Muscle soreness is part of the training process but how to deal with it is another story. This is the ultimate guide for how to deal with muscle soreness.
We’ve all been there, you have a killer workout and you’ve nailed it. You go home feeling good and shower and the next morning you wake up and you’re so sore your toenails actually hurt. The muscle soreness has set in and you are hopeful that as the day goes on, your muscles will get better. You realize though that as the day goes on your soreness isn’t getting better, it is getting WORSE. If you’re a girl, you’re jealous that the guys can pee standing up – or maybe that’s just me.
Bring on day two and your muscles are nowhere to be found. They have died apparently because nothing works like it should and you realize your hair hurts and you didn’t even know that was a possibility.
Muscle soreness can be a beautiful thing. Strong is sexy and muscle soreness means that your muscles are getting stronger. Gotta love Justin Timberlake. How old is his song Bringing Sexy Back? I don’t know. The fact I’m still talking about it and it’s on my running playlist probably means I’m old. Anywho…
Let’s get serious
Of course I’m being dramatic but there is also a big point here. Maybe you’re training for a race and you’ve started cross training… Perhaps you’re just starting your health and fitness journey and your muscles think you’ve lost your mind. Or maybe you’re a gym-rat but you’re switching your workouts around and it is waking different muscles up. Whatever your situation is, when taken care of properly muscle soreness can actually be a welcomed part of training because you know that you pushed yourself.
Let’s be 100% clear, you should never be in pain. If you are in pain and cannot walk or jabbing pains or fire burning sensations, anything of that sort, go to your doctor immediately. This post is for typical post workout muscle soreness where it’s uncomfortable to go to the restroom, or your muscles bark at you anytime you do a normal everyday activity.
First thing’s first:
Drink lots of water
You have just had a killer workout, your body must re-hydrate. I do not know all of the science behind muscle soreness because I’m not a scientist, I am just a Certified Running Coach who is also studying to be a Personal Trainer. Plus, according to this article at Human Kinetics.com they don’t fully understand it either. Here’s what I do know, I know that your body requires water, when you work out you sweat and if you didn’t sweat – I say this with all the love in my heart – you didn’t do it right, so go try again. Drink lots of water to hydrate your body so it can repair itself.
Keep in mind that when you work out it actually tears down your muscles. Your muscles then try to repair themselves which can take a day or two. This repair process rebuilds the muscle to be stronger which is why you can physically see the results in the body. I would put a link to my twelfth grade health book here where I learned that information, but I can’t find it. 🙂
Water is a necessary part of life. I’ve heard several people tell me that they don’t like water or that water has no taste or different excuses along that line. Alright, fair enough, so let’s think outside of the box and add some flavor to our water. I’m not talking about powder flavoring of some sort that has Lord knows what in it, I’m talking about fruits and veggies in your water to add flavor.
Lemon is the ‘obvious’ choice to add flavor. When you go to a restaurant, typically they bring lemon out with your water. Here are some other options for what to put into your water (Mix and match or use by themselves!):
- Mint Sprigs
- Orange Slices
- Lime Slices
Super yummy and flavor issue is now solved. Want actual recipes for changing up your water? Click here to head over to my other post to get three different recipes for your water!
Now for the ultimate in Muscle Soreness Secrets. It’s the secret of all secrets, y’all. Ready? You’re so excited to see what it is you just can’t stand it. I can tell.
Secret Number 2
This little gem right here that doesn’t look like a whole lot is to muscles what hot fudge is to ice cream, the strawberries to your shortcake, the chips to your salsa. This is my ultimate secret in regards to muscle soreness and you can grab it on Amazon. I talked about this in my other post Quality Workout Equipment for under $100.
There is also another type of foam roller that I am currently obsessed with. I’ll be honest is DOES look a bit scary at first but don’t be alarmed, it does incredible things to those super sore spots. I’m obsessed with it. Can you tell? Go check it out on Amazon!
The foam roller basically allows you to massage your muscles without the help of others. There are even exercises you can do on a foam roller, but that is another post in itself.
I know it doesn’t look like much, but good things come in small boxes! If you’ve never used a foam roller, you might wonder why the heck you’re still reading the crazy lady’s post. I’m telling you, this thing will take your sore muscles and give you immediate relief.
Here’s another tidbit from my personal usage of the foam roller; I have migraines, and when I have one bad enough and I can feel it in the base of my neck, I lay on my back with the roller under my neck. (The scary one) I very gently turn my head to look over my left shoulder, hold for the stretch, then slowly turn and do the same thing on the other side. What it does for me is that it works out those knots that are in the base of my neck causing the migraine.
Don’t believe me that it truly is the dessert for your muscles? Grab one, check it out for yourself.
IMPORTANT- if you have never used a foam roller. Please take a look at this quick video from Runtastic Fitness for some instructions on how to use it. 🙂
There you have it, my ultimate guide to sore muscles. Drink water and use your foam roller. Obviously there are many ways to work out sore muscles, these two are my favorite!
Happy Foam Rolling!