Muscle soreness is NORMAL – to an extent.
Have you ever had one of those workouts where you leave knowing that the next day you’re going to feel that extra set you did? We’ve certainly been there, especially with Coach Gio’s Power Boxing class. It’s a physical form of proof that you put in hard work and got your muscles doing what they’re supposed to do. But just as bad-ass as muscle soreness may feel, it can also be uncomfortable or even painful. This can lead to becoming less motivated to keep grinding.
Feeling sore after a workout is usually a good thing. To better understand what’s normal and what’s abnormal for muscle soreness, it’s best to know what you’re dealing with in the first place.
What is Muscle Soreness?
Typically, you get sore from putting your body under more stress than it is used to. Maybe you decided to work out for a longer period of time, up the weight, or throw in more reps. The sorenes that you feel is generated by micro-tears in the muscle tissue and the healing process follows. Picture releasing a bicep curl or coming back up from a squat. The body is working to repair the damaged muscles with the mixture of inflammation and the immune system’s response to the healing tissue.
You can expect muscle soreness to kick in 24 to 72 hours after exercise. Muscle soreness depends on the activation of your muscles, type of movement, and recovery. If you increase training frequency, load or intensity then it is likely (and normal) that you will feel some soreness. This is your body’s way of adapting. If you feel yourself being incredibly sore after each workout, you may be overdoing it or harming the body with improper warm ups and cool downs.
Recovery IS Key
You probably didn’t expect us to say anything less. Daniel Giordano, PT, DPT, CSCS, noted that “your body needs to repair those muscles that were worked in order to come back stronger”. Giordano says that it is a good idea to stay active during muscle soreness to improve blood flow and circulation, but avoid stressing the sore muscles. Modifications don’t have to be seen as weak!
Another few pro tips for aiding in recovery and avoiding intense muscle soreness would be:
Sleep: You need quality sleep to release hormones and repair muscles.
Hydrate: You lose electrolytes when you work out. Make sure to replace them.
Eat well: Your body worked hard for you during your workout. Make sure to show it some love with carbs and high-quality protein to repair the muscle fibers that took the hit during your workout.
Foam roll: We love a good foam roll. This helps with those knots you can’t get out on your own, improve circulation, downregulate the nervous system, and put your body into a recovery state.
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