As you know, when you have a great workout, you can expect to feel sore after. This is because you are experiencing microscopic tears within the muscle tissue. This is actually a good thing though, because it shows that you are making progress. No pain, no gain, right? Not to mention, it serves as a good reminder for you not to over-train, so that your body has adequate rest time to heal itself.
That said, there are things you can do pre- and post- workout to ease the pain and lessen your recovery time.
Ways to Prevent Sore Muscles & Injury:
People often want to rush directly into their workout because they may not have the extra time to stretch – or maybe they just don’t have the patience. That said, it really can’t be emphasized enough how important it is to do a variety of stretches before your routine or class begins. You can do a mix of dynamic stretches (ones that involve movement) and static stretches (ones that you hold). Even if you are just doing weight training, it is still very important to incorporate some form of warm-up to reduce your risk of pulling a ligament, tendon, or muscle.
Examples of dynamic stretches: lunges, knee to chest movements, high kicks, push-ups
Examples of static stretches: arm & shoulder stretches, trunk rotations, hamstring stretches, quadricep stretches
It is important to stay hydrated at all times, but it is especially important before and during your workout. This will prevent cramping and help to decrease inflammation, as well as sore muscles after you are done exercising. Water is the number one choice, but if you will be sweating excessively, it is a good idea to replace your electrolytes too. You can find various electrolyte products at your health store or drugstore. Choose the lowest calorie option, so that it doesn’t work against your workout.
Use Good Form
Always be aware of your posture when doing exercises and lifting weights. Know that it’s better to lift less and lift correctly, than lift more incorrectly and risk injuring yourself. Hiring a personal trainer, even just for a few sessions, can be a great idea to set you off on the right track so that you can workout with confidence.
Be sure to also read our post on How to Help Your Muscles Recover After a Workout