“Muscle soreness is a sign you’ve challenged your muscles, but the soreness and stiffness can make it hard to get around for a few days. ” — Cathe Friedriche, Advanced Fitness Trainer
I did ChaLEAN Extreme and TurboFire‘s HIIT 20 yesterday, and I woke up super sore in my arms and legs. I was so excited to feel my workout, but if I didn’t know WHY I was sore, I’d be freaking out. So you know how you can feel EVERY stair even days after an intense workout? It’s because your body is changing!!
What Causes Muscle Soreness?
The aches you feel the next day is called delayed-onset muscle soreness or DOMS. DOMS happens when you challenge your muscles enough to cause microscopic tears in the muscle fibers. These tears cause localized inflammation that causes pain. These tears are the reason you want to only strength train a certain muscle every other day; the tears heal as your rest & create new, lean muscle mass.
Since DOMS is created by small tears in the muscle, anyone can experience muscle soreness. It is a sign you are challenging your body in a new way whether you are just beginning your fitness journey, breaking a fitness plateau, or are a fitness professional.
How Long Will You Experience Muscle Soreness?
DOMS can last up to 24-48 hours after your strength training workout.
Should You Workout with Muscle Soreness?
Yes! You should choose a modified workout when you have sore muscles. The modified workout should work other muscle groups that aren’t suffering from DOMS or be a lighter intensity than you normally do. A walk, swim, or Pilates would be a great workout to help your sore muscles. After your workout, you can massage the muscles that are sore and apply a cold rag to help the inflammation. The Good news is doing some kind of exercise will 9 times out of 10 help alleviate some of the soreness!
Muscle Soreness Remedies
By taking the necessary steps to prevent postworkout soreness now, you can prevent aches and pains later. — Oxygen Magazine
- You always want to cool down after any workout and stretch after a strength training workout. Taking 10 minutes to cool down & stretch your muscles will help prevent DOMS and also create longer, prettier muscles! It has also been shown to help your posture. What am I saying? IT’S WORTH IT!
- Eating a diet filled with whole foods and antioxidants is a great way to fuel your body with the proper nutrition it needs to recover from an intense workout.
- Cherries have been proven to help your muscle soreness by reducing inflammation. You need to consume approximately 50 cherries to see the effects though. Try a cherry concentrated gel for a quicker, easier option.
- If you are lifting to failure and constantly sore, you can reduce the amount of sets you do to prevent DOMS. It will still challenge your muscle without leaving you as sore the next day. So if you normally do 3 sets of 10 reps drop it down to 2 sets of 10 reps during your next strength training workout.
- Say NO to muscle creams! They have not been shown to help reduce muscle soreness in most studies. Save your money :)
What else do you do when you experience sore muscles / DOMS?
Head back to the fitness page