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Rest and Recovery: How to Let Sore Muscles Heal

Everyone has unique workout recovery needs. Factors such as current fitness level as well as exercise history, workout frequency, duration, intensity, and type all impact the amount and type of rest that a person needs.

Non-fitness-related stressors — such as poor sleep, relationship troubles, and working overtime — can affect how much rest and what type of recovery a person may need from a given workout, too.

RELATED: The Work-Life Balance Conversation We Need to Be Having

For example, children, teenagers, and older adults may require more postworkout recovery compared with young and middle-age adults, Rivadeneyra says. People who are out of shape or new to exercise may need more recovery, or even passive recovery, to repair their muscles and rebuild their energy stores. However, some fitter individuals may need more recovery because they are regularly exercising at a higher intensity.

The schedule of the average gym goer who exercises four or five days per week — combining a mix of high-intensity workouts, cross-training routines, and active recovery days — and takes the remaining two or three days off allows for proper recovery, according to Rivadeneyra.

Related: How Much Exercise You Need to Meet Your Health and Fitness Goals

Fitter individuals may be able to use this strategy (alternating between high-intensity workouts, varied activity, and active recovery) six or seven days per week without taking any day completely off.

What’s important to remember is that recovery looks different for everyone, Rivadeneyra adds.

“For an elite marathoner, running 4 or 5 miles can be an active recovery workout,” he says. “For someone new to running, a 20-minute cycling session would be more appropriate for recovery.”

At the same time, no matter what your overall fitness level is, it’s also important to pay attention to your individual needs. Even that elite marathon runner who can usually work out seven days per week, will likely need a little bit more recovery after, say, running a longer distance than usual, running a particularly hilly course that they’re not used to, or completing a race while recovering from a cold.

RELATED: Should You Work Out When You’re Sick?

That’s why it is critical to pay attention to both how you feel and how your body is responding to your workouts. Exercise plateaus (when you can’t seem to push yourself harder), mental fatigue, feelings of burnout, and extreme muscle soreness that lasts for more than three or four days are all signs that you need to increase your workout recovery, Leber says.

Listen to your body and remember that your ideal workout recovery strategy will ebb and flow over weeks, months, and years.

With additional reporting by Nicol Natale

5 Scientifically Proven Ways to Reduce Muscle Soreness

Photo: Twenty20

“This is going to hurt tomorrow. ” We’ve all said it after a particularly grueling workout or return to the gym after an extended break.

Delayed onset muscle soreness, commonly referred to as DOMS, describes the muscular pain and stiffness that occurs following a heavy workload. It typically peaks around 24 to 48 hours after leaving the gym, explains exercise physiologist Matt Unthank, CSCS, director of training for Crossover Symmetry. “While the process is complicated and remains to be entirely understood, it is widely viewed as an inflammatory response due to a breakdown in muscles tissue.”

But that breakdown’s not necessarily a bad thing. “For a fit person who exercises regularly, I would actually view the occasional attack of DOMS as a good thing,” says Unthank. “It suggests an elevation in intensity and the inclusion of novel movements to a workout program, both of which are extremely good things for a training program.” After all, for your muscles to repair, grow and become stronger, you first have to give them something to repair. And we’re talking about the same microscopic tears in the muscles that can leave you waddling the morning after your workout.

RELATED: No Pain, No Gain? 5 Myths About Muscle Soreness

So how can you kill the pain without killing your results? Just turn to these five research-proven strategies.

5 Ways to Reduce Muscle Soreness, STAT

1. Eating Tart Cherries

The science: Research published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports found that marathoners consuming tart cherry juice five days before, on the day of, and 48 hours following their races reduced muscle soreness. And how’s this for the cherry on top? The athletes also showed signs of improved muscle recovery and function. Tart cherries are rich in anthocyanins, colorful antioxidant compounds that are believed to work their magic by decreasing excess inflammation.

Try it: “Under regular training conditions, good nutrition is enough to get antioxidants where they need to be,” Unthank says. But for an extra boost, you can work tart cherries, or just their juice, into your regular diet. A couple of servings per week, along with a generally nutrient-rich diet, is plenty during typical training. However, if you are gearing up for marathon, it can be beneficial to switch to a once-daily plan. Don’t like cherries? Red raspberries are another great source.

RELATED: The 7 Best Post-Workout Smoothies for Every Exercise

2. Drinking Coffee

The science: Multiple studies show that pre-workout caffeine consumption can reduce subsequent muscle soreness and fatigue. In one study published in the Journal of Pain, the strategy scored exercisers a 48 percent drop in DOMS. Apart from generally making everything better, caffeine has analgesic (pain-killing properties), which is why it is commonly contained in over-the-counter pain medications.

Try it: An hour before a particularly grueling workout, drink two cups of coffee (the amount of caffeine used in the Journal of Pain study). Bonus: 2014 PLOS ONE research shows that coffee hydrates as well as water, which is important to keep in mind when trying to combat muscle pain. Getting dehydrated during your workouts can significantly exacerbate symptoms of DOMS, according to the Journal of Athletic Training.

3. Getting a Massage

The science: Finally, justification for those spa days. Research from a 2014 study found that a post-exercise massage can significantly reduce pain. And over the long term, regularly getting massages may increase your body’s ability to fight off DOMS. Another 2015 study showed that massaged muscles contain more blood vessels than massage-free ones, which may result in improved recovery. They also display only half of the scar tissue that non-massaged muscles do. Not bad for some low-key me-time.

Try it: Schedule your sports massage directly following your workout. In the study, immediate massage was more effective at promoting tissue regeneration and reducing fibrosis compared to massage delayed 48 hours after exercise.

RELATED: I Tried Cupping Therapy and Here’s What Happened

4. Foam Rolling

The science: Similar to massage, foam rolling is all about myofascial release, which relieves tension in the muscle’s connective tissue. And your trainer is right: Research has found that rolling out your muscles like dough can help reduce delayed onset muscle soreness. It can also improve performance in subsequent workouts.

Try it: Invest in a foam roller (we’re big fans of the TriggerPoint Grid), and spend about 10 to 15 minutes with it each day. You can make it part of your warm-up, cool-down, and on days that you don’t work out, part of overall recovery. (Also, check out these five moves that might be missing from your rolling repertoire.)

RELATED: Are You Foam Rolling All Wrong?

5. Performing Recovery Workouts

The science: Consider this permission to turn down the dial from time to time. In one 2012 study, women who performed a 20-minute bout of low- or moderate-intensity cycling immediately following their DOMS-inducing strength workouts enjoyed a reduction in muscle pain along with a added boost in strength. “Light recovery workouts increase blood flow, which does a number of things to naturally nudge the inflammatory process along, such as lymphatic draining, moving immune cells, and clearing inflammatory mediators,” Unthank explains.

Try it: Cool down from your workouts with some light cardio, and schedule low-intensity, recovery-focused workouts throughout the week, he says. You don’t need to (and shouldn’t!) go heavy during every single workout for ultimate results. Aerobic exercise, like jogging or cycling as well as yoga, Pilates and other low-impact workouts are all great options for keeping DOMS at bay.

