Muscle soreness after working out is very common to people who exercise. Maybe sometimes the reason for muscles to be sore can be unexplainable. But how can we deal with this soreness from workouts?
You don’t have to worry. You will learn everything you need to know from a certified exercise physiologist, Jessica Clement. In this post, she will shed light on how muscle soreness is related to your exercise and how to deal with it (most specifically muscles affected by exercise).
Through fitness on the go, she has helped people achieve their health and fitness goals through personal training, group sessions, and motivation.
Starting her career, she has worked in a physiotherapy clinic dealing it different sports injuries then went to work in pulmonary rehabilitation to help people with lung disease transform for the better through exercise.
Through all this experience, she explains how you can relieve sore muscles after working out. You can read the detailed interview in this post.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no cost to you but helps me run this site. Find out more
How is muscles soreness associated with working out?
In 2016, I enrolled in a resistance-training course at the University of Alberta. This course had a lab component where you would go to the gym and learn how to do Olympic Weightlifting.
I had very limited experience with this type of training. Most of the time I would gravitate to machine or simple dumbbell exercises for my workout but I was excited to learn a new way of training.
The first day of the lab was an 80-minute introduction to squatting. We focused on proper technique. No problem, I could do squats. This was one of my favorite exercises. After spending 5-10 minutes devoted to squatting with no weights we progressed to adding a bar and then weight.
By the time I had finished my legs felt like jelly. Doing the stairs was difficult. All I wanted to do was sit down and rest my legs.
The next day I could barely walk. Going up and down the stairs was painful and I had no idea how I would make it through the day. What I was feeling was a delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS).
Typically, this type of soreness will last 24 to 48 hours after a workout. It can present in a variety of ways from slight discomfort to pain like I was feeling from squatting.
It’s normal for the soreness to occur but if it is lasting more than 48 hours (like it did in my case) then you likely overdid things.
The amount of soreness you feel will be dependent on:
- The intensity of the workout
- The duration of the workout
- Fitness level of the person completing the workout
For me as a beginner, I’d never done resistance training for 80 minutes straight, using 50lbs. While I considered myself to be active, I could see the limitations of my fitness level show through in this lab.
Are sore muscles or muscle soreness a good sign?
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can be a good thing. It means that you are challenging your abilities.
When you engage in an exercise, the body adapts to the stimulus that is placed upon it. It is through testing our abilities that we can improve our fitness level.
How long does muscle soreness last?
The body has soreness that lasts 24 to 48 hours. It’s in that sweet spot of challenging the body, you allow it to adapt and progress without overdoing things.
However, if the soreness is lasting longer than 48 hours then it may be time to look at your workout routine and tweak it.
Should I work out with sore muscles? or Should I continue working out even after experiencing sore muscles?
While it’s recommended that you give your body some rest between resistance training sessions, competitions/games, or activities that deplete your energy sources (marathons, tough muddlers, etc.), it’s okay to have an active recovery day.
This means that you are not going to train at the same level of intensity as you normally would. Engage in light activities such as walking, light jogging, stretching, yoga, or other low-intensity activities.
The body needs time to recover, and if it isn’t receiving enough recovery time it will lead to burnout.
What helps muscle soreness from working out?
There are many great ways to relieve sore muscles after workouts. Here are some of the best ways;
1.Engage in light physical activity
I know this seems counterintuitive but light activity can help flush out the lactic acid (which causes soreness/spasms) in the muscles. Engage in activities such as walking or stretching.
This program will help you with enough light exercises to help you with an active recovery from workouts. These exercises will help you with motivation to workout more, prevent your body to undergo plateau stage and instead help with the improvement you need.
2. Stay hydrated.
Drink plenty of water after a workout to help reduce cramping and discomfort.
3. Have a hot bath or put a hot pad on the muscles.
This will help relieve the tightness in the muscle, making it more comfortable to move around.
4. Get a massage or massage the muscle yourself.
Similar to heat, massages will help release the tension throughout the muscle.
It may be painful to touch the muscle but if you can tolerate the discomfort it will make the legs feel better over the coming days.
You can get the best massage devices here. These devices will help you relieve your muscles while you are at home. They are easy to use and efficient.
5. Use a foam roller.
This is another technique to massage the muscle and reduce tension.
6. Apply a muscle relaxant cream like A535 to the legs.
Get your pain relieving cream here. It is incooperated with red light therapy property and pain relief substance to take away pain fast.
7. Take over the counter medications like Advil or Tylenol if the muscles are in pain.
If someone can’t figure out if the soreness is from working out or not, how can they deal with the sore muscles?
It’s uncommon for the soreness to occur for no reason. Think about activities that you have completed throughout your day.
Sometimes our activities of daily living can cause soreness as well.
For example: Have you moved heavy boxes all day at work? Did you carry your child more often than normal? Did you have to crouch in an uncomfortable position to fix a leaky sink?
Our body positioning and activities can cause soreness even if we haven’t workout out.
Try some of the above strategies to alleviate the discomfort associated with soreness.
If after a couple of days things haven’t improved then it’s time to see a doctor.
Further investigation may be needed to uncover why we are experiencing muscle soreness and why it’s not going away.
Looks like we are at the end. Muscle soreness should not scare you into dropping out of the exercise. There are helpful tips here that will help you relieve the soreness you get from working out. Hope the article was helpful to you.
If you have an idea or concerns let me know through the comment section.
This article is written thanks to exercise Physiologist Jessica Clement. You can find her services at fitness on the go.