On an everyday basis I ask various clients are they “sore”, usually I get a response of YES, with a grimace. I normally respond “great, cool or nice” and they all think “asshole” and laugh. In reality I am an “asshole” but not because of the soreness question. What many don’t realize is that being sore, as uncomfortable as it is, is a good thing.
You crush your morning workout-running farther, lifting heavier or completing one extra round. But that sweet satisfaction can quickly turn to regret the next morning when you’re too sore to wash up or get dressed.
But where does that come from and why does it always show up a couple days after certain workouts?
DOMS stand for “Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness” and it is any muscle soreness that shows up 24 to 72 hours after exercise. It doesn’t come after all exercises only the sessions that you have pushed your body to make a change. Those changes begin during exercise. Muscle contractions causes microscopic tares along the muscle and nearby connective tissues. The tears don’t cause the pain or soreness, it is the repair of healing. Easily said when you are sore it is your body’s way of calling for more muscle fibers in the area.
So now that we know why we get sore, how do we counter it? Even though soreness is a good thing that does not mean turn around work the same muscle group again. If you want to ease the pain of soreness do it with some light activity exercise. Go for a walk, do some light stretching, maybe even a gentle yoga class. The key to reducing the pain is to get the muscles moving again, don’t continue to break them down, just get them moving.