Do you have sore muscles after a workout? If so, you’re not alone. When you exercise, microscopic tears in the muscles occur, which are 100% natural. However, the muscles can become sore afterward.
Some people, can exercise intensely and never feel sore. Today, we’re going to explain how to get rid of soreness, but before we do, we’re going to explain why soreness occurs and how long you can expect the aches and pains to last.
Why Do Muscles Get Sore After a Workout?
Muscle pain after a workout also called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), is caused by the small muscle fibers that tear when you exercise. For example, when you exercise, you damage these muscle fibers, and they grow back stronger.
However, the tears do what most people would expect: cause inflammation.
Why do muscles get sore?
You’re engaging in an activity that stresses your body in a way that it’s not accustomed to. For example, if you perform the same workout day after day without changing intensity or exercise types, your muscles will eventually not get sore.
But if you do one of the following, it stresses the muscles, causing the fibers to breakdown and can also lead to inflammation:
- Increase workout intensity
- Change the length of a workout
- Try working muscles in a different way
Muscle soreness recovery can take time, but there’s a lot that you can do to improve sore muscle relief before the onset even begins.
How Long Can Muscle Soreness Last?
While you may feel soreness in 6– 24 hours, the discomfort can last up to 72 hours after your workout. Soreness can last as long as 5 days if the workout was intense. Finding muscle pain relief and understanding what helps sore muscles is crucial to treating DOMS.
If you don’t want to feel the discomfort and pain for several days, follow the tips below after a workout to find relief.
5 Tips to Reduce Muscle Soreness After a Workout
1. Keep Moving
What helps sore muscles after a workout? Moving. Recovery workouts or light and gentle activities can help. You’ll help move fluids in the body, promote nutrient delivery and ease the pain when you take up one of the following activities:
- Easy biking
You don’t want to engage in activities that put too much stress on already sore muscles but staying stagnant and laying on the couch won’t shorten healing time.
2. Take Off on the Second Day
Your first day of soreness should include moving around and a light workout at best. However, your second day should be an off day. Taking time to rest allows you to relieve muscle soreness and gives your muscles time to heal.
If you want to continue working out instead of resting, focus on a muscle group that isn’t sore. The key is to give the sore, swollen muscles time to repair themselves.
3. Perform Light Stretches
A few light stretches are good but reserve them for after the workout. You want to help release the tightness in the sore muscles and maintain your full range of motion. If the stretch is causing too much pain or discomfort, you can skip this step and move on to the next.
4. Invest in a Massage Chair
Some gym memberships allow you to use a massage chair before or after your workout. Why? They help relieve sore muscles and boost recovery. The issue is that many gyms still don’t offer this benefit. Even if they do, many other people are using them, or you just don’t have time to stay in the gym any longer. One great solution is to purchase your own chair.
A few of the chairs that we recommend are:
Designed and manufactured by Human Touch, Super Novo is one of the world’s leading massage chairs known for its intense massages. The chair can fit users with heights ranging from 5’0″ to 6’9,” and it boasts advanced 3D and 4D massage technology.
Users can increase the stroke speeds or slow them down, choose from 38 auto wellness programs and start massaging their muscles immediately following a workout. Deep tissue massage will force blood into the muscles, boost circulation and help with nutrient delivery to the muscles so that they can repair faster.
The Certus is a chair designed to help people that are on their wellness journey. Users can enjoy three-dimensional massages that span down their entire spine and also target the legs and thighs. Using S- and L-track massage, it’s possible to achieve full muscle coverage that spans from the shoulders down to the thighs. There’s even a calf massager to help soothe sore calves.
Perfect Chair PC-610 (We recommend the Supreme Upholstery Package)
A Perfect Chair is a good option for a home office or any office because the chair offers supreme comfort in the zero gravity position. However, this chair isn’t a full-on massage chair like the rest on this list.
Instead, by moving into the zero gravity position, you’re:
When you have your chair in zero gravity, why not use a tool like NormaTec? NormaTec is an oversized boot that you slip on and acts as a leg compression device. Compression helps push fluid in the legs around and improves recovery time significantly.
If you need to learn how to get rid of sore muscles fast, combine massage with icing or a product like NormaTec.
5. Heat and Ice Therapy
Heat and ice therapy are quick and easy ways to keep your muscle swelling and pain to a minimum. You’ll want to apply heat or ice to the muscle for 10 – 15 minutes. You can also opt to elevate your legs if that’s where you’re sore.
Elevation can help keep fluids moving and reduce swelling and discomfort. On a side note, be sure to place a barrier between your skin and ice when icing the muscle.
Now you know how to relieve sore muscles after a workout using many of the same methods that professional athletes and bodybuilders use. Over time, you’ll find which tips above work best for you.