Sore Muscles After Working Out, How To Alleviate Next Day Muscle Soreness

The muscle soreness you feel the next day after a hard strength training routine is known as DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness.  It's completely normal and can actually be used as a measuring tool of a great workout.  If you feel soreness the next day, that's 100% normal.  If you feel an acute pain, however, please do not exercise until it heals or until you see your doctor!  Sometimes a strained muscle can be confused with DOMS.

That soreness that you're feeling is the muscle fibers in your body that have been torn apart (This is a good thing!) and now they need recovery time to build back up!  This generally can take one to three days, depending on your time in the gym.  If you're new to weight training, it can be a safer bet to take an extra day just to be safe.  You never want to run the risk of over-training.

There are ways to help minimize the next day muscle soreness associated with heavy strength training days, so here are a few tips.

  • Tylenol or Ibuprofen-- A pain reliever can always help if the soreness is overwhelming.  Be advised that this treats the symptoms and not the issue.  There are unconfirmed studies that state that ibuprofen may kill all signals that tell damaged muscle to heal.  This means that your recovery time could possibly take longer, so try not to stay on a pain killer the entire recovery period.
  • Stretching-- A great 10 to 15 minute stretching routine post-workout usually works for me.  It doesn't alleviate all of the pain, but it definitely helps the muscle stretch out and can assist in faster recovery periods.
  • Protein-- Your body uses protein to rebuild the muscle that you have worn down during your workout.  You can assist your body by supplementing protein.  Either via high protein foods or a supplement.  Protein is most efficient when taken post-workout, when your body begins the muscle recovery period.
  • Rest and ice--  This might be the most obvious, but it's also the most painfully overlooked option.  If your muscles are sore to the point that it bothers you, you should definitely take an extra day and possibly ice the areas of contact. 
Remember, if you're THAT sore after a workout, and you're more than 6 weeks into consistent weight training, then take the extra day or two off.  Then, the next time you're in the gym, don't train that muscle group as hard.  Even the experts can train themselves to the point of next day pain sometimes!  We all want to look our best!

Here's to your success!

1 comment:

  1. STRIP - Stretching, Tylenol, Rest, Ice, Protein! Justin, you can tell your clients to Strip! lol (but not me)