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Forum Saradas  |  Female BodyBuilding & Fitness & Figure - Members Area  |  New Member Introduction  |  Best techniques for muscle soreness

Author Topic: Best techniques for muscle soreness  (Read 42 times)

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Best techniques for muscle soreness
« on: January 14, 2021, 10:03:44 pm »

You’ve always been told to stretch and drink water after you exercise to reduce muscle soreness, but do those techniques actually work? Some of the strategies we’ve heard all our lives may not be as effective for delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) as we’ve always thought. Alternatively, new techniques we may not have considered may give us more relief than we realize.

It’s time to take a look at the most up-to-date information about muscle soreness: what works and what doesn’t, according to science.

What actually works

When you have that “hurts so good” feeling, you know you’re making progress in your training. But, you need to know what to do when your muscles are so sore that you can’t lift your hands over your head or sit the next day.

According to research, the most effective ways to soothe muscle soreness include:

• Sleep
• Massage
• Foam rolling
• Cold water immersion
• Cryotherapy
• Compression garments
• Active recovery
• Contrast water therapy (alternating hot and cold water)
• Drinks: black currant extract, tart cherry juice, beetroot juice, branched chain amino acids, taurine, and caffeine
• Vibration therapy

Sleep is by far the best recovery method you can use. Your body needs adequate sleep to repair muscle damage and improve your performance. So if you want to wake up less sore, make sure to get enough sleep above all else.

After sleep, manual massage and foam rolling seem to be the most effective methods for pain relief. They seem to dismantle knots, reduce inflammation, and improve blood flow to worked muscles so you feel less pain in the days after you train.

Along those same lines, active recovery can also make your muscles less sore the next day. Cool down sessions, low intensity exercise, and active stretching allow your muscles to recover with just the right amount of activity for blood flow and waste removal.

Cold water immersion and compression garments also have a significant impact on muscle soreness. You may notice significantly less soreness after wearing compression garments on the body parts you train. Dipping in water below 15 degrees C (59 degrees F) for 11-15 minutes within 6 hours of exercise also makes quite a difference on inflammation and soreness. You don’t even need to get extreme and dip in an ice bath as water above freezing will do.

You can also alternate between warm and cold water for some relief. Because cold water alone and alternating cold and warm water both have positive effects, your choice comes down to personal preference. Warm water alone, however, won’t help much, which we’ll discuss later.

Finally, vibration therapy seems to help with soreness but not muscle fatigue. Unless you already have a vibration device available, you don’t really need to invest. You can do more with what’s already available to you, such as massage, foam rolling, and cold water therapy than vibration, so it's not necessary to run out and buy another bulky machine.

What doesn’t work

Oddly, some of the techniques you’ve always been told to use don’t seem to help all that much, at least as far as current research goes. Studies show the following techniques are ineffective for DOMS:

•  Stretching
•  Hydration
•  Electrostimulation
•  Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
•  Warm water immersion
•  Epsom salts
•  Sauna

That’s not to say these therapies don’t have any benefits. Stretching, for example, increases your flexibility and decreases injury risk, which are important, but it doesn’t really decrease muscle soreness. And hydration--while paramount for almost every process in the body--doesn’t directly help or worsen muscle soreness. You always want to replace water lost during exercise and stay properly hydrated, but not for reasons to do with DOMS.

Similarly, no current evidence suggests that electrostimulation, oxygen therapy, warm water baths, or saunas help with muscle soreness. Your warm epsom salt bath may be relaxing and provide other physical or psychological benefits, but it does nothing for your sore muscles.

Does any of this research surprise you? What are your favorite methods to deal with muscle soreness?


I Saradas 


Forum Saradas  |  Female BodyBuilding & Fitness & Figure - Members Area  |  New Member Introduction  |  Best techniques for muscle soreness

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