Post workout soreness is typical whether you’re just starting out or even if you’re a fitness master. But there are ways to alleviate the pain while your muscles are adjusting to the movements and tears. So if you’re feeling some extra sore after a hard weightlifting session or workout, try these tips and tricks to help deal with soreness after exercise!
Fitness Essentials that Help with Soreness after Exercise
Keep in mind that I am not a personal trainer, PT or Physician, but these tips have helped me on those extra sore days!
Rest Day/ Recovery Time
Muscle soreness after any physical exercise is common, so giving your body time to adapt is crucial. When you’re just starting, take rest days in between or try low-intensity workouts such as walking or swimming. We’ve learned to start out by only training a muscle group once a week, so you can recover the rest of the week. My schedule when starting was:
Monday: Back and Biceps
Tuesday: Legs and Abs
Wednesday: Rest or Low-Intensity Cardio
Thursday: Chest and Tricep
Friday: Rest or Low-Intensity Cardio
Saturday: Arms and Abs or Legs and Abs depending on how I’m feeling
Sunday: Full Rest Day
You’d be surprised at how hard recovery is if you’re not properly hydrated. Drink lots of water before, during and after your workout to help you sweat and eliminate toxins. Dehydration can also cause muscle cramps which you really really really don’t want! We keep this water bottle on hand during any of our workouts!
Stretching and Yoga
Stretching is that added extra step that can really speed up the adjustment and recovery period. Whether it’s 5 minutes of extensions before and after your workout or a whole yoga class, stretching will considerably reduce stiffness. Just be sure to keep proper form and stay within your limits.
Not gonna lie, foam rolling changed my life. Foam rolling is pretty much an easy way to massage your sore muscles. There are more technical details on why and how it works (this is pretty informative), but for me, it helps break up those tight knots in my muscles. It’s also not the most pleasurable feeling during, but it feels great afterward.
Protein within 30 Mins of Working out
This comes down to nutrition and whether your body has the necessary fuel to recover from the intense movements you put it through. Mine did not, and the soreness was real until I started drinking recovery shakes after my workouts. It has something to do with speeding up the healing of muscles fibers…IDK I’m not the expert, but for me, it helped a ton!
I personally use this one because I’m lactose intolerant and it’s vegan, but if I could drink a whey protein, it would be this one; it tastes amazing!
Epsom Salt Baths
An Epsom salt with lavender bath is relaxing AF. Soaking in an Epsom salt bath is said to relieve tightness and also help your body absorb magnesium, whether this is legit, I don’t know. TBH, it’s really the combination of warmth, soothing smells and decompressing time that add to a quicker recovery for me.
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I learned about this in one of my fitness classes a few years ago and was amazed at why more people don’t make this an exercise essential. Active recovery is essentially doing a low-intensity movement or workout after finishing a high-intensity workout. Here’s an explanation of how it works.
In a way, this is just adding on to the stretching and yoga aspect of recovery. It helps your body cool down and promotes blood flow. I try to get 15-20 minutes of active recovery in after an intense workout.