Feeling sore one or two days after a workout is normal and even a good sign that you’ve effectively worked your muscles. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a common part of exercising and is even felt by the top athletes of the world. But if it’s the day after leg day and you’re finding it hard to walk, it might be a sign that you overdid it. Here are our top tips to help you recover from sore muscles after exercise so you can get back to the gym.
It’s important to recognise the difference between, DOMS, which is a good thing and something more serious. If you feel uncharacteristically sore, or that you might have injured yourself, pushing through the pain is definitely not recommended. Seek professional advice if you experience an abnormal pain that reoccurs when you exercise, or if you feel like something is wrong. Make sure you pay attention to the difference between injury pain and normal muscle soreness, and stop and rest if you feel like you've sprained something.
Stretching is your first line of defence, before and after a good workout. Stretching lengthens out your muscle fibres and promotes recovery. However, if you’ve stretched and you still feel sore it’s not a bad idea to hop onto your mat and stretch it out before you get on with your day.
Use a foam roller to massage your sore muscles, this can significantly reduce the effects of DOMS. Focus on each major muscle group for five rolls at a time, starting with your calves and working up towards the rest of your body. Concentrate on the sorest areas first, trust us this feels great!
Try and eat some sort of protein shortly after you exercise. The primary reason you eat protein is to provide your body with the essential amino acids it needs to repair and build tissues in your body. Studies have found that recovery drinks that contain protein help decrease muscle soreness compared to normal carbohydrate-based sports drinks.
We know you might feel too sore to workout but some light cardio, aerobic or yoga exercises could actually be a great way to reduce the soreness. Try and get the blood pumping as this will increase circulation and speed up your rate of recovery.
If it’s the day after leg day and you can’t possibly move your legs switch your routine up. Spend the next day working on your abs or arms. Allowing an overworked part of your body time to rest while working on another is a great way to optimise your time and ensure that you stay on track.
So, here are five great ways to recover after a tough workout. Come into Cook and Phillip Park Pool for any of our great classes to learn the most effective way to stretch. Or make sure to talk with one of our health professionals so you have the necessary tools to ensure your workouts and recovery periods are safe and beneficial.
This article gives our top tips to help you recover from sore muscles so you can get back to the gym.
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