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The day after a really hard workout can be so miserable. You know this for sure if you have done a really hard booty workout and try to sit the next day or try to put your hair in a ponytail after a rough arm day. Your body sends you those pains so that you don’t over train those muscles while they heal. Here are some tips to help relieve sore muscles:
Use a foam roller. Foam rollers can help clear out lactic acid (a metabolic waste) from your muscles that builds up during exercise. By pushing the waste out of your muscles they are able to recover faster. Foam rolling can also increase your flexibility, improve your posture and balance and reduce swelling. If you like deep tissue massages go for a roller with an uneven surface like this one. If you like gentler massages try a smooth foam roller like this one.
Heat is fantastic for sore muscles. When you put heat on the sore muscles it creates more blood flow to that area which contains oxygen and nutrients the muscles need. The increased blood flow can also get rid of chemical irritants causing the pain. An easy way to heat up your sore muscles is to use a heat pad or a ThermaCare wrap.
Ice can also be good for your sore muscles. When your muscles are sore it means there is damage done to the muscles fibers which causes inflammation and pain. Taking an ice bath can reduce inflammation. Ice is also numbing so it will temporarily relieve the pain. Professional athletes are a big fan of ice bathes to relieve their sore muscles.
Drink a recovery drink. Your muscles need protein and carbohydrates to regain and restore strength. Try to find a drink with whey protein. Whey protein contains amino acids which help promote protein synthesis (the repairing process). Oranges, pineapples and raspberries have quick digesting carbohydrates to refuel your muscles. I find these EAS ready to drink whey protein drinks really convenient and good.
Drink lots of water. If you are dehydrated your muscles will take longer to recover. When you tear muscles during a workout in order to fix the tears your body needs to synthesize protein. If your muscles don’t have enough water the process will be delayed making you sore longer. I always make sure to have my Camelbak water bottle with me to stay hydrated.
Keep moving. Don’t let sore muscles deter you from working out again. Light exercise helps soreness because you are getting your blood pumping. Your muscles will repair themselves and get even stronger each time you feel that bitter sweet pain. Plan your workouts out so you give your muscles time to heal before working those ones again. For example, wait three days in between leg days.
I hope these tips will help you relieve your sore muscles and get back out there to crush your goals!