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  • I’m so sore I can’t stand up

    By Travis Steffen on Wednesday, March 31, 2010in Muscle & Bodybuilding, Tips  

    soreI’m going to share with you an excerpt from a email that was sent to me from a client a couple of days after she performed a rather intense lower body workout I had prescribed for her.

    “Hi Shauna. So here’s a weird question…do you happen to know of another method of using the potty that doesn’t involve me actually having to sit on it?…or better yet, one that doesn’t involve any movement from the waist down whatsoever…preferably one in which I can remain in bed motionless, as I am in great discomfort from the agonizing torture of my last workout. My butt is so sore it’s like someone took a hammer to it and my legs feel as if they have been run over by a freight-liner. Thanks a lot, and by the way I hate you today.”

    As you can see she is a wee bit on the sarcastic side but sometimes this description of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) isn’t too far off.  DOMS is simply that…sore muscles. Generally we experience this when we are either brand new to exercise or following a particularly vigorous, intense, and/or longer than normal workout. If you throw in some new, different exercises that your body isn’t accustomed to, you’re bound to feel the burn 24 to 48 hours later as well. I’ve been working out for many years and I still experience the pain now and then…in fact that’s why I chose this topic today…my glutes are killing me from the reverse lunges I did yesterday. Personally I love the feeling because I know I’ve worked my butt off…almost literally. I understand though that some people don’t enjoy having difficulty walking up the stairs, so I’m going to offer a couple of remedies to help prevent, or at least reduce DOMS.

    1) Always perform a proper warm up. The purpose of a warm up is to gradually increase your heart rate, lubricate joints and prepare the muscles for the taxing work they are about to endure. If you are about to embark on a cardio workout, perform 5 to 10 minutes at a light to moderate intensity to ensure everything is good to go before you’re full steam ahead. If it’s a weight training day, perform at least 1-2 warm up sets for each exercise with a light weight and numerous reps.

    2) Stretch it out. Every workout should be ended with a good stretching routine in order to realign muscle fibers, prevent DOMS and reduce the risk of injury and cramping. Perform a stretching exercise for each of the muscles worked, allowing for a minimum of 30 seconds per stretch and remember that stretching should be pleasant…if you feel pain, you’ve gone too far.

    3) Eat! Consuming a balanced, nutritious meal or snack within 60 minutes of a workout will replenish your punished muscles with the nutrients they need to repair themselves. A combination of carbs and lean protein is the best choice to refuel with, but save the fat for a couple of hours since fat  slows the digestion and absorption process and those muscles need the protein and glycogen stat. Your best bet is something like a post workout shake with whey and berries, chicken breast with a potato or a piece of fruit and low fat cottage cheese.

    Keep these tips in mind before your next workout and you’ll find yourself a lot more comfortable 24 – 48 hours later!

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    About Travis
    Travis Steffen is a Master Trainer and founder of WorkoutBOX. After years of experience training professional athletes and thousands of others just like you, he knows exactly what it takes to get you in serious shape. Follow his expert guidance and you're guaranteed to get amazing results.
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