Bruising/Bleeding Shins While Deadlifting
Do you get bruises, scratches or even bleeding on your shins when you deadlift? Don’t worry too much about it if you do. Proper deadlift form says that you should keep the bar as close to your legs as possible. For many people this means keeping the bar touching the shins and thighs while going up and down. This leads to scraping of the bar against your skin.
The closer the bar is to your shins the less stress the is on your lower back. This allows you to lift more and is safer for your back. This does not mean you should have bloody shins every single time you deadlift. If that is the case then your form is probably off. You should adjust your form so that scraping may happen sometimes, but is not an every day occurrence.
The best solution for shin bruising/scraping is to wear deadlifting pants and high socks on deadlift days. I have never experienced bleeding from deadlifting, but I do get scratches every once in a while. Bruising should be less common as bruising usually means that the bar went away from your legs and then came back into contact with your legs, hitting them to create the bruise. Using a hex bar for deadlifting is another solution.
Try to keep the bar consistently just touching your legs. If the bar is swinging away and to your legs then you will see bruising. The only time I bruise my legs is when my form is off or when I lower the bar too quickly. Sometimes I lower the bar in such a way that my legs try to keep bending once the bar stops moving and my shins hit the bar. It’s not a big deal because this happens after the weight is already on the floor.
If you have scabs on your shins take a break from deadlifting and let your legs heal. Once healed, wear long pants and work on your form.
Take a look at world deaflifting record holder Eddit Hall deadlifting 463kg/1020lbs and notice the bleeding shins:
His shins probably do not bleed everytime, but when going for the world record he needed the bar as close to his legs as possible. This helped him lift more, breaking the record.