Let’s admit it--working out is a challenging task. It begins with making time for exercise, charting out a balanced diet and setting realistic goals as per one’s level of fitness. However, the additional impact of a phenomenon called ‘muscle soreness’ can further demotivate you to continue your fitness journey. Muscle soreness is basically the result of indulging in a new workout that results in pain in the muscles. Our muscles are made in such a way that they are bound to experience pain when we try do physical activities that our body is not used to, especially for the first few days or weeks. What are the causes of muscle soreness?
Which exercises you do? The kind of exercises you perform is a key factor in determining the extent of muscle soreness you’re likely to experience. The level of soreness you feel in the muscles largely depends on the type of exercises you perform. Eccentric movements are when the muscles contract as they’re lengthening. In simple words, it’s the lowering down part of the exercise. Most common examples are leg lifts, bicep curls or even going down a steep slope.
How well do you stretch? Another crucial factor that can lead to muscle soreness could be not having done enough stretching, both, pre and post workout. Although, stretching can cause soreness as well. This generally happens when the stretching is quite rigorous or extreme. Stretching can damage the muscle fibre if not done properly, as it puts a lot of pressure on the lower part of the muscle putting it at risk.
So then, how do we deal with muscle soreness? Muscle soreness has to be tackled in the right way. If not, it hinders your progress and forces you to take a break for at least a couple of days and has the ability to set you back from your goals in a big way. Here’s a list of some pre and post-workout tips that will spare you from the gruel muscle soreness could bring to you at large:
Pre-workout Tips: The best way to avoid soreness and injury is prevention.
Stretching: A simple stretching routine before your workout session will fully prepare your body for the exercise and reduce the chances of muscle soreness.
Post Workout Tips: Another tip to prevent soreness is by adding a quick post-workout limber-down session. Keeping your body well hydrated before and during your workout to avoid cramping and muscle soreness is also considered a good idea.
Stretch yet again: To avoid any cramps in the body, one must make sure to stretch after the intense workout with some simple hand, back and leg movements. Move the muscles lightly without putting much pressure on them. This will amp up the healing process and bring down the soreness.
Well, the best bet you have, is to just wait and relax. The soreness will subside in a few days and you will feel normal again. But what is important is that you eat and rest well during this time. You can use the above-mentioned techniques if they help ease the pain and make you feel better.
For people that need more guidance or have serious issues with sore body after workout, we offer a signature class: MOVE. Through stretches, exercises, and movement patterns we help release tight muscles, energise weak muscles and encourage your body to move the way it was designed to. In classes of only 45 minutes we can help improve mobility and flexibility.