RELATED: 3 Elliptical Workouts That Won’t Bore You to Death

Other Recovery Methods

Epsom salts, cold compresses, ice baths — a lot of other pain-relieving techniques top the lists of weekend warriors and professional athletes alike. But not all are well-studied or have conclusive findings, Unthank says.

For instance, you’ll mostly find anecdotal evidence backing the use of post-exercise Epsom salt baths. And emerging evidence suggests that cold therapy might not be the pain reliever everyone thought it was. In one British Journal of Sports Medicine study, for example, three one-minute ice-water immersions were ineffective at reducing DOMs in a group of 40 exercisers. Contrary to popular opinion, research also shows that static stretching — whether performed before or after exercise — doesn’t reduce DOMS.

So what’s behind the rave reviews on these other methods? While it’s totally possible that there really is a benefit (and research just hasn’t caught up yet), a placebo effect could also be at play, Unthank says. In the end, it’s best to stick with science-backed strategies as your staples. If you want to supplement with other techniques, by all means. As long as you feel like it helps your post-workout soreness (and, of course, doesn’t pose any health risks), what’s the harm? If anything, those happier muscles just might be all in your head.

21 Best Ways to Prevent and Cure Sore Muscles

Your muscles make every pullup, press, jump, crunch, run, squat, and curl possible. But after a brutal workout, taking a single step can feel like the greatest form of punishment. That’s because vigorous exercise causes small tears in muscle fibers, leading to an immune reaction as the body gets to work repairing the injured cells. Any type of soreness indicates that your muscles have been broken down. And while “broken down” isn’t synonymous with “injured,” it does mean that your muscles are compromised. That discomfort you feel 12-48 hours after a squat-heavy workout? It’s known as “delayed onset muscle soreness”. Some soreness is inevitable—in fact, it can be a sign of a good workout. But, to make the most of your sweat sessions, knowing how to prevent and cure (or at least alleviate) sore muscles and muscle damage is key. Here are 21 ways to do just that.


Know the difference between soreness and a strain

Knowledge is power—and identifying the cause of your pain is key to recovering quickly, or ending up sidelined for a while. Muscle soreness can last up to 72 hours, so if you find the feeling of pain in your muscles is lasting a week or more, you may have a strain. It’s important to listen to your body. A strain occurs when those same muscles that are torn during exercise are torn in larger amounts and to more significant degrees—and takes several weeks to heal. Check in with your doctor if you feel like your soreness is beyond “just” soreness.

Keep switching up your workouts

If you are constantly doing the exact same routine, the minute you try something new the muscles you haven’t been incorporating are going to suffer tenfold on the soreness scale. Try different workouts, like swimming, rowing, running, or boxing, to build total-body strength so you can keep all of your muscles ready for anything.

Eat protein

Eating protein won’t reduce muscle soreness, but it will help your muscles recover more quickly so you don’t feel the pain as long. Consuming 10g of whey protein before and 10g of whey protein following your workout will help reduce symptoms of DOMS, according to a study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

Use compression

Wearing compression garments can help speed up muscle recovery when you’re sore. Try TINTIN weighted compression shorts (which come with gel inserts to heat or cool muscles) or any of this compression gear for post-workout recovery.

Get a massage

Many pro athletes swear by this tried and true method, and work massages into their weekly training plans. “In prep for Rio, the past four years of my training has included less swimming and more recovery,” says three-time Paralympic medalist Tucker Dupree. “Massages have made a huge difference there.” Scheduling a bi-weekly or once-monthly deep tissue massage is worth it, and it’s backed by science.

Take a day off

Since sore muscles are already slightly damage, it’s important to not keep pushing through the pain with tougher workouts. “Soreness is your body saying, ‘Hey, you broke me a little bit, so let me build back up,’” says Aguillard. So, consider a total rest day if the soreness is intense.

Do some light activity

That said, there are benefits to a recovery workout in lieu of total rest. Light activity can alleviate soreness just as well as a massage, according to research published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Go out for a light 20-minute jog, swim, bike ride, or row session the day after a demanding workout.


Drinking enough water ensures that those nasty toxins trapped in your muscles that make DOMS even worse get flushed out faster, and that your muscles are hydrated enough to stay supple. Dehydrated muscles become tight and easily injured. Try to keep them hydrated by drinking at least half of your bodyweight in ounces of water a day.

Foam roll

Have certain muscles that always feel tight and restricted? Roll them out with a foam roller before you work out. This mobilizes the muscles, gets blood flowing, and keeps overuse injuries at bay. “You should foam roll the muscles that get sore often so that you can get full range of motion and build strength in muscles that may be underdeveloped,” says Brooke Ficara, DPT, at Spear Physical Therapy in NYC. Foam rolling is also great post-workout even if it hurts so good.

Consider upgrading your go-to roller for The VYPER, a cutting-edge roller that uses both pressure and vibration to improve circulation and work on tight muscles. The VYPER uses three different speed settings powered by rechargeable lithium ion batteries.

Prime your muscles

For example, if you have a heavy squat session planned, do a few unilateral bridge exercises before picking up the weights to warm up the muscles you want to engage. This prevents excessive soreness and also imbalances that result in overuse injuries of more dominant muscles, such as hip flexors or hamstrings.

Drink cherry juice

One study found that drinking tart cherry juice for one week leading up to a strenuous running event (like a marathon) could help minimize post-run muscle pains and strains. Another study found cherry supplements (1 pill had the anti-inflammatory content of about 100 cherries) reduced muscle soreness by 24% two days after a strenuous resistance workout. And yet another study found post-lift strength loss was reduced 18% among those who drank cherry juice before their workouts.

Take a nap

Research suggests taking a nap around two hours after a workout helps the body enter deep, restorative states of sleep, which releases natural growth hormones to improve musculature and helps your body to repair.

Alternate muscle groups

While many advocate two days between workouts involving the same muscle group, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for recovery time. So the best assurance that you are giving your muscles the rest they need in between workouts is to alternate the muscle groups that you focus on each day.

Soak in an Epsom salt bath

Using Epsom salts in a bath soak isn’t just Grandma’s trick, it’s backed by science to help muscle restoration. It supplyies your body with the muscle-relaxing mineral magnesium. Magnesium is a primary component of Epsom salt. It’s a mineral that the body needs, and, unlike other minerals, is absorbs through the skin as you soak in the bath.


According to studies, the muscle’s primary fuel source during exercise, glycogen, is replenished more rapidly when athletes have some caffeine with their post-workout carbs. Research results show that athletes who ingested caffeine with carbohydrates had 66% more glycogen in their muscles four hours after finishing intense, glycogen-depleting exercise, compared to when they consumed carbohydrates alone.

