If you have ever done a tough workout, you have no doubt experienced muscle soreness. You complete a tough routine, and sure enough, the next day your muscles are achy and sore. This can actually be a good thing!
There are two types of what is considered muscle soreness. One is simply immediate muscle fatigue. You’ll generally feel this right after a workout and can feel like muscles are a little shaky, tight and generally tired. The other type of soreness called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), usually develops 24-48 hours following an intense workout. This soreness is usually a deeper, achy soreness, and indicates that you have created tiny tears in the muscle tissue. When these tears occur, your body is in muscle building mode and your biggest gains can be achieved.
Remember, regular exercise isn’t enough for your muscles to become stronger. Progression in intensity is required in order for muscle growth to take place. Micro-tears in the muscle that results in DOMS is a key factor in developing larger muscles. If your exercise routine doesn’t create any level of soreness, you may simply be maintaining your current musculature. If your goal is to gain muscle, look forward to muscle soreness as an indicator that your workouts are effective! However, always be sure to build in recovery time to reduce your risk of injury from overuse or poor form due to sore muscles and subsequent overcompensation.
Even though DOMS is to be expected in any muscle building regimen, it doesn’t mean the sensation is a pleasant one! I suggest foam rolling regularly to release tight fascia, as well as alternating heat and cold on the affected area. In addition, magnesium is an excellent mineral to help with muscle recovery. I like to use Magnesport magnesium products to prevent cramping and enhance muscular endurance.