Should you exercise with sore muscles? Big training plans and already after the first session the muscles are sore and destroy the plan? What to do?
Train or take a break with sore muscles? In this article, you will find out what you have to do if you have sore muscles in order to achieve training success and not damage your muscles.
What Are Sore Muscles?
Muscle soreness is the typical muscle pain that usually occurs one to two days after a very intense or unusual strain on the muscle.
This is harmless in most cases and is healed by the body on its own.
With regard to the development of the typical pain caused by sore muscles, not all aspects have been clearly clarified.
Many factors seem to play a role. So it is relevant what kind of training is performed.
For example, primarily eccentric training creates more muscle damage than concentric training.
But also the training experience or duration, how long ago the last training was, seem to have an influence on the sore muscles.
Among other things, examinations under the electron microscope have shown quite clearly that small tears occur in the muscles, so-called microtraumas.
This is associated with swelling and inflammatory reactions could also be detected.
In addition to stabbing pain, other symptoms include stiffness, weakness, and tenderness.
It is not uncommon for the symptoms of sore muscles to be barely noticeable when at rest, but to cause pain when stretching and moving.
Typically, muscle soreness begins within eight hours and peaks at around 48 hours. But that too is individual and depends on a number of factors.
Training With Sore Muscles?
Although you probably don’t want to hear this, when you’re feeling sore you should give your damaged muscle a rest.
Through training, you set a stimulus that signals to your muscles that they should get stronger and grow.
However, this process only occurs in the phase after the stimulus has been set, i.e. during regeneration.
If you now have sore muscles the pain shows you that your body is still regenerating.
As long as this process is not completed, setting a new stimulus is useless. On the contrary, you would damage your already injured muscle again.
In the worst case, you will injure yourself and be forced to take a break from training for several weeks.
Nevertheless, you can train with sore muscles! Training despite sore muscles is possible if you pay attention to a few points.
The decision of whether you can train or not should depend on how severe your muscle soreness is.
A really sharp, intense pain with every movement is a clear sign of a break in training.
However, if you only feel a minimal symptom with a very specific movement, it usually regulates itself during training.
Nevertheless, you should be careful in this case and carry out a sensible warm-up program beforehand.
Unfortunately, the myth that sore muscles can be trained away is not true. So whether you should train with sore muscles depends on the intensity of the sore muscles.
Pay Attention To Muscle Groups
Sore muscles in your arm don’t force you to rest in bed! Only the affected region should be spared.
If a muscle is hungover and it is not primarily used in the upcoming workout, you can usually carry out your routine without any problems.
In case your legs are sore, you can train your upper body. If your triceps are sore, you can train the biceps and pull exercises… Depending on what your training plan allows for.
Light exercise can even help by stimulating blood circulation and thus positively influencing regeneration.
Training with sore muscles is therefore possible if you choose the right training!
What Can You Do To Prevent Sore Muscles?
Those who exercise regularly will suffer less from sore muscles. This makes exercise the best way to prevent muscle soreness.
Nevertheless, this can occur after new movements or a too intense load.
Warm-Up & Cool-Down
To prevent sore muscles, you should start your training with a suitable warm-up.
In this way, you prepare the corresponding muscle groups for the upcoming exertion and at the same time prevent injuries.
Beginners in particular should slowly increase the training intensity and training duration.
This allows the muscle to build up slowly without being overloaded. You should end your training session with a slight cool-down.
Diet can also have a positive effect on preventing muscle soreness because a balanced diet provides the body with nutrients and trace elements that help with regeneration.
Studies indicate that spices like turmeric have a positive impact. However, the assumption that antioxidants have a positive effect could not be proven.
In addition to nutrition, you should provide your body with sufficient fluids both before and after training.
Once you get the nutrients from your diet, they need to get to the muscle.
The body takes care of this on its own, but you can give it some support by creating more blood flow through slight movement.
As a result, the injured areas are better cared for and can regenerate quickly. Easy walks, a relaxed ride on the bike or the like can work wonders.
What Helps With Sore Muscles?
What your training plan should look like after a long break depends on various factors. Why did you pause? How is your fitness level after your break?
Did you move despite the break in training? How did you eat during your training break? How long was your break?
Tip 1: Rest
Do not strain the affected muscles to allow them to recover. Further stresses in the respective region prevent regeneration.
Tip 2: Heat
Heat seems to have a positive effect on the recovery from sore muscles. Warmth also promotes well-being, which in turn can have an effect on the perception of pain.
A hot bath, sauna, or hot-water bottles on the evening of intensive training or already with acute muscle soreness promote regeneration and have a pain-relieving effect.
Tip 3: Sleep
If something in the organism has been “destroyed”, it has to be regenerated.
Here you can actively support your body. Sleep probably has the greatest influence on regeneration.
It is scientifically possible to determine, above all, poorer recovery due to too little sleep. So make sure you get about eight hours of sleep a day.
Tip 4: Diet
A balanced diet provides you with sufficient vitamins and minerals that the body needs for regeneration in order to heal sore muscles.
Studies show that curcumin the active ingredient in turmeric has a positive effect on regeneration and thus muscle soreness.
So you can increasingly use turmeric as a spice or even try curcumin as a dietary supplement, although you should be careful here with regard to usability.
Tip 5: Moderate Exercise
Light exercise, such as going for a walk or a leisurely lap on the bike, doesn’t put a lot of strain on the body, but it does encourage blood flow.
As a result, the injured areas are better cared for and can regenerate quickly. At the same time, exercise helps against stiff muscles.
In conclusion, it can be said that the best prevention of muscle soreness is a sore muscle that has already healed because the muscle is then more resilient than before.