Thursday, March 4, 2010

How to Deal With Muscle Soreness After Working Out

After Saturday’s bootcamp workout, my muscle soreness lasted longer and was actually more intense than I had first thought. My soreness certainly highlighted the parts of my body I have to work out more…

After speaking with Lara, we determined that one big problem was that we didn’t stretch after the intense one-hour-long class. The instructor kept saying that we had to stretch after class on our own, but we were both used to stretching as part of a class, and we never got around to it. Well, actually, we went and got coffee instead… :-)

When I was still quite sore on Monday evening, I decided to do some research to see what I could do to alleviate the pain. I did a quick search and found some good information on Sports Medicine in an article entitled Muscle Pain and Soreness After Exercise – What Is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Here are some of the recommendations to alleviate soreness that the article lists; I did a few of them:
  • Ice bath
  • Active recovery, such as low-impact aerobic exercises – Going for a walk actually helped
  • Gentle stretching – Yes, stretching did make me feel better…
  • Gentle massage
  • Yoga
Here are some of the recommendations regarding prevention of soreness from the article; I don’t think I followed any of them!:
  • Warm up – We warmed up in class, but I’m not sure it was enough… In fact, the warm up felt more like a workout… :-)
  • Cool down with stretching – Nope.
  • When starting a new activity, start slowly and increase the intensity gradually. – Certainly didn’t do that…
  • Don’t make sudden changes to your exercise routine – Nope again.
Questions: When was the last time you got really sore after a workout? What did you do to alleviate the pain?

Finally, have you entered my Amazing Grass Giveaway yet?
Be well,


  1. I was in pain just last week! I made sure to walk around about every hour to keep added stiffness at bay. I walked on the treadmill for this same reason. I also made sure to stretch my legs, every though it really hurt!

  2. Last month when I started doing a 10 bootcamp workout. My legs were so sore I looked like I was limping when I walked. Even stretching felt like a chore. And I thought I was in good shape,too. Goes to show I have muscles in places that don't get enough exercise. hahaha... I've never really done much in terms of trying to alleviate the pain. I usually just goes with it and it goes away within a day or two.

  3. Thanks for the info Andrea. Gotta hate that sore feeling, but you always know you did something right (usually).

  4. Tamara mentioned you on your blog so I'm here to check it out.

    I don't have much soreness after workouts because I always stretch afterwards. The minute I forget my muscles are sore.

  5. Great ideas! When we were training for the marathon I'd always be really sore after a long run - but kind of liked it because it was a reminder how hard I worked :)

  6. Anonymous3/04/2010

    The only time I get really sore after a workout is when i'm doing a new workout... I remember barely being able to move when I first tried out JM's 30 Day Shred! LOL!!! Thankfully those days are over! lol!

  7. Hi Andrea, nice to see you again! I think I've lost contact with some of my FB friends. Still trying to catch up with many others. I think the new FB site is a mess! Hopefully, we'll visit each other more often! Have a nice weekend.
    Best regards,

  8. Anonymous3/04/2010

    Great tips! Stretching always helps me too.

  9. I loooooovvvee being sore after a workout. Since switching my exercise methodologies a bit and being in much better shape than I used to I hardly get sore anymore. I can't remember the last time I was really sore. I stretch and whine so my hubby will massage me.

  10. That actually seems kind of irresponsible of the instructor NOT to lead stretching. Because plenty of people don't know how to stretch properly (er, probably myself included), plus even for those who do, that particular class probably taxed particular muscle groups that should be stretched with particular stretches.

  11. I think another important thing is that you should never over-workout! I once ran over my limit, and I couldn't walk for months.

  12. you know this sounds strange but i really dont get sore anymore. I can pretty much do anything shy of running 20 miles or standing on my head for 2 hrs and i dont get sore. I guess that's a good thing but i like the feeling cuz it tells me i worked things that really needed it!

    the retreat attendance..just email me at your leisure in the next few days :)

  13. I need to focus so much more on active recovery and stretching. I just started a new program and my CNS is maxed out. I am the poster child for fatigue!

  14. I was sore after gardening on Tuesday night! Still am a little!

    Proper hydration, too...helps to flush out the lactic acid :)

    Have a great weekend, Andrea!

  15. This was a good post for me. My legs have been sore since doing an intese workout on the elliptical on Tuesday. I'm surprised how much they still hurt today.

  16. Anonymous3/05/2010

    I never used to stretch, but not that I am "ahem" older, it is a necessity for me - both before and after - it makes all the difference and I am rarely sore.

    Happy Friday Andrea!

  17. Anonymous3/05/2010

    I'm always extremely sore when I do Bootcamp! They don't ever do a lot of stretching and I don't do it after class. I think that has a lot to do with it.
    This is sad, but I haven't ran in so long and I went the other day. I was super sore the next day!!

  18. Oh goodness, I don't think I could bear an ice bath in this kind of weather! Hehe. Boy, I can honestly barely lift my arms these past two days! Thank you so much for challenging me like this :)

  19. Glutamine powder is worth it's weight in gold. I felt a 110% difference when I started taking it. I mix 5g (typically a heaping teaspoon) of glutamine with water and some Sobe Free) in a large container and drink it throughout my workout.

    Happy Friday (PS - will email you soon about market :-)

  20. Uh, I guess a glass of wine doesn't count, does it? Just kidding. I always stretch after working out. And I sometimes stretch later in the day, too, especially if I find myself sitting for hours at the computer. Those leg muscles get tight easily from that.

  21. Good tips. I exercise a lot, and stretching is pretty crucial for me, particularly after pushing myself harder than usual. Also, it helps to keep up the exercise routine - don't wait until your muscles are totally 100% unsore to get back into the exercise (although you do need to listen to your body and if your joints are in pain then back off!).