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Muscle Soreness


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It's called DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). It's especially common after doing something new. Continuing to work out (with a rest day in between) is often the best remedy. Sometimes if you continually work out very hard you will still feel some soreness, but its rarely as bad as when you first start something new. 

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If its been a while since you last worked out then soreness is completely normal.

 

For me it goes away in one to three days depending on how long it has been since I last worked out (talking weeks and months here, not days). Working out again can actually help though, it gets your body warm and more limber and you will ache less.

 

Of course its important to still be careful and take into account your own body and conditions. If it is a sharp pain, deeper than the soreness then better to stop or decrease intensity.

 

 

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Jumping on this thread with a follow up question!

I worked out four days in a row (3 days ballet exercises + one day cardio dance video) and on the 5th day my calves are agony!

I mostly rested yesterday with a little bit of arm strength training (arm raises without weights, push ups on counter, plank, shoulder taps). I'm wondering what to do today... I currently am alternating ice and heat on my legs. Should I just take a complete rest day? Or attempt to go for a walk? (doesn't sound very appealing right now haha!). Or something else?

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17 minutes ago, Keladris said:

Jumping on this thread with a follow up question!

I worked out four days in a row (3 days ballet exercises + one day cardio dance video) and on the 5th day my calves are agony!

I mostly rested yesterday with a little bit of arm strength training (arm raises without weights, push ups on counter, plank, shoulder taps). I'm wondering what to do today... I currently am alternating ice and heat on my legs. Should I just take a complete rest day? Or attempt to go for a walk? (doesn't sound very appealing right now haha!). Or something else?

I find that getting some light movement in helps muscle soreness. I'd vote for going for a walk. You can walk slowly, and it doesn't have to be far, but some movement should help. If you are dealing with something like shin splints, it could aggravate it. So, listen to your body, Walk for about 5 to 10 minutes and see how you feel. If it helps goes for a little while longer, if it's worse, call it a day.

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I'm 55 and just started working out again.   Being a little older now, I've really noticed that my recovery takes a lot longer than when I was younger.  I did some research and read about tart cherry and creatine supplements helping with recovery.  Does anyone have any experience  with these supplements?  Thanks.

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Creatine monohydrate is not exactly for workout recovery. Once ingested, creatine monohydrate is metabolized into creatine phosphate and stored in muscles as fuel for the phosphagen energy system, which fuels quick bursts of high-intensity muscle contractions. Basically, it’s the most efficient fuel for your muscles, and it will fuel them for the first several seconds of your most intense work, like strength training or sprints; then the phosphagen system is depleted, and your muscles start creating energy from glycogen (stored carbohydrates).

 

Creatine is found mostly in animal meat, but your body is capable of storing more creatine than most reasonable people can ingest through meat alone; so supplementation can “top up” your phosphagen system, making sure you have the maximum amount of energy available.  Creatine is one of very few supplements common in the workout community that actually works as advertised (and funnily, because of that it’s quite cheap). I use it: I find it doesn’t make a HUGE difference, but I find it does give me a couple of extra reps when I’m doing very low-repetition, high-load strength work. I am always a shade stronger when I’m using creatine than when I’m not.

 

I wasn’t aware of the buzz around tart cherries. A little quick Googling indicates there is nothing special about them particularly. A few studies, apparently, appeared to show an increase in muscle recovery; however, it looks like most studies were run on relatively well-trained populations of experienced/competitive athletes, and the studies don’t seem to have been focused on helping people adapt to regular exercise, just to recover from excessive muscular stress during competitions. There’s also no solid idea of exactly what in cherries are affecting the body; they just speculate that it’s due to cherries’ polyphenols and anthocyanins — which you can also get in varying amounts from just about any dark-colored fruit or vegetable, such as blueberries, carrots, purple potatoes, kale, collard greens, radicchio, broccoli, parsley, etc.

 

The evidence on tart cherries smells to me like an attempt at a super-food craze, and I wouldn’t buy it myself. But I recommend you look at the studies, examine the evidence, and make your own decisions about what’s necessary and what you’re comfortable with.

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7 hours ago, ra2783 said:

I'm 55 and just started working out again.   Being a little older now, I've really noticed that my recovery takes a lot longer than when I was younger.  I did some research and read about tart cherry and creatine supplements helping with recovery.  Does anyone have any experience  with these supplements?  Thanks.

DOMS is always worst when you're first starting out/trying novel movements. So with any luck it'll get better! It's also possible that you're going just a bit too hard to begin with.

 

But in the meantime, often the best strategy is 'hair of the dog that bit you' - ie. movement. Doing lower weight/higher rep work might help the following day to loosen stuff up, and any kind of regular gentle daily movement like walking outside, yoga, etc. are always beneficial as well.

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Jumping in to flag one small thing: if your muscles are a little sore (mild pain, maybe moderate if you move it), totally normal and everyone else's notes hold.

 

If instead you're just in moderate to severe pain or it really hurts to move or put weight on it and they're tender and swollen, you may have overdone it and injured yourself. If it's just very painful, look up first aid for a muscle strain. 

 

If it's more severe than that, if you're getting symptoms throughout your body or severe back pain or you're in agony, or if it's not going away, see a doctor. Very very rarely you can really overdo it and cause a more serious issue, but that's usually something professional and high level amateur athletes run into. Laypeople frankly we just can't work out hard enough to be in danger of it.

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Massage is a great way to release tight muscles, whether you’re an athlete or simply prone to a sore back. If you can’t get to an appointment — or you want to relieve your own tension at home — consider a massage gun. Massage guns, also called percussive guns, can help relieve soreness and tension through oscillating, rapid bursts of pressure on muscle tissue. Unlike other at-home options, like foam rollers, massage guns are helpful for targeting specific pain points. But with the abundance of options, it can be hard to determine the best massage guns for you.
 

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