How do sore muscles arise?
“Muscle pain” is the term for muscle pain caused by many small injuries and tears in our muscles (muscle fibers), specifically: small tears and tears in certain parts of the muscle fibrils, the sarcomeres. In order to heal these injuries and inflammations, our body activates the immune system of the muscle and there can be an inflammatory reaction, which we then feel as pain or rather muscle soreness after training (loading). Most often, this reaction occurs a day or two after exercise. These factors cause muscle pain and injury to the muscles (muscle fibers):
- Unusual physical activity or training after a long break
- New movements, not yet perfectly mastered or unknown
- Particularly strong and unusual loads on certain muscle groups and muscles
- Negative (eccentric) muscle movements, for example during exercise
- Maybe a lack of minerals and vitamins
Sore muscles: how long does it last?
First of all, it’s all clear: sore muscles aren’t bad, small tears in the muscle fibers and tears in the muscle heal. However, muscle soreness is not a sign of a particularly good or effective workout. On the contrary, pain in the muscle indicates that you have not properly prepared your body and muscles for training (training), that you have used the muscles in an unusual or unusual way, or even that you have overloaded them without lean forward. In addition, the following factors influence whether we have sore muscles or not:
- Personal training level
- Training intensity and duration
- Muscle group trained
- Exercise performed
- Adherence to a subsequent training break as a healing process
Most of the time, you will notice the next day that your muscles are sore. In addition, the body and the region being trained (muscles) are often heavy, exhausted and stiff. Depending on the severity of muscle soreness after exercise, inflammation of muscle fibers can last anywhere from a day to a week.
Sore muscles: how to prevent them?
Basically, it can be said that people who exercise regularly have less muscle soreness than those who are new to exercise or those who exercise only occasionally. The more often you train, the more accustomed your body is to training and the muscles can easily withstand the strain.
But this also applies to experienced athletes: new or poorly performed exercises can cause muscle soreness. Therefore, muscle tears should be well avoided. In any case, you should consider the following when training:
- Warm up: Start your routine with a short warm-up session. You can warm up, use the spinning bike or do the stepper. The warm-up should last five to ten minutes.
- Dynamic stretches: Instead of stretching your muscles intensively and statically, you should prepare them for training with some dynamic movements.
- Slowly increase: If you work out with weights, train with bodyweight only or a lighter model to avoid this. Then you can improve.
- Concentration: Make sure you perform all exercises cleanly and with concentration. This way you can avoid the risk of injury and also sore muscles (torn muscles).
Here are the 5 best tips against muscle pain
Sometimes, however, despite warming up and performing well, you can have sore muscles. Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula that will make tension go away right away, but there are a few tricks that can help your body regenerate. Very important: You cannot “train” a sore muscle. If you continue to train the same area the next day despite the pain, you will make the pain worse and delay muscle recovery. Here are some tips to help your muscles recover.
1. Take a break
The best way to combat muscle soreness is to give stressed muscles a break. They can only regenerate quickly if they are not subjected to extra and extra stress. If you still want to exercise, you need to make sure you don’t train the sore muscle area and focus on other muscle groups instead.
2. Gentle massage
If you wish, you can also gently rub (!) the stressed muscle area with a cooling or painkiller ointment. Special sports ointments that stimulate blood circulation are suitable for sore muscles, or arnica ointments have a relaxing and anti-inflammatory effect on pain. You should refrain from strong or harsh massages, as they put a lot of strain on the fibers and can thus impede the regeneration process.
A relaxed visit to the sauna with lots of sweating can also promote regeneration and healing processes through increased blood circulation. However, saunas the day after training have not been scientifically proven to help with muscle soreness – however, pain relief and additional relaxation for the whole body are guaranteed.
4. Drink a lot
During, before and after training, our body (and therefore our muscles) want to be sufficiently hydrated in order to perform well. If you wish, you can also use water enriched for sore muscles or muscle inflammation, for example with a high proportion of essential amino acids (EAAs), in particular leucine, which helps stimulate protein synthesis muscles and the regeneration of tears in the muscles.
5. absorb nutrients
Surely you already know that a balanced and nutritious diet is necessary for sports success and a healthy body. If your muscles hurt, the following foods in particular can help:
- groats (replenish glycogen stores)
- nuts (provide healthy fats)
- Salmon (provides important omega-3 fatty acids and protein)
- Bay (Antioxidants have an anti-inflammatory effect)
- tomatoes (replenish potassium stores)
- Green tea (the polyphenols contained have an anti-inflammatory effect)
- Tea made with ginger and turmeric (Ginger can reduce muscle pain and turmeric relaxes muscles)
Sore muscles: can you still train?
Although the muscles burn and ache, many do not want to give up on their planned sports unit or simply feel like and are motivated to do another workout. But before you get back on the mat, on the fitness machine or in the gym despite muscle pain, you should think carefully about the intensity and especially the area in which you train the day after exercise. which caused muscle pain.
When your thigh and butt muscles are burning you shouldn’t schedule another leg day right away. However, nothing stands in the way of an upper body workout. If sore muscles hurt in multiple parts of the body, consider: Can I do my exercises and workouts cleanly and without pain? If the answer is no, you definitely need to take a break. Your body will thank you with a full performance next workout.
Sore muscles are not dangerous and meet high-level beginner and experienced athletes. But the following applies to both: the sore muscle area needs a break to fully regenerate – and you should give it that too.
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Sources used: apotheken-umschau.de, rockanutrition.de