Stiff muscles. On one hand you like them, on the other hand they kinda suck. You do get the feeling that you've had a really intense workout, but to feel pain for days on end is not good either.
What are stiff muscles anyways and how do you get them? The pain that you feel when you have sore muscles is just a sign, that happens, when inadequately trained muscles have been worked harder than they’re used to, or in a different way, causing microscopic damage to the muscle fibers. Water slowly fills the damaged muscle fibers, causing them to swell, which is what causes us some pain.
Technically a certain strain on our muscles isn't that bad, because thats how we get our muscles to grow. When you strain your muscles a bit tooooo much however, you get sore muscles - and thats not necessary because apart from pain it doesn't do us any good. So often tim it's a really fine line.
TIPS FOR PREVENTION:
1. WARM UP: I usually take the time to warm up before a workout because when the body temperature is increased the muscle and connective tissue thickness is reduced, allowing for a higher resistance of muscle tissue to tearing and increased muscle elasticity.
2. STRETCHING: This is sooooo important! Stretching allows your body to cool down, lets your heart rate return to normal and increases blood circulation in the muscles. It stops the release of lactic acid, which is produced during an intense workout, allowing your muscles to recover and repair themselves.
3. SLOWLY INCREASE WEIGHTS: Give your body enough time during your weight training to get used to the weights. So don't start with maximum weight, but increase the weight one time until you reach your desired weight. This also belongs to your warm up :)
4. DRINK: Water is such an allrounder. It makes your skin glow, flushes out waste and bacteria, helps prevent cancer, helps us be less cranky, prevents headaches, feeds your body and nourishes your muscles! That last point causes your muscles to be provided oxygen. Drinking a lot of water isn't easy, but if you always have a water bottle with you then you tend to drink more and can keep track of how much you have been drinking throughout the day and how much you still need to drink. 2 Liters of water a day are a must.
If it's too late for prevention or if you still got stiff muscles even after doing all of those, then here are some tips for getting rid of them, or at least making them more manageable.
TIPS FOR REGENERATION :
1. FOAM ROLLING: Rolling out your muscles with a foam roller increases blood flow to muscles, which helps in decreasing inflammation and prevents muscle imbalances from forming. Even though its not really a comfortable thing to do, the benefits are worth it!
2. MASSAGES: Who doesn't love massages? Like foam rolling, massages helps break up scar tissue and reduce stiffness associated with muscle repair. You can massage the areas yourself or ask a friend. But sometimes it's also really nice to treat yourself and book an appointment to get a professional massage!
3. ICE: Indirectly applying ice - wrapped in a towel for example - is best for immediate relief because the cool towels help ease the muscles and relieve pain. Through the cold, the muscle tissue becomes a little numb and pain is relieved.
4. HEAT: Next to the famous hot-cold showers, you can also take a really hot bath, light a candle and just relax - this is always great after a really hard workout. A visit to the sauna has a similar effect, your muscles start to relax in the warm air and the pain fades.
5. SLEEP: Absolute favourite solution for everything haha. Everyone that knows me knows that even though I don't get to sleep very much, I still cherish every second of sleep that I have. Which is great because out body regenerates itself at night. Your body undergoes protein synthesis at night, where protein synthesised in your cells. So sleeping at least 8 hours after a tough workout could even give you stronger muscles, better endurance and help speed your sore muscle recovery!
And now a question that you guys ask me a lot:
Can I still work out if I have sore muscles? - Yes, of course! I would take a break from working on the specific areas that hurt though. Just train a different part of your body :)
We all know, that summer bodies are made in the winer, so start now with clean eating and training! With my PAMSTRONG program I won't only tell you about how to prevent sore muscles and my tips and tricks, but aaaaalllll of my workouts and trainings rituals, my recipes and much much more! ♡
Do you guys have any tips and tricks against sore muscles? Tell me in the comments below! xx