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Soreness – is it good and what does it mean?

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When you either begin working out for the first time, after some time off, or even do a new workout program you should be feeling sore for the first 1-2 weeks.  This is what you actually want to feel – SORE!  Now there is a huge different between being sore and hurt so let’s get that off the table at the start.

If you injure yourself there most likely will be a sharp pain which is quite different than being sore. Pain is your guide for soft tissue injuries. Basically, as long as you can train pain-free you’ve got a green light to workout. As soon as an injury starts to hurt, even in the slightest, further engagement will likely make the situation worse. If you don’t know the difference between good pain (muscle soreness/cardiovascular toil) and bad pain (injury), please consult your doctor. It will make your fitness journey so much easier.

So you are not injured but you are feeling aches and soreness in areas you may never have before.  This actually means your workouts are working.  If you workout hard and do no feel any soreness, then you either are not pushing yourself hard enough or your body has adapted to the workouts.  Beachbody programs are built to make sure it is not the workout program that is the issue as they are developed to continue to challenge your body (and your mind).

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Feeling sore is common and what you want.  After a leg workout, the next day you actually want to feel it in your legs which may mean you will have some difficulty in walking, sitting or especially walking up/down stairs.  Again this does not mean sharp pain but general soreness where your muscles feel the workout from the previous day.  A technical term for this is called Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness, also known as DOMS.  This is where your muscles are recovering from the great efforts you have put into your workout.

Now, this won’t last for weeks on end as your body will begin to recover faster and get used to the workouts as your muscles strengthen and grow.  There are a number of ways to reduce this from occurring, which include:

  1. Stretching/warn-up/cool-downs – always do the warm up and cool down part of the Beachbody workouts as they are there for reasons.  Stretching is part of this as well so never skip them!
  2. Eating – proper timing of what you eat and when is critical.
  3. Ice – if needed you can ice down your sore muscles immediately after a tough workout.
  4. Massage or foam rolling – this helps your connective tissue to recover
  5. Heat – you can add heat to your sore muscles but not right after a workout.
  6. Keep moving – don’t sit and do nothing and do NOT miss your next workout

You can read more details of these techniques above in this great article on Beachbody.  http://www.teambeachbody.com/about/newsletters/-/nli/268#212891163

So enjoy this part of your fitness journey as it is a key indicator that it is working for you!

—Coach Mike

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