Healthy Habits,  Science

DOMS – Delayed onset Muscle soreness

So you just finished at the gym and everything is perfect –you feel amped and very impressed with yourself for having such a kick-ass workout. You walk out of the gym like a Boss, only to crawl out of bed the next day or two later –

All normal movement is suspended, you can feel muscles you didn’t know you even had, it’s terrible, really really crazy, but even know it hurts and your walking very awkwardly and wonky, but you wear your pain like a badge, proudly, because you worked hard for it.

I went to the gym on Saturday, We have this silly contract where I’m the tag along – so I can’t go to the gym alone, the main member has to go with – and our main member is my Husband and he works really hard, he’s an Architect and he just does not have time to go the gym lately and if he does, he just wants to rest, which I understand.

But I’m standing in the living room, stomping my feet like a toddler, throwing a tantrum, COZ – I WANT TO GO GYM!!


So the poor man went with me to the gym, I was so worked up and upset for being such a bitch about just going to the gym than I went full out – had the hardest workout in a while. I crushed sit-ups along with hamstring and glute exercises, in order to strengthen my body against any ITBand syndrome…

So we both blew off some steam, and worked out for a hour or two.

I did some cardio, sit-ups and lots of leg and glute exercises. Afterwards I stretched – I have the tightest muscles ever, I have NEVER been able to touch my toes – this December I will be able to, watch me. No visible pain, or muscle stiffness. I went home and just continued with my regular day, we went to a braai afterwards. I got up on Sunday, and was surprised about not being stiff, I went for an 8km run and afterwards I did the exercises in the new Runner’s world magazine on injury protection.

I woke up this morning, sore… I just continued my normal routine, I drive about an hour to work, and when I finally got to work, I could not get out of the car….My legs, it’s insane.


So how should we recover from muscle stiffness, is it ok if it happens and when should we be concerned?

I did some light reading with regards to Muscle stiffness and pain. Muscle pain usually presents itself about 2 days after the initial workout. Most people see it as a good thing – it’s an indication that you had a good work out and that you are improving. The pain will be worth it.


As worth it as it will be in the end, how do we fix it or just ease into it?

There are allot of posts and articles on things you can do to subdue the causes of a good work out. Not everyone experiences the same amount of muscle soreness – or pain, and it doesn’t necessarily mean someone exercised harder than you did, it just means that you have a higher or lower tolerance for muscle stiffness – or pain.

Muscle stiffness and soreness effects all athletes, on all levels, and is not subjective to experience. It will present itself once you have done an exercise or movement that your body is not use to. To avoid severe soreness it is recommended to do new exercises slowly and ease into a new routine, rather than going for it full force.

Sore muscles after physical activity, known as delayed onset muscle soreness. They even have a fany-pancy term for it – DOMS. DOMS shouldn’t last more than five days, it also shouldn’t cause swelling, so be aware to be able to make the differentiation between DOMS and an actual injury.

Some people say if you warm up properly than you won’t get DOMS – I’ve heard this over and over again, since I was in school – the coach use to say you have to warm up to prevent soreness –  There is actually no prove to back that statement, Warming up  can however improve your performance and prevent injuries, but there are no prove to say that stretching will prevent DOMS – either way I stretch after exercise, but more because I have such short muscles and I want to change that.

There are multitude of ways to treat DOMS – none of which have again be proven to work 100%. You can add heat, or ice. Anti-inflammatory drugs and well as muscle relaxants will all treat the symptoms, but not remove in entirely, your body just needs to recover that’s all. But have a look below at some ways that people suggest to prevent DOMS

From Popsugar



I’ve also heard that staying active, and not putting a complete pause on your workouts can help relieve the pain and discomfort. Sitting and keeping still will in turn cause your muscles to stay stiff and cold, and that moving and doing very subtle exercises can help to warm up the muscles. I think it depends on how you feel, but if it hurts allot, rather just rest and give your muscles some rest and time to recover.

Follow my Pinterest board on Recovery for more information and great pins!

Have a look here from on how to Dominate DOMS

They also have a great list of supplements that can be used for Recovery

(Please note that this is my Affiliate link)

So have a lovey day!

And Good luck!

XOXOX – Jani

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