5 Stretches to Ease Post-Workout Soreness
Are your muscles screaming after a workout? That’s a good sign! When you bump up your routine or try a new exercise, your muscles will commonly be taxed, and that means two things. First, your workout is effective. Second, your muscles will be stronger.
The discomfort you’re feeling is due to the micro-tears or microscopic breakdown in your muscle fibers. This muscle damage then promotes muscle growth and strength. In other words, when those tears in your fibers rebuild, your muscles will be stronger.
While sore muscles mean you’ll see results, the pain you’ll feel is no joke, and you’ll usually have to endure it for around 24-72 hours. The good news is that you don’t have to suck it up or take pills until it dissipates. It only takes stretching to keep the soreness away!
How Does Stretching Beat DOMS?
Stretching is one of the things you need to do to beat your delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) or simply your sore muscles after a workout. It’ll probably be the last thing you’ll like to do. After all, you can’t even move because you’re sore. But it’s totally a game-changer!
Stretching has gentle, restorative movements that can relieve your muscles’ tension or tight feeling and reduce your pain. It can be painful at first, but as soon as your blood flows and your muscles warm up, you’ll feel better.
There are several kinds of stretching, and others might not be effective for you, so find out which best works for you. Do your research and opt for sites like BuzzRx, which shares science-backed advice on fitness, nutrition, and almost everything about your optimal health.
In general, you need to stay hydrated and sleep as well to overcome DOMS. Take vitamins A, B, C, CoQ10, and Omega 3 too, which can aid muscle recovery. For stretching, choose dynamic movements that are done slowly and gently. Here are some of the stretches you should try.
While dynamic stretch exercise is the most basic of them all, it’s very beneficial. It alleviates any stiffness or discomfort associated with a neck strain. It can also stretch your neck muscles and cervical spine, preventing neck pain and injuries.
- Either sit or stand facing forward.
- Rotate your neck clockwise and end where you started.
- Repeat the second step but counterclockwise.
- Repeat this sequence 2–3 times or more.
This unintimidating warm-up exercise isn’t only good for toning your shoulders, triceps, and biceps and relieves the soreness in your arms and upper back muscles. The best part of it is that you can do it pretty much anywhere!
- Dangle your arms straight down.
- Make small circular motions with your arms.
- Draw small circles clockwise, then bigger ones.
- Repeat the third step but counterclockwise.
- Repeat 5-10 times or more.
When you have tight chest muscles, you’re likely to have a hunched posture, which usually causes neck pain. But you can avoid this with a chest stretch. With a foam roller, this position will pull your shoulders back and provide a relieving chest stretch.
- Place the foam roller vertically on the floor.
- Sit on one end of it with knees bent and feet flat.
- Lie back on the foam roller. Make sure it lines up with your spine.
- Place your arms on your sides.
- Stay still for 30 seconds.
Standing Forward Fold
Whether you’re sore in your neck, back, arms, shoulders, hamstrings, or calves, standing forward folds will take care of all of them. However, if this asana seems too much for your hamstrings, keep a bend in your knees. Also, it’s best to clasp your hands behind your back for an added upper-body relaxation.
- Stand up tall with your feet, hips-width apart.
- Bend from the waist and keep your knees straight.
- Either place your palms on the floor or hold the back of your ankles.
- Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds.
If your hips, groin, quads or groin, and hips are sore, slip into a nourishing low lunge. You can stay in this position for as long as you want, but make sure to even it out on both sides of your body for perfect balance.
- Tuck your toes under, press into your hands, and bring your hips up towards the ceiling.
- As you exhale, place your right foot forward between your hands.
- Drop your left knee to the floor.
- Turn your left foot’s top on the floor.
- As you inhale, lift your torso upright.
- Sweep your arms out to the sides and up.
- Stay in a low lunge pose for 30-60 seconds.
- As you exhale, place your hands on the floor, bring your left knee up, take a step back, and go back to the downward-facing dog pose.
- Repeat with the opposite leg.
Be careful of tell-tale signs when pain could be more, even worse, than DOMS. Mild soreness before and after a workout is normal. However, if you hear a snap or pop or feel extreme pain when performing an exercise, stop working out and contact a professional immediately.