So you made it to the gym. Hooray! The hardest part is over. Cheers to you!
The gym beats were pumpin’, and you worked it out real good.
Too good. It’s the day after and you are FEELING it. Ooch. It hurts to move. So much for working out today. And probably tomorrow. You, my friend, have got a serious case of DOMS.
No, I’m not talking about that Italian Mafia dude that lives down the street. I’m talking Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, and it’s a be to the ce te H.
No one is immune to muscle soreness. A few aches and pains are totally normal and mean you are pushing your body past its comfort zone, which is good! However, not being able to a move is a sign that you are pushing too hard or doing too much too soon. Ain’t nobody got time for that, so here are a few tips to avoid good ‘ol DOMS next time around.
- Warm Up – Don’t underestimate the power of a good warm up. It’s important to get those muscles moving and that blood pumping before you go all gung ho into a workout. Foam roll, stretch out, and get your heart going with some light cardio.
- Progress Slowly – Patience, young grasshopper. (You know I never saw that movie and yet I always use that quote?! That’s some powerful stuff right thurr…) Getting better and advancing your workouts is all about taking baby steps. If you were benching 60 pounds last week, don’t jump to 100 this week. Up your weights or your mileage or your time working out in small increments to challenge your muscles without overtraining them.
- Cool Down – What goes up must come down. After your workout, take 5-10 minutes to cool down your breath, your body temp, and your heart rate. Walk on the treadmill, foam roll, and stretch major muscles that were used during your workout.
- Refuel – Proper nutrition after a workout is key to help build and repair muscles and prevent soreness. Get your nom on within 30 minutes of finishing your workout and look for something with a 3:1 or 4:1 carb to protein ratio, like an apple with nut butter, some Vega Recovery, or a fruit smoothie with a small scoop of protein powder.
- Keep Moving – After a tough workout, the only thing you want to do it sit down, chill out, and not move the rest of the day, right? Whelp, get off your butt! You’re allowed to sit and chill for a bit, of course, but try to make recovery more active. The longer you stay idle, the more apt your muscles are to stiffen up. Try to get up and walk around every hour to keep that blood circulating.
- Lotion Up – Topical creams can do wonders for helping prevent (or ease already existing) muscle pain. I’m a huge fan of the Deep Blue essential oil. I mix a few drops of this oil blend (which contains wintergreen, peppermint, and blue chamomile among other oils) with an unscented moisturizing lotion and massage it into the muscles I used during a workout. It’s so soothing and feels like it’s really cooling down and getting into my muscles – feels so good after a sweat sesh.
Now the only DOMS in your life should be cute Greek boys with houses in the Greek Islands. Don’t avoid those DOMS – those are the good ones ;-P.
What the worst case of DOMS you’ve ever had?
How do you avoid or ease sore muscles?