By Angela Chang
Take a trip down memory lane with me… You’ve just arrived at the gym for your first ever Muay Thai class. You walk in not knowing what to expect, but feeling excited at the same time.
You wait for class to start. The trainer tells you what to do as you warm up. You learn some basics for the foundation of your journey. You walk up to one of the heavy bags and, using what you saw on YouTube and what you just learned, you throw a kick at the bag. Suddenly, your shin and foot are burning with pain. The bag is soft to the touch, but it feels like you’ve just slammed your leg into a metal pole. Class wraps up and you head home, sore as hell. You might have even woken up the next day with some bruises. You go back to the gym next time for more.
Days, weeks, months pass by. Now you’re kicking the bag as hard as you can and you don’t even flinch. What happened? Why doesn’t your leg...
Lumps and bumps are part of the deal when you sign up for Muay Thai, whether you want them or not. Soreness and pain in the shin area is experienced by nak muay of all levels. In terms of the pain itself, not too much can be done, but there is good news: it gets better with time.
When starting out, it’s completely normal to get bruising on all points of contact, shin area included. The shin may even be the area that delivers the most surprise to you. Knees and elbows are used to taking the brunt of it when you fall or have other misfortunes due to clumsiness, but shins comprise a big area that generally go unscathed (at least, not in the same way as your knee and elbow joints). Therefore, arguably, the shins are the least prepared part of the body for the newcomer.
Kicking the heavy bag for the first time feels extremely painful to many, and everyone gets bruising. With time, the nerves get...