Build up your tolerance

In other words, don’t overdo it when you up your intensity. If you normally run five miles at a given pace, then don’t go much above six miles on the next run. For lifting weights, if you normally complete four sets of arms-intensive exercises, don’t go above five sets the next time. If you exceed the 10-20% increase threshold, the chances of experiencing severe muscle soreness soars.

Get some vitamin C

Vitamin C is shown to be effective in helping to prevent muscle soreness. Incorporate chili peppers, guavas, and citrus fruits—which are all high in vitamin C—into your diet.

Invest in some technology

NormaTec sleeves are recovery leggings that use “dynamic compression” with a peristaltic pulse that squeezes and travels up the leg from the bottom to the top to increase blood flow. Ironman record holders, the Boston Celtics, and Ryan Hall all swear by the high-tech system to speed up recovery.

Eat some kiwi

Everyone knows that potassium is a go-to nutrient to keep muscle cramps and soreness at bay. But, you don’t have to eat bananas by the bunch to get your potassium. Two kiwis supply more than 540mg of potassium (16% of the daily value) for 100 calories. One extra-large banana delivers 16% of the daily value for potassium. It also contains 25% more calories than a serving of kiwi. Bananas are also higher in sugar and carbs than kiwis.

Try a topical cream

Think of your typical topical pain reliever as a good standby for quick relief. Rock Sauce packs a combo of hot and cold relief, thanks to ingredients methyl salicylate, menthol, and capsaicin.

Cut back on the booze

Sorry about this one, but research suggests more than one or two drinks after working out could reduce the body’s ability to recover.

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How to Prevent Muscle Soreness After a Workout

Finishing that last rep and walking out of the gym is truly the best feeling. You’re buzzing with endorphins, feeling energized, and ready to take on the world! But, about 12 to 24 hours later, sore and stiff muscles begin to put a damper on your day.

If you’re like most people, getting sore is the worst part about exercise. It causes pain and discomfort that can distract you throughout the day. It might also make your next gym visit sound a bit too unpleasant to follow through with. Luckily, soreness from working out can be prevented. It just takes a little bit of knowledge and a few extra steps in your workout routine to keep your muscles feeling good and ready for your next gym session.

Keep reading to learn how to prevent sore muscles from exercise and how to help soothe already sore muscles:

First of all, what causes soreness?

Soreness is most common for anyone who has just started weight training, intensified their exercise routine, or performed a strenuous cardio activity. Exercise can cause microtrauma (micro-tears) to the muscle fibers, whiccauses them to become swollen and sore after about 12 – 24 hours post workout. More swelling can also occur from the increased blood flow muscles receive during physical activity.    

Remember that mild soreness from the exercise is completely normal and a natural outcome of physical activity. However, regular, intense pain after working out is not normal. This could be a sign of injury, so check with your doc if your soreness is frequent and painful.

Prevent Sore Muscles

Wanting to prevent sore muscles? Add these extra steps into your exercise routine to prevent or reduce the pain associated with sore muscles:

Hydrate. Make sure you’re properly hydrated before and during your workout. Muscle cells need water to recover, so always drink enough water throughout the day and keep yourself hydrated while exercising. Keep a water bottle with you at all times, even if you’re running or biking.

Warm-up. Never forget to warm-up before your workout! Warming up is essential to a great workout and muscle recovery because it improves blood circulation. One of the worst things you can do for your body is jumping straight into a workout without helping your body transition into exercise-mode. Check out some warm-up routines here.

Use proper form. Be sure that you’re using proper form while lifting weights, using equipment, and performing any other exercises. If you’re not sure how to use certain equipment or perform a certain exercise, don’t be afraid to ask a personal trainer at the gym. There are also a lot of helpful demonstration videos on YouTube you can watch to make sure you’re using proper form.

Ice bath. If you’re prone to muscle soreness and tenderness after a good workout, try taking an ice bath when you get home. Ice baths can help prevent inflammation before it starts.

Eat. Make sure you are getting the nutrients your body needs for muscle recovery. You need healthy proteins, carbs, and fats to help repair and maintain muscles. You can also try eating some healthy foods that naturally reduce inflammation, like tomatoes, olive oil, leafy greens, and cherries.

Treat Sore Muscles

Sometimes soreness can’t be entirely avoided after an intense workout. Here are some ways to help reduce that stiff, achy feeling if your muscles are already sore:

Keep moving. Use those muscles! Soreness actually increases when you don’t use the muscles that have been exercised. While you should avoid any vigorous activities that cause pain, sitting on the couch all day with little movement can actually increase the swelling and cause the soreness to last even longer. Try doing some light stretches to help your muscles recover faster.

Massage. Gently massage your sore spots. Massaging provides a feeling of instant relief and helps ease pain and tenderness. You can also try using a foam roller to massage any sore areas. Both techniques are known to enhance muscle recovery after physical activity.

Ice. Use an ice pack wrapped in a towel and apply to your sore spots. Be sure not to apply ice directly to your skin as this can cause irritation and damage to your skin tissue. Use an ice pack for short periods of time, several times a day. This should temporarily numb some of the pain and reduce swelling.

Don’t let sore muscles hold you back from exercising! With proper preparation and recovery techniques, you can significantly reduce or even prevent soreness from ruining your day.

How do you treat sore muscles after a workout? Let us know in the comments below!

Image created by Phduet – Freepik. com

How Sore is Too Sore? Post-Workout Soreness & Rhabdomyolysis

Jumping right into an intense workout routine too suddenly can cause muscle soreness and even rhabdomyolysis.

With the new year here, many of us will be flocking to the gym or queuing up exercise videos to get a jump on our resolutions. And with our new workout routines may come muscle soreness. But how sore is too sore and indicates something else? I met up with David Hryvniak, MD, to find out.

What Causes Muscle Soreness?

Mild soreness after a workout is generally not a bad thing. It’s just a sign that the muscle has been taxed. The stress on the muscle causes microscopic breakdown of muscle fibers, which in turn causes discomfort. The muscle breakdown serves a purpose: when those fibers rebuild, the muscle is stronger.

Some types of exercise cause more soreness than others. For example, “eccentric” activity (when the force is put on the muscle as it lengthens, such as when running downhill or lowering the weight in a hamstring curl) causes more soreness, because it puts more strain on the muscle.


Have you ever been sorer the second or third day after a workout than you were the first day after? This is called delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. The soreness is delayed because it takes a while for some metabolic & physiological processes (the results of those microscopic muscle tears) to manifest as muscle pain.

  • DOMS pain is at its worst 48-72 hours after a hard workout.
  • There isn’t much you can do to treat DOMS. It should improve on its own after about 72 hours.
  • The best way to prevent DOMS is to be sure you’re building up your activity gradually.

Massage and foam rolling may help with DOMS. “I generally tell people foam rolling ‘hurts so good.’ It’s painful, but it gets those waste products like lactic acid moving and out of your muscles and soft tissue,” Hryvniak says. Just be sure not to roll directly over bones or joints if you try foam rolling. Stick to soft tissue like your glutes, hamstrings, and calves.

