Imagine this: you just had the best workout ever. Your muscles have been stretched to the limit, and the adrenaline’s pumping through your veins. It’s a good day for you and your health.
However, there’s a catch. As soon as you try to move, you feel it: extreme muscle soreness. This post-workout condition can make your entire body freeze up in pain and fatigue. To make it worse, it might take you days, or weeks, before you can bounce back from the pain.
So, how do you deal with extreme muscle soreness? Is there a way to make the recovery process quicker?
Fortunately, the answer is yes. In this article, let’s go over the top 4 guaranteed ways to fix up your sore muscles after a workout.
1. Use a Massage Gun
Aside from resting up, your first reaction to post-workout soreness is to massage it away. You’ve probably tried kneading your muscles with your hands or tried other tools. However, nothing could beat a good treatment session from a massage gun.
A massage gun works with percussive therapy, a massage technique that repeatedly puts pressure on your muscles until they loosen up. It targets muscle soreness, tightness, and pain. For many acute and chronic pain sufferers, it’s the perfect tool for recovery.
Plus, even scientists agree with this! Several studies have shown that using a massage gun is just as good, if not better, than traditional massage. It can also improve your range of motion, flexibility, and muscle strength.
So, how do you use a massage gun after a draining workout? It’s pretty simple.
- Massage guns usually come with head attachments, so choose the one that you prefer the most. Large, spongy attachments are best for large muscles, while pointed ones are suitable for small areas, like your wrists or hands.
- Switch your massage gun onto its lowest speed level.
- Let the massage gun float over and around your sore muscles for at least a minute or two. Don’t focus too much on one area, or you might end up overdoing it and bruising yourself.
- If you want a deeper massage, you can gradually push the speed level up. You can also try pairing this with massage oil or a hot and cold compress, to elevate the relaxing experience.
An exhausted body doesn’t only need rest. When you exercise, you drain your energy stores, damage muscle tissue, and use up a lot of electrolytes in your body. All of these factors mean that you need quick replenishment in water and nutrients.
After your gym session, make sure to not skip a post-workout meal. A 2018 study has shown that consuming carbohydrate and protein-rich meals right after a workout can maximize your muscle gains.
Here are some simple and effective post-workout foods to put on your shopping list:
- Brown rice
- Low-fat chocolate milk
- Lean protein
- Nut butter
- Power greens
- Whole grain wraps/tortillas
- Recovery smoothie
Experiencing extreme muscle soreness isn’t easy. In fact, it can limit your range of motion for some time. For many people, this means getting a frozen shoulder and feeling stiff for days.
So, instead of laying around and staying still, it might do you good to stretch a bit. In this way, you can keep the blood going in your muscles and you will be at less risk of pain. Plus, some light stretching can help maintain your flexibility.
Take note of these low-impact exercises and static stretches you can do at home.
- Light walking
- Child’s pose
- Downward-facing dog
- Single-leg hamstring stretch
- Standing quad stretch
- Shoulder roll
- Cat and cow pose
- Cobra pose
- Head tilts and turns
When all else fails, an entire day of rest can save your sore muscles. Experts often recommend taking a rest day every 3 to 5 workout days. However, this word of advice can change depending on your fitness level and lifestyle.
If you’re always up for vigorous workouts, you might need to take more frequent breaks. The same goes for fitness beginners, who haven’t worked up their endurance yet. When it comes to rest days, it’s best to listen to what your body needs.
Also, as mentioned before, taking an active rest day is a great idea. This means you can still do some light workouts here and there, while still recuperating your muscles. However, make sure to check with your doctor first, and see what kind of recovery routine is best for you.
Many gym buffs might believe in the quote, “no pain, no gain.” However, too much pain can actually become an obstacle, rather than a boost, to your fitness journey.
At the end of the day, don’t forget to take care of yourself. After all, exercise is supposed to be a form of self-care, rather than a burden.
Listen to your body. Adjust your workout schedule when necessary. And, make sure you have a complete recovery routine for your rest days.
A popular massage gun in the UK, like the HYDRAGUN, can help you bounce back quickly from DOMS. By using it for 10 minutes or so, you’ll definitely feel the effects on your sore muscles. Check out the HYDRAGUN today, and don’t miss out on their 30-day risk-free guarantee!