At the start of a new exercise routine you’ll be asking your muscles to work a little harder than they might be used to and there is a chance that you’ll experience Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).
This is quite common especially if you haven’t exercised a certain muscle in a while. The reason it’s called ‘Delayed’ Onset Muscle Soreness is because you don’t actually feel the full extent of the soreness until around 48 hours after performing the exercise.
You may feel a little sore the next day, but it’s not until the following day that DOMS really kicks in.
The soreness won’t be present at rest, but as soon as you ask the muscle in question to perform a movement you will quickly know about it.
It’s important to note that this isn’t an injury and doesn’t require medical assistance – the only thing you can do is let the soreness subside in its own time which could be up to 7 days.
It’s also important to remember this isn’t a reason to stop your exercise routine – it just means that you need to manage your intensity and not push too hard while your muscles are recovering.
How to Prevent DOMS
The best way to prevent DOMS is to ease yourself into a new exercise routine and let your muscles get used to new movements before putting them under too much strain.
After a couple of weeks your muscles will be ready to increase the level of intensity and they will be able perform more effectively without giving you delayed soreness.
By spending at least 5 minutes warming your body up before starting each exercise circuit and a further 5 minutes warming down and stretching post workout will also greatly reduce DOMS.
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