Why Am I Sore?
You’ve gotten in a great workout and the next day you feel some aches and pains in your muscles. First, remember that this a good kind of pain. You’ve worked out hard and your body is repairing itself, thereby becoming stronger. Have you ever wondered why you feel so sore? Here’s why:
Ouch! I’m so sore! Why?
First of all, good job! You were able to get through a tough workout. You've earned your soreness! In order to build muscle, you have to first break it down. After an intense workout, there are micro-tears in your muscles that cause you to feel sore. This is called delayed onset muscle soreness, also known as DOMS. This is very common after a workout.
DOMS causes sore muscles, weakness and stiffness. You generally won’t feel DOMS until the day after a workout. You also usually only experience DOMS after a new workout or a particularly difficult one. The good news is your muscles eventually rebuild and the soreness disappears. You’re also less likely to be sore from the same workout the next time because your muscles have adapted.
How can I reduce soreness?
There’s good news and (kind of) bad news. The bad news is there’s not a lot you can do to reduce muscle soreness. Things like stretching, yoga, and massages can provide a small amount of relief but not enough prevent soreness. The good news is being sore means that you were able to make steps toward your goal, making strides toward increased fitness and lasting strength. Stretching after you exercise won’t help with your soreness, but it will loosen up your muscles and prevent you from being so stiff the next day that you feel like you can’t walk.
There’s more good news! The next time you have a similar workout session, your body is less likely to experience the same level of soreness because your muscles will adapt to the training. This doesn’t mean your body is not making progress. Your muscles are still working and growing, but they adapt to the strain and they are able to handle the stress of working out.
There’s no way to prevent muscle soreness but you can reduce it. Instead of jumping into intense workouts, you can take baby steps and ease into it with lighter intensity. This will help reduce muscle breakdown, the cause of soreness.
I’m thinking of skipping the gym today. Should I still exercise when I’m sore?
Our answer for that is simple. Yes! Mentioned earlier in this blog, sore muscles are a good sign. It means you are transforming into a fit and healthy person. Don’t allow your soreness to prevent you from working out the following day. You should also continue to work out because getting blood to flow through your muscles is part of recovery. To give your muscles a break the day after your workout, choose a different muscle group to work on. So, if you worked out your legs one day, then work on your arms the next day.
Embrace your soreness
See your soreness as a badge of honor. You worked hard to feel sore, and hard enough to make a change. Soreness isn’t necessarily injury; it’s a victory that happens when you work your muscles to the max. You’ve done a great job! Continue to workout and embrace your soreness as you become a stronger you.
If you’re new to indoor rock climbing, training can make your muscles sore. Taking classes give the chance to not only learn how to climb, but how to recover as well. Visit Origin Climbing & Fitness to learn from skilled and experienced trainers. They’ll teach lots of cool climbing techniques, and how to recover.
*Know the difference between muscle soreness from training and pain from actual injury. If you are unsure or if pain is persistent, stop your workout routine and see a doctor. Be sure to consult your physician before starting any workout regimen.