Is It Rhabdomyolysis? When to Contact a Doctor for Muscle Soreness

If you haven’t urinated in a long time or have dark colored urine, or if the soreness just isn’t improving after 48-72 hours, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention. These can be symptoms of rhabdomyolysis or “rhabdo.”

Muscle tissue releases an enzyme called creatine kinase (CK) when it breaks down. That’s normal, and a certain amount of CK in your system is fine. But a high amount of it can cause rhabdo, which affects the kidneys and can even cause kidney failure.

Unlike DOMS, rhabdomyolysis is a serious condition that requires medical attention. It usually happens when someone jumps right into heavy activity without building up to it.

If you’re starting a new workout routine and doing it gradually, the risk of rhabdomyolysis is extremely low. It typically only occurs after extreme exercise, but some other things can increase your chances of it:

  • Being dehydrated
  • Exercising while you’re on medications like ibuprofen or Aleve
  • Exercising in the heat

Hryvniak says the best way to know if you might have rhabdo is to look at your urine quality. “In someone with rhabdomyolysis, the urine is tea colored. Some of that is the breakdown materials (CK) and some of it is dehydration. In someone with rhabdo, the muscle soreness will seem way out of proportion to the level of effort and won’t seem to be improving.”

Rhabdo is a dangerous condition, so if you suspect you have it, you’ll want to see a physician or visit the emergency room that day for evaluation.

You’ll also want to see a doctor if pain is keeping you from getting back to the same activities once your soreness has gone away. That may indicate an injury.

Exercising When You’re Already Sore

According to Hryvniak, whether or not you should work out when you’re sore just depends on how sore you are. “My rule is that working out with a little bit of stiffness or soreness is okay. If it’s a 1, 2 or 3 out of 10, that’s okay. If it’s getting above that, or the pain is getting worse during activity, or if you’re limping or changing your gait, back off the intensity of the workout.

Dealing with an injury?

The UVA Runner’s Clinic is the only clinic in the area with a program specifically for runners. The physicians are all experienced runners and board certified sports medicine physicians. They treat all physically active people with a special focus on the endurance athlete.

Make an appointment with the UVA Runner’s Clinic by calling 434.243.5600.

How to Avoid Soreness

Hryvniak says the jury is still out when it comes to scientifically proven ways to prevent muscle soreness. He advises the following:

  • Warm up prior to intense activity.
  • Stretch well before and after your workout.
  • Keep moving! Gentle walking and stretching after a workout will help keep those waste products from settling into your muscles and help prevent DOMS.
  • Be gradual! If you slowly increase the load on your muscles, soreness will be less of an issue.

Avoiding Soreness: Advice for Starting a New Workout Routine

Most of Hryvniak’s patients end up in his office because of doing too much too soon. Maybe they’re increasing their running distance, adding in hills too quickly or jumping into a workout they’re not ready for. He sees things like stress fractures, Achilles tendinitis, runner’s knee, plantar fasciitis and hamstring injuries.

The risk of soreness shouldn’t deter people from beginning a workout program. Hyrvniak encourages an active lifestyle. “All the research backs up the benefits of activity. Whether it be running, walking, playing pickup basketball or golfing. All of those activities are going to be good for your cardiac health, your joint health and your overall health. But I also encourage people to be slow with their progress and increase gradually. Don’t make sudden changes to the surfaces you train on, the volume or intensity of your workouts, or even to your workout equipment. It’s sudden transitions like those that tend to cause injuries.”

8 Ways To Ease Post-Workout Muscle Soreness

If you’ve ever hiked to the top of a mountain, ran a longer distance than you planned or carried a child around the Detroit Zoo, chances are you’ve experienced post-workout muscle soreness. Muscle soreness is a common consequence of overworking your body.

Muscles grow and become stronger when they’re subjected to forces that cause microscopic tears in the muscle fibers. Fluid rushes to the area to flush out the damaged cells and build new, stronger muscle cells—and that can be uncomfortable.

The discomfort actually has a formal name: delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, and it’s nothing to fear. In fact, muscle soreness anywhere from 12 to 48 hours after a workout is a sign that your muscles are getting used to your fitness routine. The downside? Too much muscle soreness can impact your range of motion.

While there’s no silver bullet to avoiding muscle soreness, the following 8 strategies may be helpful during the recovery process:

  1. Eat right. Your body needs protein to repair muscles, carbohydrates to fuel your next workout and healthy fats to lubricate your joints. So it’s important to fuel up both before and after a workout. Eat a bowl of quinoa with steamed vegetables and chicken or nosh on a slice of peanut butter toast and an apple pre- or post-workout. The key is to not go hungry!
  2. Hydrate. When it comes to muscle recovery, dehydration is one of your biggest enemies. To flush damaged muscle, you need fluid. A good rule of thumb is to gulp down 8 ounces of water for every 15 to 30 minutes of exercise. Skip this vital step, and your soreness will not only feel more intense, it will last longer, too. Try this: Step on a scale before and after your workout. Did you lose weight? Drink 8 ounces of water for every lost pound.
  3. Warm up. Take 10 to 15 minutes to stretch out your muscles before exercise with some stretching exercises followed by easy aerobic activity (a slow jog or a brisk walk). Make sure to get a good amount of blood flow to the muscles you’re training that day. The muscles should feel warm, especially if you’re running in cold weather. Not only will this strategy prevent injury, it also primes your muscles for rebuilding post-activity.
  4. Cool down. Reverse the order of your warm up, and you’ll have a solid cool down. Taking time to slow your workout, rather than just stopping cold turkey, can help prevent fluid from pooling in the muscles and joints. Plus, if your heart is really pumping, a 10 to 15 minute cool down will help your breathing return to normal.
  5. Get a rubdown. Massaging a sore muscle can help release tightness. Working through the knots helps the muscle relax itself. It also sends blood flow to the area and pushes pooled fluid out of the body, which helps speed recovery. A bonus: It feels good!
  6. Consider topical solutions. While topical ointments like BenGay, Traumeel, Tiger Balm and others don’t go deep enough to reach the muscle, they do contain ingredients that are cooling, numbing and tingling. If you’re really sore, that coolness can overpower the pain, but it doesn’t speed muscle recovery.
  7. Roll it out. Using a foam roller (a long, cylinder-like tool) increases blood flow to your muscles through applied pressure. Think of it as a cheap way to give yourself a deep tissue massage. By slowing rolling over areas of tension, you can help release tight muscles and speed up the healing and recovery process. After your workout, spend 10 to 15 minutes using a foam roller before starting stretching exercises. When the muscle is more relaxed, you’ll be able to stretch it further than if it’s still contracted.
  8. Keep moving. Exercise may seem like a bad idea when your muscles are already suffering, but research confirms that light activity helps keep the blood circulating and speeds up the body’s ability to drain waste and chemicals linked with muscle aches.

