Lactic acid….what a B**ch! No but seriously, sore muscles is one of the most uncomfortable feelings ever. The worst is when its hard to sit on the toilet, or hurts to sneeze.
Muscle soreness or DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) as the gym geeks call it, is the result in using muscles that haven’t been worked very much before. A lot of people think that they have only had a good workout when they can feel it in their muscles the next day. Total rubbish. You can still smash a fantastic workout and not have the soreness. Like I said, the pain comes from the fact that maybe you haven’t worked out that particular muscle in a while, nothing to do with how hard you have worked.
Anyway, I’m here to help you recover from stiff and sore muscles. There is no miracle cure but there are a few steps to take the edge off and enable you to sit down without looking like your constipated.
- Always, always, ALWAYS stretch. I understand for a lot of people you don’t have much time in the gym as is so stretching is the least of your priorities. Well make it a priority. You could even incorporate stretching into certain exercises and get a 2 for 1 kind of deal. For example, a lateral lunch using a kettle bell counts as an inner thigh stretch. Even if its just 3 mins at the end of the session, stretch your hamstrings, back and glutes and it will really help the next day.
- Keeping Hydrated / Recovery fuel – Keeping hydrated means that your less likely to get as stiff. Flush that lactic acid OUT. Also its a really good idea to fuel your muscles after a workout. Have a balanced meal with carbohydrates, fat and protein to help your muscles repair. For convenience you could have a protein shake but I prefer to cook up a tasty plate of goodness if I have the time.
3. Epsom salts / magnesium salts – Okay so if you haven’t done the two steps above and you find yourself at the height of pain and theres no going back, use salts in your bath. Pour a good amount into your bath and soak your muscles in it for at least 10 mins. Yes you will have to deal with wrinkly hands but will seriously relive those screaming muscles
4. Turmeric – The golden superfood that we all know is seriously good for us. The most beneficial property of turmeric is that it is anti-inflammatory so helps to simmer down your inflamed glutes after a heavy butt session. I love to use fresh turmeric as it is much more potent but dried will still help.
5. Keep moving – I know, I know. When the only way you can walk down the street is resembling a penguin you want to avoid the embarrassment all together. However, the way to remove lactic acid quickly is to get your circulation going, at a pace. Get heat through your body and get the blood pumping around. If you really cant hack it steam room or sauna may help.
6. Tiger Balm – If your in desperate need of instant relief I swear by Tiger Balm. This organic balm heats up the muscle and skin where you apply it and cause almost a numbing affect. Don’t worry, its made out of herbs and spices so completely natural and safe and is probably one of the best feelings for your muscles.
So I hope at least one of these helps you out next time you feel the wrath of the gym and can hardly get up the stairs!