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Stiffness After Hard Training


I often feel very stiff the day after a long/hard workout or when i lift weghts. I was wondering if you

get this and if so how do stop it or do you just live with it?



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    tony btony b Posts: 57
    Hi there

    This is normal, and it even has a name - Post Exercise Muscle Soreness (PEMS). Each time you work out, your muscles suffer lots of tiny tears (this is where proteins help after workouts), and the harder you work out, the more sore it is. This will happen if you haven't worked a muscle for a while, or play a new sport. You should be careful (and I've made this mistake a few times) not to put too much stress on muscles that haven't been worked for a while, not just because the soreness isn't particularly pleasant, but because injury can result, although I'm sure you know this. However, if you don't get a bit stiff and sore occasionally (certainly not every single time you work out), you probably won't improve much. I usually know when I'm going to suffer from PEMS after a work out, and generally do plenty of stretching to try to minimise the soreness. Hot baths can help too. Hope this helps
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    tony btony b Posts: 57
    Andy, take a look at the thread here on recovery drinks - someone said they found one that cured their muscle soreness....
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    TesseractTesseract Posts: 280
    Yup, if you push yourself you'll get sore, as tony says.

    There are ways to miminimise it though, the compression clothing available is apparently really good.

    I'll need to disagree with tony about the hot baths though. According to research the best thing is an ice bath as it reduces the swelling caused by the micro-tears. I think Kelly Holmes was a big fan of those. I haven't tried it but reguarly use cold showers and I think they help to a degree. You can also try alternate cold (ice) and hot. The heat helps to improve blood flow, but won't help recovery if the blood can't flow fully due to the swelling.
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    tony btony b Posts: 57
    Yep, agree with you on the hot baths thing - not quite sure why I put that in as I often use cold showers myself. Sorry about that
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    BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    The hands of a good masseur/masseuse...self massage (easy tiger), foam rollers..all speed/assist recovery.
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    dannymackdannymack Posts: 58
    Compression clothing is pretty good. I sleep in mine after a race or long training run (e.g. 15+ miles). Seems to work well.

    Eating protein soon after exercise is also supposed to help. I'm no scientist but I can get that this could help muscles regenerate. I'm not into recovery drinks as I don't like the taste. However, when I come in from a run I usually wash some peanut butter on toast down with a healthy glug of milk and this seems to do the job.
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    legalbeaglelegalbeagle Posts: 208
    I find that a gentle workout the day after always helps - but the gentle bit is important! If I've done a really hard session and have sore legs, just a walk is often enough. It works for me every time. Similarly a really lazy swim (and a sauna if I can get one) is another option.

    As everyone else has said the stretching bit is really important too.
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    treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    I second compression leggings after a proper deep massage
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    BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    I did some research on this. Well.. I asked my friend who is an aneasthetist and understands pain mechanisms better than most of us.

    He said he has seen no convincing evidence that heat or ice would work to alleviate muscle soreness. He is of the opinion that heat would increase blood flow and swelling, ice would decrease blood flow and reduce repair rate.

    However... he did say that the most sensible thing would be to alternate heat and ice. Heat swells the area, ice forces it to reduce. He reckons this would get rid of post-exercies toxins that reduce repair rate, and also encourage muscle repair through varied flow.

    Just repeating what my friend said (Cheers, Sanj!). Your mileage may vary...
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