yes. If you've been Weightlifting, even if only for a few weeks, it's almost guaranteed.

Now, believe it or not, this can actually be thought of as 'practically' a good thing.

Why? And why did we use the word 'practically'?

Firstly, this is the par for the course in becoming an elite lifter... "blood, sweat, tears" and all that. But on a serious note it's all to do with your centre of gravity. In short, if the bar is away from you, the bar is outside your centre of gravity meaning you will either:

  • Be off balance throughout the lift - i.e. on your toes rather than your weight evenly distributed across flat feet.
  • The bar will go through a swinging motion after the hip drive and most likely end up behind your head when you are in the receiving position.
  • The bar will be away from you from the start, leading up to your hips. This will not allow you get the most out of your hip drive as your shoulders aren't over the bar enough.

The 'practically' part
Blood shows you are keeping the bar close which is benefiting your technique (closer to your body = closer to your centre of gravity). Now, we are not recommending you scrape your shin every time you pick the bar up. That would be pretty horrific. However, you should be keeping the bar as close to your body as you can and sometimes, that does result in a bit of blood.

How to do it?

It's all in the set position. Take the time to set yourself at the bar and see here for the ideal start position. Make sure you roll the bar into your shins before you lift. It can also help to go slowly from the floor when practising, so take your time.

Lastly, if you are finding you're cutting your shins every now and then, try using a bit of tape running up your shin bone. Start lower than where the bar comes up to on your leg.

To summarise
keeping the bar close, but not necessarily scraping your shin, will keep the centre of gravity closer to your body. This in turn should mean the bar isn't far from the course you want it to go, and there's less chance it will enter into a swinging motion and be chucked behind your head.

Thank you for reading.