If you’re more comfortable sitting on the sidelines than running a marathon, expect some muscle soreness when you start a new exercise regimen. But don’t let achy muscles scare you. It’s perfectly normal to experience muscle soreness when you’re just starting out. But over time, your body will adapt and build stronger muscles, so you’ll get sore less often.

That said, it’s important to know the difference between run-of-the-mill muscle soreness and an overuse injury. If you can’t flex and extend your limbs without pain after a couple of days, you may have an injury and should call your doctor.

From injury prevention to treatment of sports-related conditions, visit henryford.com/sports for an appointment within 24 business hours or to download our sports medicine app, featuring first aid/injury help, videos for all athletes, contact information for physicians and trainers, and more.

How To Prevent Sore Muscles After Exercise

Can you prevent sore muscles after exercise? 

After a grueling workout, you’re tired and ready for a shower. You may even feel a little achy, but you know the real pain won’t start until tomorrow. 

That’s because delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, doesn’t typically begin until about 24 hours after exercise. When it peaks after two days, you may wish you’d never worked out in the first place, even though the pain means you’re growing stronger. But why does it take so long to hit you and how can you prevent soreness next time? 

Joel Hardwick, an exercise physiologist at Piedmont Atlanta Fitness Center, explains that your body needs time to break down and rebuild muscle. 

“Your body wants to make sure that you really are going to be better for this,” he says. 

How your body rebuilds muscle

The rebuilding process can’t start right away, Hardwick says, because there’s a lot of “housekeeping” to be done first. If you try a difficult workout you aren’t used to, you’ll end up with some low-grade muscle damage – think microtears in the tissue. Your body will flood the area with enzymes to help clear the damage, which will then trigger swelling and inflammation. 

Once the immune system response kicks in, pain will worsen. Soreness peaks about two to three days after you exercise, but after that, your body can rebuild muscle and you’ll be stronger for it.

How to avoid DOMS

Still, Hardwick says, you can improve your fitness without experiencing DOMS. The key is easing into new exercises and routines, which will help prevent damage to your muscles. 

“Progress slowly and be cautious,” he says. 

Stretching can also help you avoid sore muscles, but be mindful about which stretches you choose. A pre-workout regimen should include only dynamic stretches, which take a joint through an entire range of motion and increase blood flow. 

Static stretches, in which you hold a pose without movement, can raise your risk for injury if performed before exercise. Reserve these stretches for when your main routine is over. 

Who’s at risk for DOMS?

Even physically fit people aren’t immune to muscle soreness. For example, Hardwick says, a runner who suddenly decides to take up rock-climbing will use muscles that aren’t typically worked. Even though the runner might already be in good shape, they’ll probably feel some soreness after scaling rocks. 

DOMS can strike almost anywhere, but you’ll typically experience it after activities that lengthen a muscle, Hardwick says. Think about a bicep curl: Your arm lifts the weight, but it must also control that weight as it’s lowered back down. It’s the lowering that extends the muscle and leads to DOMS. 

Even so, there’s usually nothing to worry about. Muscles soreness is annoying, but it’s not really harmful to you, Hardwick says. 

“It’s a normal part of life,” he adds. 

Easing the pain from DOMS

DOMS can make you feel stiff, sore or achy, but it shouldn’t cause sharp or intense pain. If you have a significant level of pain, see your doctor to rule out an injury. 

If you get sore, don’t rush to buy over-the-counter supplements, because they probably won’t help. You can, however, try a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like ibuprofen for pain relief. 

More exercise can also relieve soreness, albeit only temporarily. It’s perfectly safe to exercise through the pain, Hardwick says, though it’s probably best to avoid the same movements that caused DOMS last time.  

“If you have this muscle soreness, don’t do the same thing you did before,” Hardwick says. “Wait a couple of days before you go back to doing it.” 

Once the area is healed, you should be able to repeat the routine with less or no soreness (as long as you’re working out with the same amount of weight). Your muscles are now prepared for that level of strain.

The important thing to remember, Hardwick says, is that you don’t need to put your muscles through that level of stress. Start a new exercise routine slowly, which will allow your body to adjust over time. Improvement doesn’t have to equal pain.

“You can still achieve your goals,” Hardwick says, “without going hardcore.” 

Need to make an appointment with a Piedmont physician? Save time, book online.

90,000 How to relieve muscle pain after exercise: expert recommendations?

In order for the body to be in good physical shape, it requires regular exercise. However, training, especially for beginners, is accompanied by muscle soreness. It also appears in venerable athletes during intense training.

Post-workout pain is one of the reasons why beginner athletes refuse to go to the gym. There are those who consider pain a sign of exercise efficiency and muscle growth. However, experts are of the opinion that its appearance indicates a violation of the exercise technique.

Causes of muscle pain after exercise

During the first exercise, 2 types of muscle pain are observed:

  • arising during training;
  • arising from the most difficult repetitions of exercises.

In the first case, the appearance of pain is associated with the decomposition of adenosine triphosphoric acid (ATP) in muscle tissue and blood. As a result, the blood acidifies, and a burning sensation arises, which quickly passes.

In the second case, the pain occurs 6–8 hours after training and intensifies, reaching a maximum after 14–20 hours. It is caused by unusual or excessive physical exertion due to microscopic damage or rupture of muscle fibers.

Attention! If there are many injuries, then the growth of muscle tissue slows down. The reason is that amino acids are required to build muscle.However, with injuries, they are consumed to heal the injuries.

Severe pain

The above two types of pain are natural. Severe, aching pain, which is a consequence of trauma and appears during or the next day after training, requires special attention. It intensifies from any exertion, and with sudden movements it can become unbearable.

Signs of such an injury are:

  • redness;
  • general malaise;
  • tissue edema;
  • 90,013 bruising;

How to avoid?

The main cause of injury in the gym is negligence. You can avoid them if you follow the rules:

  • Always start a workout with a warm-up;
  • Stop exercising on simulators if pain or discomfort is felt;
  • when strength training, choose a feasible weight;
  • Stop exercising if cracking or clicking sound occurs in the joints.

How to get rid of natural post-workout pain?

The first type of pain associated with physical activity can be eliminated by repeating the exercise that caused it with a more gentle load. This will release muscle stiffness and induce increased blood flow to the muscles.

Attention! Pain in the muscles of the legs and lower body can be relieved by doing cardio exercises. You can get rid of discomfort in the muscles of the upper body by doing yoga or doing bodyweight exercises.

How to eliminate pain caused by micro-muscle injuries?

To remove pain of this nature, more drastic measures are required:

  • Switch to proper nutrition.After intense exertion, the muscles require amino acids and glycogen, which are present in proteins and carbohydrates. You should also drink at least 2 liters of water to prevent dehydration and help flush out toxins from your body.
  • A good sleep. Muscle recovery requires at least 8 hours of sleep a day. This will allow you to recuperate and prepare for new workouts.
  • Massage. Even a short procedure will help release muscle clamps and relieve pain.
  • Hot treatments. A hot bath or sauna session dilates the blood vessels, improving blood flow to the muscles.

How to prevent muscle soreness after exercise?

