If you don’t know what delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) means, you’ll know what it feels like. It usually manifests itself the night after a particularly intense workout that you’ve decided to try for the first time, and causes inexplicable grunting with every step you take. Simply put, it’s the pain and stiffness in the muscles following a heavy workload due to the breakdown in muscle tissue. While it’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s a real hindrance when you’re trying to keep up with a regular training regime, which is why we’ve sussed out some ways in which you can kill the pain and not your motivation.
The inflammatory response peaks around 24 to 48 hours after leaving the gym, and it’s a sign that you’ve engaged in a higher level of intensity and novel movements — both highly beneficial to your training program. After all, muscle growth is achieved via the fusing of damaged muscle fibres, and pushing your body to its limits can accelerate that process by giving them something to repair. These microscopic tears in your muscles are the same ones that will leave you limping the next day.
Unless you’re into the whole “no pain no gain” motto even after you’ve left the gym, we can’t imagine you’ll enjoy that nagging ache, so here are some ways you can alleviate the pain — even for a bit.