If you find you’re sore after a workout, it might be normal. In fact, that achy mild soreness may be showing you that you’ve made the effort and it worked. However, more serious types of soreness that prevent you from working out and even moving hurts, can be avoided. You can prevent sore muscles like that by taking certain precautions. It’s worth taking the extra steps to keep you comfortably in the gym.
There are two different types of pain after a workout.
Immediate muscle soreness and delayed onset muscle soreness—DOMS are two different types of pain. The first comes from lactic acid build-up and goes away quickly. DOMS starts slowly and builds to peak at 24 to 72 hours. It occurs because of micro-tears in the muscle tissue. You can have both. One way to avoid them is to gradually increase your intensity, rather than try to do everything at once.
Start your workout with dynamic stretches and end with static stretches.
You need to prepare your muscles for a workout to avoid injuries that cause pain. The best way to start is with dynamic stretches. Those are warm up exercises that involve mildly moving muscles and joints. Arm circles, walking lunges and walking knee to chest are a few. It helps increase blood flow and heat to the area and loosens the tendons and muscles. It improves range of motion and gets the muscles ready for the workout. Doing static stretching is best after a workout, during cool down. Not only does it improve range of motion, it boosts muscle recovery and help prevent pain and stiffness. Both help prevent lactic acid build-up and DOMS.
Your form is important for pain prevention.
Knowing the proper form and ensuring your form is perfect is one sure way to prevent pain. Doing an exercise improperly can increase the potential for injury. If you’re lifting wrong, you may be engaging a smaller muscle group to do the work and those muscles aren’t meant for it. Do every exercise with precision. Take your workout slower at first until you conquer form. It’s important to your safety.
- Don’t forget to hydrate afterward. Staying hydrated can help prevent the onset of muscle soreness from lactic acid build up. It helps flush the system of lactic acid, speeds the recovery process and lubricates the joints.
- Drink a cup of caffeinated coffee before the workout. Studies show that a cup could reduce the post-workout pain by as much as 50%.
- Stay active. If you have mild pain, you’ll find that getting active can actually help. It aids in increasing circulation and helps heal muscle tissue as it takes away toxins that build up in the muscles. Cut down on intensity if you have more severe pain.
- Don’t ignore pain if you have pain that lasts longer than five to seven days or you have problems breathing, weakness and dizziness with it. See a physician in those cases. DOMS should clear up in a week or less and immediate pain should be better the next day.
For more information, contact Iron Fit today!