The recommendations are quite simple:

  • do not overload the muscles;
  • Start a workout with a warm-up and end it with stretches and light exercises, which will involve all muscle groups;
  • Do not train over pain, as such training is not effective for gaining muscle mass.

In the latter case, you should not completely refuse to visit the gym, you just need to reduce the load.

90,000 How to reduce muscle pain after exercise?

top trainer Crocus Fitness

Many people experience muscle pain after an active workout. This feeling is especially familiar to beginners or those who have had a long break. Well, or if there is a change in the exercise program / working weight.

It is impossible to eat or drink a magic medicine that will relieve future muscle pain. Because it doesn’t exist. But it is in your power to minimize the discomfort.

Protein is a building block for muscles, necessary for active repair of micro-fractures. Eating foods high in antioxidants will also help.

Many athletes add to their diet a complex of BCAA amino acids with glutamine and taurine, which accelerates recovery and slows down the destruction of muscle tissue.But it is worth noting that the effect of the use of these substances is cumulative, so do not expect an instant result.

It is impossible to completely get rid of muscle pain after exercise, but there are ways to reduce its intensity – mainly by improving blood circulation.

The right clothes

Wear modern and high-tech sportswear for your workout to give the fabric a compression effect.It stimulates blood circulation and accelerates the process of obtaining oxygen, nutrients and the removal of decay products from micro-fractures of the muscles.


Massage relieves tension after exercise by increasing blood flow and quickly delivering nutrients to the area where microfractures have formed.

Contrast shower

When taking a contrast shower, do not forget that the difference between hot and cold water should be minimal, otherwise your body will experience additional stress .

How to relieve pain after training: effective methods

How to get rid of pain after training

Method 1: active recovery

A simple life hack to relieve pain after training – do the training again, but in a simplified way option so as not to harm yourself. Light exercise will make your blood circulate faster and help damaged muscles heal faster. Optimal physical activity is jogging, swimming, or yoga.

Method 2: Massage

Massage helps you relax and recover from a hard workout. It is not for nothing that professional athletes go to massage sessions every week. You can make an appointment with a specialist or do a massage yourself using video tutorials.

Method 3: Compression Garments

Buy special clothing that will support your muscles and prevent overstraining in future workouts. Sports stores offer both compression tights and complete sets of clothing.

Method 4: Contrast Water Therapy

An excellent advice on how to relieve pain after exercise is therapy with contrast water. Fill the bath with warm water and use the shower to alternate between cold and warm streams.

5th way: stretching

What to do the next day after training and how to relieve pain? Do a gentle 10-minute stretch to help your muscles recover. Don’t know how to relieve pain after exercise – prevent it! Be sure to warm up before strength training and stretch at the end of your workout.

Ointments for muscle pain after training

Pain after training – what to do? Buy an inexpensive but effective ointment. Look for ointments or gels that contain essential oils such as arnica, camphor, menthol, and peppermint. They cool the muscles and relieve soreness. There are a huge number of pain relief products on the market, and they all contain cooling ingredients. To suppress severe pain, choose products containing pain relievers:

  • diclofenac;
  • ketoprofen;
  • ibuprofen.

Can you train with muscle pain?

Of course, you can continue training with muscle soreness. The soreness should go away as soon as your muscles are well warmed up. But if you find it difficult to exercise, you can take a break until the muscles recover. Focus on those muscle groups that you have not had time to actively work with.

Muscle pain after training: types and how to get rid of it

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Last update date: 30.04.2021

Average reading time: 3 minutes


Types of muscle pain
How to get rid of muscle pain?
Motrin® for muscle pain

Everyone has experienced severe muscle pain after exercise. At the same time, many note that it appears after a while and interferes with the usual way of life. Experts and trainers refer to this condition as sore throat.However, you should be aware that muscle pain may vary after exercise.

Types of muscle pain

  • Moderate muscle pain. Appears immediately after class. Its appearance is explained by microtrauma and an excess of lactic acid in the muscles. This muscle pain is quite mild.
  • Retarded muscle pain . It manifests itself a few days after exertion, most often on the second day. This severe muscle pain interferes with full muscle contraction.It usually occurs with very intense training for beginners without a period of adaptation to loads, as well as with too much emphasis on eccentric loads (muscle stretching when lowering weights).
  • Muscle pain from injury. First acute, then aching, chilling, aggravated by the slightest exertion or from a sudden movement. In addition, it may be accompanied by edema and hyperemia of the damaged area. Regardless of the nature of the injury, a doctor’s consultation is necessary in such cases.The most serious injuries characterized by this type of pain are muscle rupture, nerve compression, joint damage, etc.

Up to contents

How to get rid of muscle pain?

Muscle pain from training, including in the legs, is a transient phenomenon. And it is easy to deal with it, observing a few rules.

  • Balanced nutrition. The body of a person engaged in training must necessarily receive proteins, carbohydrates and fats.The calorie content of meals directly depends on the metabolic rate, health status and training goals. With a lack of nutrients, the body will not be able to fully recover after exercise.
  • Drinking regime. The intake of a sufficient amount of water in the body promotes the elimination of toxins that negatively affect the recovery of muscles after intense physical exertion.
  • Contrast shower and cold compresses. They help relieve muscle pain and fatigue.It should be borne in mind that a contrast shower implies an alternation of cool and warm water, not hot and ice.
  • Massage. Helps to improve blood circulation, as a result of which more oxygen and nutrients enter the tissues, and at the same time, more toxins are eliminated.
  • A good night’s rest. Eight hours of sleep is a must for every athlete. Otherwise, the body will have an increased level of cortisol, which will negatively affect the recovery of the body and the intensity of muscle pain, which will only increase.
  • Competent approach to classes . It includes a thorough warm-up, correct execution of all exercises, and a balanced training regimen. Rehabilitation exercises after the onset of pain include exercise on a stationary bike and running for long distances.

Back to Contents

Motrin® for Muscle Pain

Motrin® will help reduce muscle pain after exercise. This is a complex action drug that helps to get rid of discomfort for 12 hours. 1 You can buy the product without a prescription at many pharmacies. Before use, be sure to read the instructions and consult a doctor.

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The information in this article is for reference only and does not replace professional medical advice. Consult a qualified professional for diagnosis and treatment.

1 According to the instructions for medical use of the drug Motrin®.

Ease Muscle Pain After Workout: 7 Scientific Ways

Muscle pain, you probably know. Sometimes you only have problems with your legs or arms, but other days it seems like you were hit by a truck. If you’ve just started exercising or exercising irregularly, muscle soreness is definitely not an unknown problem. But sometimes even experienced bodybuilders or avid CrossFitters suffer from this. Muscle pain is, of course, a sign that you’ve worked hard in the gym, but it can be very annoying.We’ve previously told you what you can do to prevent muscle pain, but of course it can happen that despite all the precautions, you still have muscle problems. Want to relieve muscle soreness after exercise? Which can!

