When you have a good workout, you feel pumped and ready to go. You are starting a new workout routine and couldn’t feel better about it.

The day after that workout, you begin to feel sore all over and you can hardly move! What is happening? Will your workout schedule have to be pushed back?

This experience is the result of delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. Physicians describe DOMS as a result of physical activity that stresses muscles out more than they are used to. Not everyone will experience DOMS after doing a workout, but it’s always good to know what to do if it does.

What Are the Symptoms of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness?

DOMS symptoms include:

  • Muscle pain or tenderness
  • Decreased range of motion in joints
  • Stiff or tight muscles
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle fatigue

What Exercises Cause It?

Any kind of exercise from tennis to lifting weights can cause delayed onset muscle soreness, but don’t let that discourage you. DOMS typically happens during the muscle lengthening part of an exercise with added in force. A couple of examples could be the lowering part of a weighted bicep curl, or when you run down a hill and extend your legs in front of you to brake a little.

This kind of intense soreness can even come from a seasoned athlete switching up their typical workout style.

Does This Mean I Had a Good Workout?

Unfortunately, when experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness, it doesn’t mean you are getting the ultimate muscle gains. This just signified that your body is adjusting to the new workout style.

How Long Will It Last?

DOMS is hard to truly put a number on because it is different for every person, but studies show that it can set in after 12 hours, and last up to three to five days following the workout. While your muscles adjust, they are just becoming more prepared for the next workout.

How to Relieve Sore Muscles

Having extreme muscle fatigue and soreness is definitely not ideal for staying on top of your exercise regimen. Having delayed onset muscle soreness can really decrease a person’s chances of getting back in the gym right away.

Staying on top of listening to your body is extremely important, which is why you should always warm up your body before doing any kind of exercise. This can mean walking on the treadmill or elliptical for 10 minutes or doing targeted dynamic stretches to wake up a certain muscle group before that workout. LYF FIT has some great tips on healing sore muscles like taking supplements or staying active post-workout.

Don’t Let Muscle Soreness Keep You Down

Just because you experience DOMS doesn’t mean that you are going to feel that after every workout. Just remember to warm up those muscles and keep working towards your goal. Listening to your body’s needs will always point you in the direction you should be headed to train safely.

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