Shin Conditioning and Quality Bag Fill
I have been reading a lot of things about conditioning the shins. Coke bottle rolls, kicking banana trees, bags full of sand etc. Even in the class I used to practice with, my instructors told me to buy a Kali (spelling?) stick and roll it up and down my shins, partially to condition and partially to smoothen out the bumps.
In any case, I thought I would throw my two cents in. It's simple really, the answer for me was a good heavy bag. Now mind you, I went through several methods of how to fill it.
First step, get yourself a good quality heavy bag, preferrably a banana bag.
Second step, get something to fill it with. Now, as this step goes, I went through many hours of manual labour until I found something that I was happy with. First, I asked the guy who sold me the bag, he suggested saw dust. So I went to a mill. Be careful, there's going to be a delicate, most likely nasty process to this. First we had to get the chunks out, then we had to get the cat **** out (they love that ****, err TO ****). I created an insulating layer out of several wraps of light foam.
I wasn't happy with that, the bag seemed to light, to give to much and I realized that most saw dust world-wide is poisonous. The seems on the bag, when combined with the power of a good strike, created a six foot tall spray bottle, so I emptied that out.
Second came the mattress. Since I convinced the woman I live with that sleeping on the floor would be better for our backs, I was able to take our mattress, gut it, and systematically stuff it. By systematically I mean blend the materials. I would rip the foam, rip the wool stuffing and rip the carpet mesh and shove them all down there, all the while throwing in handfuls of sand every layer. It took a long while to get it all full, but I just had to do it to see first hand how it felt.
In the end, it was so-so. The different materials weren't meshing all that well together, I might have stuffed it wrong, but what ever. In any case, the same problem occured as with the saw dust. The wool insulator had fiberglass in it, so I ditched it. I actually knew it all along, but I was obsessed in finding out what the bag would feel like with a ripped up mattress inside of it.
Then came the internet, don't listen to the people who say sand. Don't worry, I didn't, but if anyone ever tells you to fill your bag completely with sand, just read past. Lots of people like to say banana trees and such as well. It's traditional, but at the same time I have heard countless stories about retired muay thai boxers who used banana trees, and it wasn't ever pretty.
Now then, on to the solution. Clothes! Cheap bags of clothes from your local good will, salvation army, st. vincent depaul etc. I even called a couple of churches, but felt bad because they misunderstood me and actually tried to bring me tasteful "interview" presentation suits. So there I was, four black garbage bags full of clothes, a bucked full of sand (about 45 lbs, painters bucket size) and one pair of durable scissors. Well, they weren't that durable, but just get yourself some quality steal ones.
So I chopped up all of the clothes into 6 inch by 12-18 inch strips, and I suggest 10-12 inch by 10-12 inch squares now (easier to stuff). Rolled the bag inside out about 60% of the way, leave just enough room so that you can reach down into it and push the cloths down upon each other. And I would shovel 2 cups of sand in about every 6 inches or so. Now the guy who I got this advice from says to pour the sand in later and let it settle to the bottom, but personally I am happy with the results I got by doing it my way.
In the end, the bottom 2 feet of the bag were compact enough to hurt my shins just enough each time I kicked it, and it conditions about 70-80% of my shin mass with each kick, so I just alternate between bottom blade and top blade. After a while of hitting the upper 2/3rd's of the bag, you'll notice some sagging, so just take her down, open the top and throw some more clothes in. People have told me to get a partner and a sledge hammer, holding the bag straight up while having your friend "drop the hammer" (haha couldn't resist), which sounds really fun to do when your drunk. However, I found that laying it down and grabbing it by the steal loops at the top while I press in the clothing with my legs worked just fine. And that's how I condition my shins.
Last edited by Iphaltuus; 5/26/2008 2:31am at .
What was wrong with a 100% sand filling?
I have thought about this. I figured it would only work on a small bag, and pref a thin kick bag. You can get very thin bags where the width is just a bit thinner than a basketball. The reason I figured a thin bag was if you have a thick one you wont be able to kick it with enough power to make it bend or move. The target has to flex when you kick it, so you want sand, coz it is hard, but not to much, or it wont work.
Why not use sand?
It generally settles at the bottom. so its incredibly hard/lumpy at the lower end and way to light and misshapen at the top. It allows you to work your kicks reasonably well but if this was a multi purpose bag for working combos on and general bag work it would be **** for punching and throwing high kicks.
Originally Posted by Tenchu
Yes, a bag filled completely with sand will ruin your wrists for punching. More so, when I spoke of the stories I heard about old retired Muay Thai fighters. They over trained their shins so that at a certain age, they are very brittle and deteriorated. The delicate balance between kicking a target that has just enough flexibility fracture microscopic parts of your bone without destroying the bone's structure itself is a careful guideline. A human body itself is actually much more flexible than the set up I have with my bag, in the target areas that you want to strike.
We have a bag filled with rice it is awesome - it is skinnier than the average bannana bag though. The rice works really great. As you beat the bag more it becomes more compact and harder. I would suggest anyone to try rice.
Kempo chris: What is the bag itself made out of? Canvas?
Originally Posted by Kempo Chris
Actually that's a good point. Rice was one of the suggestions I was interested in as well. I was just more interested in eating it. Seriously though, I've heard that as a suggestion by more than one person whom I have spoken to in real life, and who actually work at gyms. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the results were satisfactory.
For conditioning at home, I use a jumbo bag of Calrose rice from the oriental market wrapped in canvas, hung on a tree. different pegs for different heights staggered around the circumference: low, medium, high, so I can adjust it.
Originally Posted by Iphaltuus
It does indeed get denser as the rice breaks down.
Pads are most likely a better method, but you have to take into account the fact that I'm a lazy asshole who doesn't want to spend that much for an at-home conditioning device.
Haha, well I imagine that innovation is the key to conservation. In the event that you do decide to buy some pads, I would suggest extra long kick pads as the ones I have don't protect the elbows that well.
Originally Posted by NJM
yes it is a canvas bag
Originally Posted by NJM
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