Updated: Sep 18, 2020
Have you ever felt REALLY sore a day or two after a workout? That's called delayed onset muscle soreness, or, DOMS.
What is DOMS?
It's the result of micro-trauma in your muscles and leads to inflammation and swelling. It's temporary and is an indicator that your workout may have been too long, or too challenging. You get DOMS anywhere from 24-48 hours after a challenging workout session.
Is DOMS normal?
Chances are you will get DOMS at some point in your fitness journey. As time goes on you'll be able to gauge your own intensity level and workout load to avoid it.
You do NOT need to get DOMS to build strength or to lose weight. In fact, getting DOMS often can impact your frequency of exercise causing an inconsistency in your workout schedule. It's best to wait until your muscles are feeling better again before working on that same muscle group.
What does DOMS feel like?
Symptoms of DOMS are:
-Muscles that are tender to the touch
-Reduced range of motion due to pain and stiffness
-Swelling in the affected muscles
-Tired, fatigued muscles
-Short term muscle strength loss.
You may hate DOMS, or you may think it hurts so good!
How can I reduce DOMS?
If you're experiencing DOMS here are some things you can do to help them go away quicker:
-Wear compression garments like tights, socks, or sleeves.
-Do low-intensity exercise to get your muscles warmed up and your blood flowing like walking, gentle hiking, or swimming.
-Gently stretch and roll out your muscles.
-Getting a gentle massage may also help. Avoid deep tissue.
Next blog post: Why proper form is important when lifting weights.
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