After a workout, muscle soreness is common. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is caused by small tears in your muscle fibers. In most cases, muscle soreness happens due to overloading that muscle or when introducing it to a new movement pattern. Typically, you get hit the hardest after 24 to 48 hours of your workout (carlawestfitness).
You Don't Have to Be Sore After Every Workout
Although soreness indicates a strenuous workout, it's important to know that you don't need to experience soreness after every workout to achieve desired results. Soreness is a message from your body that you need to give it some time to recover before the next workout session. Soreness is normal after adopting a new workout program or routine, but make sure the feeling doesn't last more than a few days. If this happens to you, you may end up over-trained.
Post Workout Recovery Tips
After a workout, you might want to follow a few tricks to boost recovery and beat DOMS. Some things to incorporate are stretching and foam rolling to improve blood flow and prepare your muscles for the next training session. According to the researchers in New Zealand, light exercise is a great way to reduce soreness. Aside from this, you can rest for a week after every couple of months in order to prevent over training and to keep your body fresh. (DuVall, J).
Don't Push Yourself Too Hard
Feeling a bit sore post working out is a good thing, but pushing yourself too hard may only lead to a muscle injury. According to Mike Martin, a certified muscle trainer, a little bit of muscle soreness and fatigue is normal if you are trying various workouts and making consistent progress. However, if you are too sore to move for many days after a workout, know that you are doing more harm than good to your body. You are overdoing it and putting too much stress on your muscles. (Wolff, C).
Consider the Progressive Overload Approach
The Progressive Overload Approach is often used in strength training and marathon training. The key to to this approach is to challenge your muscles by increasing stress on them bit by bit. This creates long-term benefits and good muscle health. Avoid putting too much stress on your lean muscles during the first few days of your workout program. Progressing too quickly will have a negative impact on your overall performance and you may end up with an injury and excessive fatigue. (Gay, C).
In the beginning of a new routine it's normal to feel a sore. When you are putting your muscles through new movements, adding weight or changing up the repetitions, soreness will most likely follow. Try not to work yourself to the point of extremely painful DOMS. If this happens, give your body the recovery it needs. Avoid working those muscles until the soreness diminishes or opt for some light cardio to help increase blood flow. Remember to utilize methods of helping your body recover such as stretching, myofascial release via foam roller, staying hydrated and getting enough sleep (aaptiv).
DuVall, J. (No Date). Trainer Q&A: Should I Be Sore After Every Workout?
Gay, C. (April 24, 2018) Get Stronger in a Healthy Way.
Wolff, C. (No Date). Should I Be Sore After Every Workout?