Training soreness also known as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is a sign of a great workout session you had the day before. But this leaves your body with crippling pain that makes you want to stay on the bed for days. It sucks because it can limit your body to do even basic day to day tasks. In this article, we’re going to expand the entirety of DOMS and how to prevent it.

What in The World is Training Soreness (DOMS)?

  • DOMS is not just your ordinary muscle pain, it’s a painful reaction that extends to all of your muscles in your entire body. It can make your muscle stiff and achy and this happens approximately 48 hours after you’ve done an intense training or workout session. Some athletes see this as a sign of a good training session because it means more pain more gain for them. When in fact, the less your muscles get sore means being able to get back on the gym sooner and possibly performing better.

What Causes DOMS?

  • So what causes DOMS to happen? The most common culprit of DOMS are as follows:
  • Changed exercise routine: New exercises, drills, and positions
  • Intensive training activity: Heavier, stronger, and faster training sessions
  • Longer training sessions: Hours of training with little to no breaks
  • DOMS can also worsen when certain muscular contraction occurs. Eccentric1 contractions are the worst, which is then followed by static contraction and then finally, concentric contractions which causes the least amount of DOMS. A lot of theories are made of what really causes DOMS but the most viable one is where pain is made due to intensive exercises which causes microscopic damage to the muscles and its connective tissues.

How Can We Prepare Our Body for DOMS?

  • One thing to minimize having DOMS is knowing and understanding the causes behind it. By only doing optimal intensity of exercise sessions without going any further, you’re less likely to experience any pain and stiffness. Doing proper and functional warm ups can also help your muscles and connective tissues to prepare for intensive workouts that you will do later on.
  • When you start doing new exercises, it’s better to start slow at first then gradually increasing its intensity later on. This enables your muscles to be familiar with the movement in the beginning so that it won’t be surprised when you increase its intensity while doing the work later on.
  • You’ll also minimize your chances of getting DOMS by doing post workout cool-down and stretching sessions. Doing so will improve your blood/lymph circulation and restore your muscle strength to enable you to do more. Asking the question “How can I prevent soreness?” is wrong. Why not ask yourself “How can I make recovery and adaptation faster?”. We can never prevent DOMS from happening, but long as you look after your body by eating well and getting proper sleep, your body will probably thank you later.

What to Do Once Your Body is Sore

  • You must understand the relationship between the cause and effect first to balance the two. Is it too painful that prevents you from doing day to day tasks? If that is the case, then rest. Or how about going on a walk in the park, or a short swim at the pool and even doing yoga so that it can help speed up your recovery from DOMS. You can also try getting a body massage on your local spa too. Body massage is great for reducing inflammation in your muscles due to intensive training. It also increases recovery and adaptation to exercise.
  • Although ice baths and cold showers can also reduce inflammation and DOMS, recent studies show that it will block muscle repair and growth so it’s better to stay away from these two.