Should You Hurt After Your Workout?
What is Delayed Onset Of Muscle Soreness or DOMS?
DOMS is that discomfort, or muscle ache or soreness, that occurs 24-48 hours after activity. Although I must say that some experts agree on 12-72 hours after activity.
Either way it happens to everyone, fitness beginners and elite athletes.
Why DOMS happens?
“Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a common result of physical activity that stresses the muscle tissue beyond what it is accustomed to,” says David O. Draper, professor and director of the graduate program in sports medicine/athletic training at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. “Small microscopic tears occur in the muscle”.
Do you need to feel sore after your workout?
The aches and pains are a sign that the muscles are adapting to the new training routine, exercise or movement.
Adaptation means your muscles are making progress and they will perform the movement easier the next time you do it.
Hurting really bad doesn’t mean you worked really hard, rather it means that the movement or exercise you did is new for your body, it is strange and it needs to get accustomed to them.
DOMS does not indicate how hard you’ve worked. This is just a misconception. Your session can be really easy but very new and still get sore muscles the day after.
As mentioned before, it does indicate that your body is adapting to the type of training routine or movement. There is progress.
When you do the same things over and over again you plateau. Your muscles adapt to certain specific movements, or very similar, and those exercises become more comfortable to perform.
However, you are not made of a few main sets of muscles: quadriceps (thighs), hamstrings, gluteus maximus, triceps, biceps, trapezius.
To continuously develop your all round muscle strength you should cross train.
That means you vary your training. For example, let’s say you are a runner. Variations can be:
– mobility and flexibility
– strength training
– balance and body weight transfer
– rock climbing
And so you develop your muscle strength all round. You may get sore muscles if you do something new; that’s something you haven’t done at all for a couple of months. But that’s normal.
How to reduce muscle soreness
You cool down is the most important. This includes about 10 min of light aerobic training such as light jogging and then stretch, I’d say about 15 min of all body stretching.
Get some inspiration from Urban Fitness Academy visitors section.
Other options include: rest, ice, massage, heat.
I personally go with stretching.
Although we love to feel that pain because we get excited that we got results, the truth is no results occur over night. But sore muscles can tell you that in fact you are working the muscles.
On the other hand you should feel your body and be aware of which muscles work during your session and not based on the pain you feel after.
If you don’t feel pain the day after your session that does not mean your workout was a waste of time.
It is important to make the difference between moderate muscle soreness induced by exercise and muscle overuse or injury. To know when when, for example, you are experiencing muscle soreness and when you have overstretched or pulled a muscle.
Oh…and if the soreness prevents you from doing daily activities that is too much and this will prevent you from continuing training. Not to mention some beginners end up hating it all together.