You go to the gym, kill your workout, come home feeling good, but wake up the next morning feeling like you can’t move your body out of bed.
Has this happened to you?
When we talk about sore muscles, we are talking about DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness often felt 24-72 hours after intense exercise. This usually lasts for a couple days. How do you work through it? Or do you rest?
There is not need to be alarmed when you are experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness- it happens! And it usually happens after you’ve tried something new, gone to a new class, performed a new sequence, added weight to a workout, etc. It’s okay! And it’s also okay if you AREN’T experiencing extra sore muscles after a workout too- it doesn’t mean you didn’t go hard enough. You can’t be measuring the effectiveness of a workout by how sore you are! Please don’t!
The more I’ve trained, doing a variety of different things: TRX, weight lifting, cardio, biking, swimming, different classes… the less sore I get overall and the more quickly my body recovers.
There are many opinions out there on what to do when experiencing DOMS- do you rest? Do you keep training? Here’s my take on the subject:
Rest and recovery are required for optimal training results if you are feeling super uncomfortable and sore. It’s okay to take a rest day if you wake up feeling like you can’t move. Take that rest day as a day to stretch and roll out your muscles, and hydrate yourself. I usually give it a day or so to rest my muscles before I go at it again. Even scheduling a yoga flow class or day for stretching in between your heavy lifting days, would be a good idea. Since my rest day is always Sunday, I like to workout my total body on Friday or Saturday to give my body the rest it will require through the weekend.
If the soreness lasts longer than the normal couple of days, or is associated with more pain than usual, it might be an injury rather than just soreness. If you have to adjust your normal activities due to this pain, it would be best to check up with a medical professional!
Things to do to reduce the sore muscles: stretch after working out with a warm-up and cool-down, roll them out with one of these (click the button below).
The best way I've found to fully recover, is to rest and take time for those muscles to repair. 24-48 hours of good rest, rolling them out with one of those foam rollers, good hydration, and adequate protein intake will help you recover quick- you'll be going at it again in no time.