One of the toughest elements of any exercise routine or sporting activity is the muscle soreness you experience afterwards. If you have ever completed leg day at the gym, then you will understand the pain of trying to walk downstairs the morning after, and in certain cases, it can make daily activities difficult to execute.
Unfortunately, muscle soreness is an inevitable part of physical exercise and is a good sign. It is evidence that your muscles are growing stronger, and if you know how to reduce the pain, you should still be able to complete your exercise or sporting routine as normal. The only constricting factor with muscle soreness is the recovery time. If you have hit the gym extra hard, then you may have to leave it a few days before you can return – even if you aren’t exercising the same muscle groups.
Therefore, it is important to find ways to reduce the extent of the soreness so that you can get back to exercising as quickly as possible. Here are the best methods for reducing muscle soreness after exercise:
Book yourself in for a professional massage
A fantastic way to reduce your muscle soreness is to receive a massage after your workout session. While this is not necessarily a luxury that many people can afford daily, having a weekly (or even monthly) sporting massage can greatly reduce muscle soreness, tension and aching. This will help soothe your muscles and encourage them to recover faster.
When your muscles are looser, they are also less likely to suffer an injury, which makes massages a useful addition to your fitness regime. Booking regular massages with a brand like Health by Science will also help you to relax in between exercise sessions, which is particularly useful if you are a sportsperson who needs to consistently perform at their best.
Take a warm shower
Warm showers have a similar effect on your muscles as massages, in the sense that they relax them when they are inflamed. While you are not likely to feel a world of difference if you take a warm shower, they will certainly have an effect.
As a rule of thumb, hot showers are great to take after a workout, whereas cold showers are thought to aid muscle regrowth, so aim to take those at the start of your day.
Don’t work the same muscles twice on consecutive days
It might sound obvious but avoid the temptation to keep working out the same muscles on consecutive days. While there might be certain exercises that require your sore muscle groups to be engaged, you should not force them to take most of the strain. For instance, if you complete an arm workout on Monday, then you should be careful not to directly engage your biceps and triceps on Tuesday. You may have to indirectly use them if completing a chest or back workout, for example.
You will know if it is time for a muscle to be directly reengaged because they won’t be sore. If you are still experiencing serious soreness after a few days, you should continue to rest and recover fully before hitting the gym again.
Incorporate the right techniques
Although muscle soreness is a healthy side effect of vigorous exercise, it can become extreme if you are using the wrong technique. This will cause certain muscle groups to become overloaded as they pick up the strain that should be taken by other muscles. This is usually the case with weaker muscle groups – such as in the wrists, forearms, hip flexors and lower back, and can lead to injury.
To prevent this from happening, take time to learn the correct technique and continue to concentrate on your form in every workout or sporting activity you complete.