You have just completed your first day of a strenuous new workout plan. You pushed yourself to your extreme limit and feeling pretty good about it.
“I can do this, I’m a beast.”, you think to yourself as you walk out of the gym with an extra dose of swagger.
You wear a big grin all the way to your home, fix yourself an extra healthy dinner, then tuck yourself in and dream about day two of your new workout plan. You can’t wait!
The next day you wake up and…feel like an 18 wheeler truck hit you, backed up and then hit you again for good measure. This is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). However don’t be afraid of DOMS, embrace it.
It can no doubt be alarming to beginners but DOMS is a normal response to strenuous physical exertion and is a part of the muscle adaption process which leads to greater stamina and muscle strength as the muscle recovers and builds hypertrophy.
Muscle soreness usually occurs within the first one to two days after your workout. It is thought to be caused by small microscopic tears within the muscle fibers and the amount of soreness depends on the intensity of your exercise session.
There is no one easy cure for soreness but there are a few techniques which can be applied to ease the discomfort.
1. Performing warm-up and cool-down exercises: Performing warm ups before a workout and cooling down afterwards definitely helps with delayed muscle soreness. Implement different stretching techniques from traditional to yoga stretching to cover the full spectrum of your muscles.
2. Be active! Try to perform easy low impact aerobic workouts that work the sore muscles but are not vigorous enough to cause more pain.
3. Pop an aspirin! While aspirin or ibuprofen doesn’t speed recovery, it definitely helps in the temporary relief of muscle soreness.
4. Get some rest and relaxation: Just rest. Take an off day or three. Wait out the soreness. Everyone’s bodies are different when it comes to recovery but it usually takes from 2-6 days for the soreness to completely subside. However if for some reason soreness persists beyond a full week, a visit to your physician may be in order.
Remember, in most cases muscle soreness is a good thing. Your muscles are rebuilding and becoming stronger!
So the next time you roll over in the morning and cannot move a single muscle, smile to yourself and know that you’re making progress!
Sound interesting? Want to know more? Then contact Trey Smith for more info! Trey is a NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) certified personal trainer and also holds additional certifications in CrossFit Level 1, Speed and agility sports performance improvement, Olympic Weightlifting for Bone Health, Kettlebell training, TRX suspension training and more! Email Trey at firstname.lastname@example.org