What’s the deal with DOMS?

Have you ever felt really sore the next day after starting a new activity or completing a harder than usual workout? 

Want to know what it really is and what you can do to help if you have it? This muscle soreness is also known as DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. 

DOMS occurs due to micro-tears in your muscles which take place when you work them harder than they are used to. However, this is not a bad thing as you need this process of muscle breakage to create muscle repair and restoration. This is how we gain long, lean and strong muscles and tone the entire body. It’s a completely natural process and is how your body adapts and becomes stronger so it’s something that affects everyone, even if you’ve been training for a long time. 

Usually DOMS begins within several hours after completing your workout and can last up to 72 hours after, so it’s important to take some simple steps to try and reduce the intensity of your DOMS!

  • Remember to increase the intensity of your workouts gradually to ensure you warm up your muscles sufficiently.
  • Low impact forms of exercise such as swimming, yoga and Pilates can help to stretch and mobilise the body after an intense workout.
  • Foam rolling is a great way to improve mobilisation and relieve tension in the muscle connective tissue.
  • Make sure you take time to stretch after a workout to improve your flexibility and help to prevent injury.
  • Using an ice-pack (or if you’re feeling brave, an ice bath) can help reduce inflammation and help to increase blood flow to your muscles to aid repair and recovery. 

Just remember, muscle soreness it’s a natural process and your muscles will grow back stronger which will enable you to work at a higher level of intensity. So, don’t let DOMS put you off exercising and think of it as a positive way to strengthen your body!


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