Tough workout? The hours and even days after vigorous exercise can be painful, as your muscles tighten and heal from the strain of an intense workout. Sore muscles can make it hard to walk or perform other basic tasks, which can be a serious detriment to your day. Luckily, there are some tricks to reduce muscle soreness and speed up recovery after a big workout. Learn how to get rid of muscle soreness after your workout so that you can get back to the gym sooner!
You should have stretched before and immediately after your workout to prevent injury and prepare your muscles. If you’re still sore hours or days later, however, you need to stretch those muscles out to help them relax and unwind.
Many athletes of all skill levels use a roller of some sort to help stretch their muscles both before and after a workout. Rolling out muscles is actually a better way to relieve pain and deeply stretch specific areas in need of relief. There are various sizes and types of rollers, from foam rollers to harder plastic rollers. Rolling or stretching your muscles is vital for their recovery.
You shouldn’t dive back into another intense workout, but light exercise is good for further stretching your muscles and helping to circulate blood so that they can heal. Even just going for a walk can help.
Try doing a different form of light exercise to work the muscles in different ways. If you’re sore from a long bike ride, try a light jog or another different form of exercise. You don’t want to put too much pressure on the sore muscles, so try to use them in a way that doesn’t go against the sore area.
Apply Ice or Heat
Icing or heating muscles can help them heal. Ice decreases inflammation and helps relieve pain. Many serious athletes even take an ice bath shortly after a workout. Heat, on the other hand, helps to stimulate blood flow and loosen up muscles.
Both ice and heat can speed up your recovery time. One study showed that using both ice and heat could prevent elastic tissue damage. Alternate between icing and heating your muscles to improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain and tightness. Experts recommend 20 minutes of ice followed by 20 minutes of heat.
Tape Your Muscles
Taping your muscles can help to relieve pain, and while there are different types of athletic tape, the idea is the same for each. When you tape muscles, the tape is meant to help support your muscles and help relieve inflammation. Tape also reminds athletes when they’re straining too hard, as you can feel the tape bending more or pulling away. This improves your awareness of your body and its limits during recovery.
Kinesiology tape specifically was made to lift the skin microscopically away from muscles to allow for better circulation and reduced inflammation under the skin. This type of athletic tape is worn by athletes of varying skill levels, and can speed up your healing process.
Soak Your Muscles
Similar to heating with a heating pad, soaking your muscles in warm water can also be extremely helpful in getting rid of muscle soreness. The warmth will relax your muscles and improve blood flow, helping to loosen you up and get more white blood cells to the sore areas.
Depending on what muscles are bothering you, it may be easier to take a warm bath. A bath is relaxing for your whole body, so this is a great way to unwind and reduce muscle soreness and stiffness. As we mentioned before, an ice bath is also effective in reducing inflammation and relieving pain, even if only temporarily. Ice baths can be a bit difficult because of the cold, but both an ice bath and a warm bath can work wonders, so choose what works best for you.
For extra relief, add epsom salt to your soak or bath. Epsom salts are primarily made of magnesium, which is an element known for functioning as a muscle relaxant and muscle health in general.
It’s vital that you give your body the room it needs to recover. While you may not think basic care will relieve that one specific muscle, your body needs to be in top shape to get better. Drink plenty of fluids and always stay hydrated to relieve soreness – muscles need to be hydrated or they will stiffen up.
Getting a good night’s sleep can make a major difference in various health aspects, and muscle soreness is no different. The body recovers during sleep, so get some rest to recover. Eat a healthy, balanced diet to improve muscle health and speed up recovery time as well. Taking care of your body, in general, will help it heal faster.
Try these tips to get rid of muscle soreness! You can also research the best foods to relieve muscle soreness to give your body the nutrients it needs. Relieving sore muscles will take some time, but by taking good care of your overall health you are sure to make a full recovery.