Relieve muscle pain after training

First, we will explain again what muscle pain is and what causes it. We then give you 7 tips to get rid of muscle pain as quickly as possible.Before you notice it, you’ll be sweating again in the gym!

What is muscle pain?

There are actually two types of muscle pain. Acute muscle pain is pain that you feel in your muscles during exercise. Delayed muscle pain, also in English Delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS is pain that you only start feeling later after a workout, for example a few hours later or the next morning. This pain is commonly referred to simply as muscle pain and we will talk about this delayed muscle pain in this article.

Delayed muscle pain, or DOMS, begins several hours after exercise and can sometimes last up to several days. Delayed muscle pain often worsens 24 to 72 hours after exercise. The sensation of muscle soreness after intense exercise is caused by eccentric movements. These are movements that lengthen your muscles. This stretch causes small tears in the muscles. It may sound unhealthy, but as these cracks appear, your muscles will try to adapt and repair themselves as quickly as possible so that they grow. These cracks ultimately lead to muscle growth! Unfortunately, this is not complete without muscle pain. Water does not flow under the lying stone Let’s just say.

How to get rid of muscle soreness after exercise: 7 tips

If you have a muscle sore, you at least know you did your best in the gym. But that doesn’t make him better. To quickly relieve muscle soreness after a workout, you can do the following 7 things.

1. Get a massage

Who doesn’t like a good massage? This is, of course, the best way to relax and unwind.Falling asleep on the massage table is almost inevitable! And if your muscle is sore, a good massage has even more benefits. It can help ease your pain so you can feel fit faster.

This can be seen, for example, from this study from 2011. The scientists who conducted this study specifically tested for muscle pain in the muscles of the arms. The people in the study had no experience with resistance training. One half of the group received an intense massage three hours after the resistance training, while the other group received no massage.When muscle pain usually peaks, participants who received massage were significantly less affected than participants who did not receive a massage.

Other studies have shown that massage also helps against muscle pain if the pain is already getting worse. Many people think this is the case because more blood flows to the muscles through massage, and because the muscles become less stiff after proper massage. A firm massage will certainly not hurt if you have muscle pain.Either way, this is a good reason to pamper yourself.

Can’t you get someone to massage you? Then you can always try it yourself, for example with massage balls.

2. Keep Your Muscles Warm …

Did you like this good massage? You can continue to pamper yourself. Does your gym have a sauna? Then it’s a good idea to dive into it after that intense training.

From a study from July 2016 Warming muscles has been proven to be a very effective remedy for muscle pain.The participants were divided into three groups. All of them had to do as many squats as possible three times for five minutes. The first group of participants received a heat pack on their quadriceps immediately after exercise, which they had to keep around it for eight hours. The second group received a heat pack with the same instructions 24 hours after training, and the third group was a control group; these participants did not receive a heat pack.

The first group suffered from muscle pain significantly less than the control group.Hence, exercising muscles immediately after training is a good way to combat DOMS. But the second group, which received the heat compress only after 24 hours, suffered much less muscle pain in the following days than the control group. So it’s never too late to dive into this sauna and warm up your muscles!

3. … or cool them

You might think cold can backfire if your muscles are aching. However, you are wrong! In addition to heat, cold is widely used to combat muscle pain.You may have seen athletes who, right after a great sports performance, pack their muscles well with ice. Often it is wrapped tightly, for example, with cling film. In their experience, cooling the muscles immediately after exercise helps prevent muscle soreness.

But even if you already have muscle aches, ice can help. In a 2015 study, 100 participants who exercised at roughly the same level were required to squat for 24 minutes. Immediately after training, or 24 hours later, they were given a hot or cold compress to heat or cool their muscles.Research has shown that cooling or heating helps prevent muscle soreness immediately after exercise, but participants who only received a cold compress after XNUMX hours found it to be very helpful against muscle soreness they were already experiencing. So if you just don’t have the opportunity to go to the sauna, you can always put this bag of frozen peas from the freezer on your muscles.

This tip is also a good reason to use a post-workout protein ice cream to work inside.After all, you have to let your body cool down!

4. Try

with depleted water therapy

If heat and cold work well against muscle pain, can you combine these things? And if possible! Various studies have shown that contrast water therapy alternating cold and warm water can be effective for muscle pain. Several times alternately immersed in a bath of cold and warm water, you can stimulate blood circulation.In addition, it will also stimulate the lymphatic vessels. Cold water causes them to contract, and warm water expands them again. This causes the lymphatic fluid to move faster, which contributes to the inflammatory process. It may not sound good, but it is this inflammatory process that repairs your muscles after exercise.

In Deze Studie Researchers tested the effects of cold water baths, hot water baths and contrast water therapy. Participants who were asked to alternate between a 15 ° C bath and a 38 ° C bath after exercise experienced far fewer muscle complaints and muscle pain than other participants. Water Contrast Therapy seems like a good way to deal with muscle pain! If you don’t have a bath, you can of course always set the shower temperature higher and lower. You immediately have a good reason to take a good long shower.

5. Use foam roller

You may have seen them at the gym; those weird rubber rolls that you don’t know exactly what to do with them.They are foam rollers, and while they don’t look particularly useful or helpful, they are very helpful to use after a workout before going home.

In this study, participants were required to perform squats for ten sets of ten reps. A daunting task, especially when you consider that they all had to carry a lot of weight. After squatting, they started working with the foam roller for twenty minutes, and 24 hours and 48 hours after training, they also had to do the foam roller exercises. Four weeks later, the study was repeated again, but they did not receive a foam roller to massage the muscles after exercise. It soon became clear that the foam roller exercise made the muscle pain they experienced after exercise much less intense.

So the foam roller is a handy tool when you want to get rid of muscle pain. With it, you can do different exercises for different muscle groups. It might sound a little odd at first and certainly not fun, but later on you’ll be glad you did!

6.Stand on the vibrating plate.

Do you remember them, these vibrating plates? A few years ago, vibratory plates were force plates suddenly became very popular and you have seen them in every gym. This trend faded pretty quickly, but if you’re lucky, another similar device will appear in your gym. This device has not been proven to be an effective workout aid, but you can use it to relieve muscle pain.

In this study, the participants underwent rigorous training, in which, among other things, they had to complete several sprints.Then the participants were divided into two groups. Both groups were required to do stretching exercises twice a day for three days after training. One group did it on a vibrating plate, the other did not. Participants who performed the vibration plate exercises had much less muscle pain. Does your gym have such a device? Then be sure to step on it when you’re completely numb again.

7. Don’t worry

This last tip may sound a little odd, but off this study Psychological factors also play a role in how you experience muscle pain.The 35 participants were required to complete a series of questionnaires in which they were required to indicate, among other things, their fear of muscle pain and the extent to which they tended not to exercise due to this fear. Then they underwent hard training so that they began to have muscle pains. In the midst of muscle pain, they had to fill out a questionnaire again, in which, among other things, they had to indicate how severe the pain was.

