Sore? Let’s fix that.
Here are some really good tips for reducing that pretty annoying post workout soreness.
In case you are wondering…
Post workout soreness is actually called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). This unfortunate result of exercise is not something you can completely avoid… Sorry, bad news, I know. It’s ok though this soreness is your body’s way of saying “hey man, whatever we did yesterday was pretty rough, let’s just chill so I can recover and be better than before.”
So, without this soreness we would have a hard time knowing when the next workout should be (unless you had a trainer, then they’d know for you… just sayin’). BUT we can do a few things in order to make this pain much less than it would be normally.
Interested? Of course, you are, you can barely sit on your couch because of that ridiculous leg day you did two days ago. So, let’s get started.
I know this seems counterproductive, but foam rolling and active recovery after a lifting session can actually help with the soreness the next day. Yes that’s right; I’m telling you to spend another 10-15 minutes in agonizing pain after your already painful workout in order to be in less pain down the road.
Here are some great stretches for you to do, if you are unsure where to start.
By the way, foam rolling and active recovery will also help with increasing your range of motion and can assist in more flexibility. So, that’s pretty great too…
Eating (yup eating actually helps)
Making sure you get your post workout meal can help decrease that recovery time, in turn making that awful soreness disappear just a little bit faster. Your time frame to get protein in once you finish a good lift is 30 minutes; in this time period your body is attempting to uptake what protein you already have available. So don’t wait too long to get that post workout protein shake in so your body doesn’t start breaking down muscle tissue to use as fuel!
My personal fav for a post workout protein shake is with two scoops chocolate protein powder, ½ table spoon of Peanut butter, 1 whole banana, 10 oz water and some ice. Blend and enjoy, plenty of good healthiness there, and tastes pretty darn good too.
Warm Epsom Salt Baths
This is easily my favorite way to recover. How can you go wrong with 30 minutes in a piping hot tub with some lavender scented Epsom salts… that’s right I said it, lavender scented, not even ashamed.
Other than having silky soft skin and smelling amazing afterward, the magnesium that is in the salts is easily absorbed through the skin and to the blood stream. And that magnesium assists in lowering inflammation in the body and improves blood flow and muscle and nerve function.
Also, the sulfates in Epsom salts are necessary for healthy joints, nervous and skin tissue.
So, take a bath with Epsom salts, cuz you will smell better… oh yeah and for all the healthy stuff too.
This one is simple light cardio such as biking, walking or jogging will increase your overall blood flow. When we increase blood flow we increase the nutrients getting to the sore muscle which will in turn help that muscle recover faster.
So, even though you may hate cardio, it’ll help, so do it. For recovery purposes you don’t need much 10-15 minutes will suffice. BUT you really should do your 30-45 minutes 3 times per week.
And of course for the finale… sleep. Sleep is your ABSOLUTE best friend if you are wanting to reduce muscle soreness and decrease recovery time.
When your body enters deep sleep (non-REM) mode your pituitary gland actually pumps out Growth Hormone (GH), which is used in muscle tissue repair. So, lack of sleep leads to lack of GH, which leads to less muscle, which leads to more fat, which leads to obesity, which leads to the realization that you need to work out again. When really you should have just gotten that 8 hours of sleep in the first place and had the energy to continue to work out. Again, just sayin.
Now take what you know about muscle recovery, go and have an awesome, destructive leg day then use these tips to repair and recover. If you ever have any questions or comments let me know. Enjoy your workout!