Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can be a dreadful post-workout affliction that affects every lifter and athlete as they expose their muscles to unfamiliar stress.
Delayed-onset muscle soreness can be especially painful for newbies who are either trying out a new training program or getting back into training after a time away from it. However, it’s definitely not limited to beginners, bodybuilders, runners and athletes of all sorts can experience DOMS when engaging in activities that stretch or target muscles from new angles.
Whether you’re unfamiliar or well accustomed to experiencing delayed muscle soreness, keep reading to find out what methods you need to do to ease and prevent DOMS.
What Is DOMS?
Delayed-onset muscle soreness is an inflammatory response to exercise-induced muscle tissue damage. It is the aching soreness in a muscle group caused by strenuous exercise, usually felt most intensely 24 to 72 hours post-workout and can last up to a week.
There are a few things you can do to prevent it and some proven methods that will ease your pain post workout.
DOMS is thought to be a result of microtrauma to muscle fibers so it is important to be precautious if you lift heavy so you are less likely to experience DOMS and most importantly avoid injury in the process.
Some pre-workout methods to prevent DOMS
- Always warm up prior to exercising. Even something as simple as walking or cycling for 10 minutes can significantly reduce soreness. A few minutes of foam rolling can also relieve stiffness and enhance your range of motion before training.
- Taking BCAAs before your workout can help increase muscle protein synthesis and reduce protein breakdown, muscle damage which lessen the symptoms of DOMS.
- Supplementation can help with combating the inflammation that creates DOMS.Hydroxymethyl-Butyrate or HMB, a popular bodybuilding supplement that is a metabolite of the crucial amino acid Leucine, can help limit muscle catabolism. However, don’t expect to see results instantly. HMB should be taken consistently for at least a month.
How To Treat DOMS
- Foam rolling (post-workout): A few dedicated minutes of foam rolling, 4 to 6 hours or even a full day after training will offer relief from common stiffness and soreness, and even from the dreaded DOMS.
- Combat DOMS with activity: After performing an exercise once, a protective effect against muscle damage occurs in subsequent bouts of similar exercise. Training the muscles that are sore sounds counterintuitive, but this phenomenon known as the ‘repeated-bout effect’ combats DOMS by boosting protein synthesis and decreasing soreness. set. Rather than using heavy weights for low reps, try a very light weight with high reps to increase muscle protein synthesis.
Although you may never be able to completely eliminate soreness, but by following these methods you’ll have a better chance of avoiding and easing delayed onset muscle soreness.