If you have just started working out, you are probably finding out all about delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
Dealing with muscle soreness is a natural part of exercising regularly, one that you can see as a necessary evil. Unless you are overtraining, muscle soreness is an indicator that your workout was effective and your muscles are going through the process of getting stronger.
While allowing time for recovery is essential, most beginners will experience a normal period of soreness. When this happens, working out while sore is common, and even expected. However, you want to make sure you are not causing damage when you workout while experiencing DOMS.
If you have been dealing with muscle soreness but don’t want to take a day off, this short and simple guide is for you.
Assess Your Soreness
The first step you need to take is to assess your soreness. If you are a little stiff or noticeably sore, you can exercise with a few precautions. If you are very sore and find moving painful, you need to allow your muscles time to recover before working out.
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Drink Plenty of Water
Before working out with sore muscles, make sure you are properly hydrated. If you are dehydrated, your muscle soreness will feel worse and your recovery will be longer. You should also make sure you are hydrating whenever you exercise.
Complete a Warm-up and a Cool-Down
Some muscle soreness occurs because you are not completing a warm-up or a cool-down. This is especially true when you are working out when sore. Warming up and cooling down is also essential for reducing exercise-related injuries.
Avoid Training Your Sore Muscles
One rule of working out with sore muscles is to avoid overtraining. If your lower body is sore, consider working out your upper body. While overtraining may sound like a way to see results faster, it will only result in more soreness and injuries.
Consider a Light Workout
If you are wondering should you exercise when sore, the answer depends on the type of exercise you want to perform. Consider skipping the intense workout and instead, complete a lighter workout. Consider a light cardio workout, swimming, Tai Chi, or something similar.
Focus on Lengthening
If you want to exercise when sore, consider doing a lengthening workout like yoga, Pilates, or barre. These workouts will condition your muscles while stretching them out at the same time. The stretching can help you combat your muscle soreness and speed up your recovery.
Follow These Tips if You Are Working Out While Sore
Working out while sore is possible as long as you take a few precautions.
First, make sure to properly assess your soreness to determine if you need a rest day. You should also drink plenty of water, make sure to warm-up and cool-down, and avoid over-training. Consider completing a light workout or one that focuses on lengthening.
Follow these tips to have a safe and effective workout, even with sore muscles.
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