I’m Sore… Can I Still Work Out?
Why Do I Get Sore?
When we exercise we create muscle tears because we are straining our muscles. These micro tears are what make our muscles tender after a good workout and in order for us to get stronger we need our torn muscles to heal- which takes time. This rest time is usually why people separate what part of the body they’re focusing on day by day in the gym, (ex: Monday-Arms & Back, Tuesday- Legs, Wednesday- Cardio, etc.) or work out every other day and having an active rest day in between training days.
If you have a dull ache, that’s alright. It means you worked your muscles and challenged them to try something new or heavier than what you’re used to. While sore we recommend taking it easy on those areas so they can fully heal, and in turn get stronger and eventually more defined (Gains, anyone?).
-DOMS and how to take care of it
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is when you get sore the day after your work out, and the next day you’re even more sore to the point where you have trouble doing normal day tasks like sitting down, or lifting your gym bag. This is a bit more severe in how torn your muscles are, and these muscles should not be pushed again until healed and completely rested. This can take anywhere from 2-5 days after your workout! The best thing you can do for these overly worked muscles is relax, or go for a walk to help get your blood moving through you body and helping to heal quicker. Foam rolling is extremely beneficial for any type of soreness and can help to release lactic acid build up in the muscles and again allow for blood to flow more freely through the inflamed areas helping them to heal faster.
While you may be experiencing DOMS in your legs or lower body that doesn’t mean you need to stop exercising completely. Taking an active rest day is a good idea, do some swimming, yoga, or go for a walk. If you can’t deny the need to go to the gym then you should plan on working different body parts, in this instance it could be your entire upper body, until your severe soreness has abated.
Shut up and stretch.
Stretching is severely underrated. Foam rolling and flexibility are just as important to health and fitness as lifting heavy and improving on cardio weekly. Just like you want to make sure you train your chest after you train your back to keep muscle strength balanced, you need to stretch your muscles and tendons that you’ve spent the last hour knotting, pumping, and tightening up while training. Stretching hurts because our body isn’t used to being extended so far, not to mention you’re working out knots that you’ve created while training. The pain you feel is you body’s way of saying “WARNING:This is different and scary and I don’t want to!” and while you ought to be cautious to stretch properly as not to tear anything, let your body be scared. Stretching is so important and will only help to make you stronger. Your muscles can only contract as much as they can stretch, so by working the elasticity of your muscle you’re setting up your body to be the best it can be. Think about a rubber band, if it can’t stretch very much when pulled you won’t be able to launch it very far. The same goes for you body and muscles. You are only limiting yourself by not stretching and foam rolling