Soreness is a little bit of a polarizing topic in the fitness industry. Is soreness good or bad? How much soreness should I feel and where should I feel it? Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a common response to exercise training especially when starting (or restarting) an exercise program. Some research tells us that there actually is very little correlation to quality of work and degree of DOMS. However, the soreness can at least let us know which muscles were working after exercise. Some muscle groups are more prone to DOMS such as hamstrings, triceps and shoulders.
So why does DOMS happen? First, lets break the myth that DOMS is the result of lactic acid build up. Lactic acid builds up during exercise; it’s the “burn” we feel during a lot of repetitions. But lactic acid is remediated by blood flow rather quickly. Rather, DOMS is the result of small “tears” in the muscle fibers that then require repair. When our muscles repair themselves, they grow back stronger. DOMS is a normal part of the growth process for muscle. One way to decrease DOMS is to get moving! Increased blood flow is the key to healing. When we move, we increase blood flow and potentially decrease DOMS or the amount of time DOMS hangs around.
So when is soreness bad? What we want to avoid is soreness in a joint rather than a muscle. For example, if the soreness is in your knee rather than your hamstring or quad, it is a sign of something wrong. That could be from several things like poor technique or form, movement compensations, or injury.
If you have questions about good and bad soreness and pain, don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. And as always, Keep Moving!
by Brian Irk, IndyFit
720 S. Rangeline Road
The IndyFit method incorporates stretch, strength, and manual soft tissue work to achieve the best results. The trainers are qualified to help ease your aches and pains with rehabilitative touch as well as offer personal training to help you to achieve your fitness goals. IndyFit operates out of the Clubhouse of the Residences of Carmel City Center.