That feeling you get after a productive and challenging workout. Muscle soreness affects everyone regardless if you’re new to exercising or a regular. Muscle soreness occurs when your body performs movements your muscles aren’t accustomed to. This even occurs to regulars because just changing the load (eg. 20 lbs to 25 lbs) and/or repetitions (eg. 10 to reps) is something different. Although it may not sound like such a big difference it is something the muscles are used to. Muscle soreness usually starts kicking in after a workout (anywhere from 12+ hours later). After leg day it might be painful to walk up a flight of stairs. The soreness you should be feeling should feel uncomfortable like a deep stretch. If you are feeling any pain where it’s unbearable, consult with your doctor.
A simple and effective method of temporarily relieving muscle soreness is foam rolling. The technical term for foam rolling is self-myofascial release. It’s a simple way to massage your muscles on your own without having someone help you. By foam rolling on your own you are able to control how much force should be applied. This is great because if someone was massaging you they don’t know how it actually feels for you. Foam rolling will feel uncomfortable and almost painful. The pain you will experience is different from pain that would be unbearable. Foam rolling is an effective way of relieving muscle tightness or knots.
Other items besides a foam roller you can use to relieving muscle soreness include:
- Hard surface ball (eg. tennis ball)
- Aluminum water bottle
- Your hands
You may feel sore for a few days but eventually you’ll be able to get 100% back into your workout. Remember, “no pain, no gain” is something you should not be following!