March 10th, 2013

Workouts and Muscle Soreness: Another Tip from Your Philly Personal Trainer

An athlete experiencing muscle soreness.

Workouts and Muscle Soreness: Some common misconceptions about muscle soreness.

Everyone gets sore from working out from time to time. This is not a horrible thing and, in fact, if you are not sore it quite possibly means you didn’t work out hard enough. Soreness is just the body’s response to working out.

Muscle soreness is caused mostly by working to a point where the muscles become fatigued. When this fatigue occurs the muscles sort of lock up. You may not notice it, they don’t lock like say a car engine siezing up, but the muscles are locking up to a point inside each muscle cell. When this lockup occurs they break down a bit. This sounds like something that would not be good, but it is in fact part of the remodeling process which causes muscles to get bigger, stronger and more toned (although I dislike that phrase, more on that another day).

This lockup and the damage it causes leads to a series of events that triggers internal muscle swelling and irritating chemical messengers being drawn to the area. This causes the nerves to become irritated and sensitive and thus you feel pain and soreness. Again this isn’t bad, just a part of life.

One key difference between injury and soreness is if you feel the pain on both sides of the body. Rarely if ever will you feel the same pain on both sides of the body if it is an injury. So if both legs hurt in the same place , it’s your muscles.

Stretching before a workout, during, or after will do zero to decrease soreness the next day, or two. Nothing. Nada. Stretching is important and does help prevent injuries, but if anything could make you more sore the days after a workout, not less.

And the lactic acid, or burn you get from the workout is not related to the soreness. It is usually felt when you are close to fatigue, but has no direct relation to the soreness the next day.

Wanna learn more about personal training and how to achieve your fitness goals? Stop by one of our personal training studios in Philadelphia or write us to set up three free training sessions with us!

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