Results showed that participants who previously indicated they were afraid of pain experienced much more muscle pain than those who were not.If you start to worry about muscle pain you might get before or after exercise, you will likely find that the muscle pain gets worse. So you can see that your brain has a huge impact on pain. So don’t worry, everything will be fine!

With these seven tips, muscle pain relief shouldn’t be an issue after exercise. Before you know it, you will be completely old again and you can work out in the gym again.

What do you do to reduce muscle pain after exercise?

Share your tips in the comments!

90,000 Muscles ache after training: what to do, how to avoid muscle pain

After training, many people feel a pleasant aching pain in the muscles. This is perceived as a result of effective training, but often becomes a signal to take a break and take care of the body.


Why do muscles hurt after exercise

Muscle pain can vary in intensity and is the result of several factors.The body hurts for beginners after a long pause or for athletes who work on mass, increase their working weight several times or try a new type of load.

Novice athletes enjoy muscle soreness as the result of a well-done workout. In fact, discomfort interferes with full movement and provokes severe pain.


Types of muscle pain

  • Lactic acid excretion. It is deposited in tissues during intense training and causes pain if the muscles are not stretched or stretched;
  • microscopic rupture of muscle fibers. It’s not as dangerous as it sounds: a natural process occurs as a result of muscle tearing. Then they are actively restored and the number of fibers increases. More often occurs with a new type of load or with weak muscles. The pain is felt after 10-12 hours, the peak occurs on the second day after class;
  • severe post-traumatic pain. In the event of redness, swelling, bruising, swollen tissue and general malaise, you should immediately visit a doctor or emergency room.


How to avoid muscle pain

  • Increase the load gradually, do not try to work with heavy weights or do the maximum number of sets, especially after a long break;
  • Follow the correct technique. Attend group classes, take personal lessons, watch online workouts on YouTube – remember how to do the exercises correctly;
  • Take a warm bath or sauna


  • Use gels and ointments. Check with your trainer or pharmacist at your pharmacy which remedies can help soothe tissues and reduce pain.
  • Proper diet and sleep. Try to get enough sleep, especially after a workout: what is usual for you, for the body – stress. Sleep 6-8 hours;
  • Add foods to your diet that help your body recover: salmon, tuna, vegetable oil, nuts and seeds, chicken breast, turkey, mushrooms, tofu, lentils, beans. Drink one and a half to two liters of water: this eliminates dehydration;
  • Stretching After Workout: Recover faster by stretching the muscle groups that were used during the workout;


  • move. Even if the next day you feel discomfort in the muscles, try to walk more and not linger in one position;
  • Visit a massage therapist or use a foam roller. Special sports equipment of a cylindrical shape helps to relieve tension, massage and relax muscles.


  • Be sure to warm up and cool down.

Is it possible to train with muscle pain

There is no universal answer: it depends on well-being and comfort.Painful sensations mean that the muscles continue to recover and it is advisable not to overload them. Try a day or two for active walks, stretching, swimming, or a lightweight workout with minimal stress.

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Is it necessary to endure it and how to alleviate suffering – Moscow 24, 02.03.2021

Moscow 24 observer, fitness expert and TV presenter Eduard Kanevsky spoke about what types of pain can occur during or after training and which of them can indicate a possible injury.

Photo: depositphotos / IgorVetushko

For more than twenty-seven years I have been involved in sports, of which the first fifteen years I tried to open up and reach the title of master of sports in deadlift. It was a journey of trial and error, but as a result, I achieved my goal. While I was searching, I had to try a number of disciplines and faced injuries and different types of pain after training.

It is clear that most readers do not dream of a sports career, but this absence of such ambitions does not at all guarantee the absence of pain and injuries.Rather, on the contrary, the number of clients’ visits to doctors in fitness clubs in percentage terms is higher than in sports clubs. This is directly related to the lack of past training experience or unwillingness to engage with a coach.

So what types of pain are there? Is it possible to reduce this or that pain? What kind of pain signals injury? Let’s go in order.

Muscle pain after exercise.
I’m sure absolutely everyone is familiar with such pain. For example, you haven’t played football for many years, but here you decided to play a ball with your children or friends.I’m sure you enjoyed the game, but the next morning you feel like you’ve been “run over”. Or they bought a subscription to a fitness club and, not understanding how to properly dose the load, decided to pump up everything at once. As a result, the next day after an intense workout, as well as in the next three to four days, you have no time for exercise.

Why is this happening? During the load (contraction) of the muscles, certain physiological processes occur in them, including the destruction of muscle fibers.This process is very complex and, in fact, is a variant of the body’s adaptation to stress, which any load is. In this condition, pain is a must.

The longer you did not exercise at all and the harder you exerted yourself during the first exercise, the more the pain will be. In other words, if you are just starting to do something, it is very important to enter the training rhythm as gradually and dosed as possible, correctly choosing the load and mode of operation.It is also important to warm up properly before training and cool down after.

For example, if you first came to the gym, then first you need to do the so-called global warm-up: run in an easy mode on a treadmill or pedal on an exercise bike. The workout itself should consist of exercises with a low weight of weights, and the number of repetitions should be at least 15. I call this “pumping blood.” Also, in no case should you perform the exercise until severe muscle fatigue.

Enter your training rhythm slowly. At least this is two to three weeks of careful work. Such a scheme will help you significantly reduce post-workout pain and, as a result, keep you motivated to continue exercising.

Photo: depositphotos / VitalikRadko

Further – it’s easier. If you have achieved the result you need in a certain period of time, and further efforts will be aimed at maintaining it, then there will be practically no pain. Why? Your body has adapted to a specific mode of work, which means that the load is no longer a strong stress.Your leg muscles do not hurt from the fact that you walk the usual route every day? It’s the same here. But as soon as you want to improve certain indicators, then the pain will immediately return as a result of new stress.

Often asked about ways to reduce muscle pain, if you still happened to overload yourself in training. Objectively, there is no magic pill for pain after exercise. Rebuilding muscle tissue is a definite process that takes time. Exactly as long as biological reactions take place.

How to speed them up? No way. Neither massage, nor sauna or hot bath practically affect these processes. The only thing that can and should be done is not to miss the next workout, which forces the body to start various processes, for example, the production of certain hormones. As a result, this will lead to faster adaptation to loads in general.

Muscle burning
If we figured out the pain after training, let’s now deal with the pain that occurs directly during training.For example, muscle burning that occurs during exercise. This sensation is completely normal, and such pain can and should be tolerated.
It is an essential component of lactic acid excretion. As soon as you stop, the burning sensation and stops. Contrary to popular belief, the primary source of muscle pain the next day is not lactic acid. Pain is the result of injury to muscle fibers.

Acute, dull, stabbing pain
But the appearance of one of the above pains directly during the exercise or the next day after training categorically indicates that you received either minor or serious injury.This is especially true for acute pain. As a rule, when it occurs, edema may appear, which means that the training must be stopped and urgently consult a doctor. In no case should you tolerate or simply ignore these types of pain.