Soreness and tightness after workout

You don’t always need to feel tight and sore after a workout to know you’ve had a good session. When you’re consistently working out, it’s actually pretty rare for you to feel super sore and tight after. That being said, it can happen. For fitness newbies, it can happen a lot more frequently too. In fact, chances are, you’ll feel so sore that you can barely move your arms or legs sometimes — I’ve definitely felt BROKEN after a workout before… anyone else? 

Serious soreness after a work out, the kind where you can’t bend or straighten a body part properly, is called ‘DOMS’. This stands for ‘delayed onset muscle soreness’. Keep reading for tips to help you to loosen up and stop feeling so tight, as well as hopefully prevent DOMS for the future. 

Don’t Workout That Body Part Again Until The Feeling Subsides
If you’re really sore, you shouldn’t really work out again until the feeling has subsided. If you worked out your legs and now you’re struggling to sit down, it would be silly to work them out while they still feel that way. You will do more damage in the long run if you don’t wait for your muscles to heal!

If you must work out, you can work out an opposite body part (arms if your legs are sore and vice versa), or you could do something really gentle to try and help, like a walk, yoga, or even a swim. Make sure you’re sensible about it, and don’t worry that having a little time off will undo any progress. We need rest to make progress too!

Stretch It Out
Stretching the affected area is a good idea. If you fail to stretch, you can easily lose mobility and range of movement. Working on your flexibility is just as important as working out hard! You could try some of the best hip flexor exercises if your legs/glutes are sore, or practice some range of movement exercises with an exercise band if your arms are hurting you. There are lots of options. In general, there are many yoga poses out there that are perfect for loosening up the muscle.

By stretching immediately after a workout, you can usually prevent some soreness. Try to remember to do this once you’ve finished!

Take A Hot Salt Bath
A hot salt bath will not only do wonders for your body, but your mind too. There are bath salts out there designed to help release tension in muscles, soothe skin, and even promote sleep. Make sure you choose yours accordingly! Having the bath pretty hot will help to relax your muscles, in the same way a hot water bottle would. Try to stay in the bath for at least 20 minutes to feel the full effects.

If you don’t have a bath at home, you could use a hot water bottle or some muscle rub to warm the muscle and help it to feel better.

Try Foam Rolling
Buying your own foam roller if you’re a gym enthusiast is always a good idea. It’s a little bit like having a massage therapist at home. It isn’t always the most comfortable thing to do, but it will help to roll out those knots and improve any tension you’re feeling. The fancy name for this is ‘myofascial release’ and many professionals recommend it even if you’re not that sore. It simply helps to keep muscles supple and healthy!

Get A Massage
If you have a little cash to spare, going for a massage could make you feel better immediately after your appointment. There are regular massages that could help, but you could also have a sports massage if you think you can handle the pressure! If you’re a keen sports enthusiast, getting a sports massage may not be comfortable, but it’ll help you keep that tension at bay and improve your flexibility.

Drink BCAAs
BCAAs are ‘branch chain amino acids’. Drinking these before, during, and after your workout is said to help muscle soreness substantially! Some people claim that they can’t tell a difference, while others will not work out without it. You can buy them fairly cheaply, so they could be worth a shot if you’re suffering with tight muscles.

You can get branch chain amino acids from foods, mainly proteins such as meat, however, for those who do not eat meat, it could be even more important to make sure you drink these while you workout. You can get different flavors and some of them are amazing, so do your research on brands and see what you find! Many claim they even give a little boost of extra energy, so they’re definitely worth a shot.

Get Plenty Of Quality Sleep
Finally, you must make sure you get plenty of sleep. The different stages of sleep are all good for different purposes, including repairing and helping to rebuild the body. A lot of the work you put in during the day is enhanced while you sleep. If you’re not getting quality sleep, or a good amount of sleep, you could feel worse and your results could be affected substantially. Try to get between 7-9 hours a night, and avoid having things in your sleeping space that can distract you. Keeping it as dark as possible and staying away from technology before bed should help. 

By getting into a good routine with your sleep, including going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, you’ll find getting quality sleep a breeze.

If you’re feeling tight after a workout, give the above tips a try. It’s also a good idea to make sure you’re eating healthily and drinking lots of water so you’re keeping yourself hydrated. You could also try taking multivitamins to ensure you’re as healthy as possible. Do you have any tips that you feel help you after a heavy workout? Tell me in the comments below!

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