Having sore muscles after a workout isn’t pleasant. If it’s in your legs, then you can’t walk properly, if it’s in your arms, then you’ll have trouble carrying things, and if it’s in your back, then you’ll get pain anytime you bend down. Needless to say, nobody likes sore muscles.
What Causes Sore Muscles After a Workout?
Now, what actually causes sore muscles after a workout? Well, when your muscles have to work harder than they’re used to, damage is caused to the muscle damage which creates DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). This is also what makes you stiff and slightly immobile.
Why Are My Muscles Not Sore After Workouts?
If your muscles are not sore after a workout, then it can be a sign that you’re not workout hard enough. However, having sore muscles shouldn’t be the goal. Sore muscles don’t necessarily mean that you’re working hard, but instead working in a specific way that your muscles aren’t used to. You can still make progress without sore muscles, but if you aren’t getting stronger, bigger or more capable alongside not having sore muscles, then it can indicate that you need to ramp up your training.
How to Help Sore Muscles After a Workout
In order to help your sore muscles after a workout, there are several things you can do.
Firstly, stretching after a workout is heavily recommended. Before exercising, you should do active or ‘moving’ stretches to help direct blood to your muscles and get them prepared for your session. However, static or ‘still’ stretching is better suited to after a workout to cool down and lengthen the muscle in order to avoid stiffness.
As well as this, doing some light cardio to cool-down after a workout helps to keep blood around the muscle and keep them warm. Blood is important as it shuttles nutrients that help aid in the recovery process.
Lastly, if the soreness is particularly bad, then you can try a sports massage. Whilst sports massages are painful in the moment, they help to reduce muscle soreness in the long term. They’re kind of the reverse of exercise as they make your muscles feel better in the hours after opposed to worse. If you can’t afford a masseuse or don’t want to use one, then you can also invest in a foam roller which does a similar job, but you have to do it yourself.
- Stretch and do light cardio after exercising
- Consider also using some form of foam rolling
- Also consider investing in regular sports massages
So, hopefully if you were wondering about how to help sore muscles after a workout, then all of your questions have been answered. Sore muscles shouldn’t put you off exercising as they’ll stop becoming so sore the more used to exercising you become. By using these techniques, you’ll be able to avoid sore muscles and keep progressing with your training long term.