How Do You Reduce DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)?

How Do You Reduce DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)?

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, often referred to as DOMS, describes the soreness and pain experienced in muscles after you complete a difficult workout. What causes DOMS isn't a build up of lactic acid which accumulates during your training session as commonly though, but actually the micro tears in one's muscle fibres that occur during training. Various types of training can cause micro tears, including running, plyometrics and weight training; all of which place muslces under tension or stress for a certain period of time. 

When it comes to weight training, micro tears in muscles fibres  usually occur during the lengthening or eccentric phase of an exercise, such as lowering the weight during a Bicep Curl or Bench Press. This may come as a surprise, but it is indeed during this phase of the movement whereby the most muscle damage occurs! As a result, for those seeking hypertrophy and to increase their muscle mass, the eccentric phase should not be sufficient ignored, to maximise your growth potential! To learn more about Eccentric Training, and how to add it into your own training, click HERE!  

DOMS are typically experienced between 24 and 72 hours after a workout has been completed, and last between 1 and 3 days on average, with up to 7 days being reported in extreme cases; after leg day of course!

So how do we get rid of DOMS? We all feel a sense of achievement the next day after we've trained when we can barely get out of bed due to the muscle pain, as it indicates we've successfully stimulated and torn desired muscle fibres. However, nobody wants to endure that pain for long, particularly if it will effect the quality of future workouts! So give the following tips a try after your next challenging workout, in order to speed up that recovery process and mitigate muscular soreness to get back in the gym sooner!


1. Supplementation

• BCAAs - BCAAs are a combination of three key amino acids, including Leucine, Valine & Isoleucine. These Branch Chain Amino Acids in a 2:1:1 ratio have been shown to be optimal for muscle growth and recovery post workout. We recommend MTS Machine Fuel or Core ABC 

Whey Protein - Whey Protein is a fast digesting protein source that can be used to increase your daily protein intake and speed up muscle recovery, whilst also providing various performance and health-related benefits. A post-workout Whey Protein shake is the perfect way to kickstart recovery process and reduce muscle pain than would otherwise ensue. To learn more about Whey Protein, click HERE! We recommend MTS Machine Whey or Core Nutritionals Core ISO.

• Sleep Supplements - These products are designed to enhance the quality of your sleep, which maximises your body's ability to recover. During the final stage of sleep, referred to as REM (Rapid Eye Movement), the body is at complete rest which is vital for natural growth hormone production, PARAMOUNT to recovery and growth. We recommend Optimum Nutrition ZMA & Core Nutritionals ZZZ.


2. Foam Roll & Stretching

  • Foam Rolling

Foam Rolling is a great way of releasing tight muscle fibres that are bound up by Fascia, which cover our muscles. Foam Rolling can be used as a form of self-massage, and by targeting recently worked muscles, it will reduce the lactic acid build up to make allow for greater blood flow and circulation. Greater blood flow will transport key nutrients into the muscle to allow fibres to repair themselves to become bigger and stronger.  Another benefit of Foam Rolling is the ability to 'break up' muscle adhesions or knots. Upon releasing these knots, you'll notice less soreness and a greater range of motion and flexibility. 

  • Stretching

Stretching is an effective way to promote recovery and reduce soreness, by lengthening tight muscles and promoting increased blood flow to the area. Therefore, a higher delivery of nutrients transported by the blood will speed up recovery while you will notice an increased range of motion and greater flexibility, sooner than you typically would after your workouts. Stretching is more effective once foam rolling has been performed, due to the initial release of muscle fibres.

Both of these methods combined, performed as part of your post-workout routine is an incredibly effective way to decrease and reduce the amount of time that DOMS hang around for, and to prevent the incidence of future injury.

3. Hot/Cold Shower Therapy

This final method may not be the most pleasant, but it's worth a try! Using hot water in the shower will open up your blood vessels and relax your muscles to improve blood flow, whilst cold water does exactly the opposite and flushes the blood out of the muscles. When doing this, aim for 1 minute using hot water followed by 1 minute of cold. Repeat 3-5 times. This combination is highly effective at enhancing blood flow to the worked muscles and eliminating toxins and waste.


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