Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physical Fitness Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for physical fitness professionals, athletes, trainers, and those providing health-related needs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I exercise every alternate day - which means 7 times a fortnight. I mix it up ever so often, but I generally do a mixture of about 45 minutes of cardio (either a run at >10.5 or intervals on the elliptical at l8), plus about 20-25 minutes weights plus static.

This pattern has been pretty constant for the last 6 years - I consider myself relatively fit and healthy. However, I've noticed in the last couple of years that I've been getting bruises on my arms and legs. it's about 4-5 on the left leg and 2-3 on the right - mostly on the calves. And recently a few on my upper arms.

The spots vary in colour day-to-day, from pink to light brown to purple, and I am quite fair so it shows. When I press on them, they will disappear for a bit, and then reappear.

Besides the aesthetic unpleasantness, I am wondering how common these are. I am guessing they are capillary bursts - but does anyone have anything similar? It doesn't appear to be a skin condition, and I know definitely that they aren't the result of bumps. And does anyone know how they happen? My guess is that perhaps they happen when I exert myself while running/weight-training.


share|improve this question
Great question, and welcome to Physical Fitness! I'm wondering if this question is edging too much towards medical rather than fitness. I've suggested a new title - "How often does running or weight lifting cause capillary bursts?" - I think it would help make the scope of the question more fitness-orientated rather than medical. –  andrewb Sep 13 '13 at 8:56
Go see a doctor. –  Kneel-Before-ZOD Mar 25 '14 at 5:28
Is it possible with your calves that you are kicking yourself whilst running? –  Tracy at 2bactive Mar 26 '14 at 19:44
Have you had any recent illnesses or changed diet? Increased bruising can be a sign of certain nutritional deficiencies. It's possible that it could be caused by exercise alone, but I would expect it to be more widespread in that case. I would second the recommendation to get a consultation with a medical practitioner. –  JohnP Apr 25 '14 at 21:52
@all, my family doctor tells me it's nothing to worry about - says everything looks normal. the diet change might be a reason, but I guess I was hoping it might be a common problem with a more concrete answer! –  sccs May 14 '14 at 6:41

1 Answer 1

I may be able to throw some light on the calves, but not the upper body. It is possible that when you are running, that as your foot comes through, you are kicking your other calf. I do this myself sometimes. If the bruises are always on the inside of the calves. I think this could be your answer.

You wouldn't necessarily be aware that you are doing it, as it's lots of small kicks over the period of the run. Since I've known I do it, I am sometimes aware of it when I run, but normally not.

Although, I'm not sure about the ones on your arms.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.