So you overdid it in TRX class yesterday.
Your muscles hurt so badly that you can barely move, but you know it’s the good kind of pain that tells you that you’ve accomplished something and you’re building muscles. Still, that good feeling isn’t helping you to move without grimacing.
There’s even a name for it: delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. If your muscles are sore from an intense workout (like rock climbing, TRX, or a boot camp,) here are a few ways to help alleviate the pain.
1. Drink Water – Is your urine a pale yellow color yet? Then keep drinking. Keeping yourself hydrated will help your muscles to recover.
2. Take a Hot Bath – If you have a hot tub, jump in! If not, a hot bath with Epsom salt will do. Epsom salts help to relieve muscle cramps and pain and are touted as reducing inflammation. The heat from the bath will also increase circulation, which means more blood will flow through your muscles and speed healing.
The increased blood flow will also help to flush lactic acid out of the sore muscles. You may have seen athletes taking ice baths after training, but their benefits are still unproven. Heat is more beneficial for DOMS, plus it feels nice and reassuring when you’re really sore.
3. Get a Massage – Massages will help get blood flowing to your sore muscles, and that blood (and all of the much-needed oxygen it brings) will help your muscles heal. If you don’t have a massage therapist and no one is around to help you out, you can use a foam roller to give yourself a massage.
4. Apply Heat – This goes along with the hot bath idea. Heat will increase blood flow, which will help to heal all of the little tears that were made during the workout. Cold should be applied when you’re trying to prevent swelling, but for DOMS and the tiny muscle tears that come along with it, heat is more useful.
5. Wear Compression Clothing – Studies are mixed on whether compression clothing has benefits during a workout, but these garments are great for recovery. The tight fit applies pressure, which increases circulation in the compressed area.
This article sounds like a broken record, but increased circulation is key to muscle recovery because you need the oxygen the blood brings and you need the blood to take the extra lactic acid out.
6. Take Some Recovery Time – If you’re super sore, take some time off from your workout to recover. Take a few days off and rest up. If you don’t, you risk overuse injuries and will likely do more damage than good. Make sure that you get lots of sleep, too.
If your muscles are still sore after a few days of rest and these tips, it might be time to visit your doctor to make sure that you don’t have an injury. Hopefully your muscles will be less sore soon so that you can get back into your next workout feeling refreshed and keep working toward your fitness goals.