Help – I’m Sore! DOMS Explained For Beginners

You may have just started a new exercise regime or maybe went a little too hard with your workout the other day. But mannnnnn, are you feeling it now! If it’s your quads that are sore, you may be doing the old stiff-legged walk down the stairs. Ouch! This, my #WBKgirls, is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS for short. Read on to learn all about DOMS and what you can do about it! 

What is DOMS?

DOMS is delayed onset muscle soreness that usually takes place around 24-48 hours after a workout. It may be felt as a stiffness in the muscles, heaviness, tender to touch, soreness and sometimes a little bit of swelling.  

Why does it happen?

DOMS is more likely to occur after strenuous exercise, exercises you have not performed before, plyometric movements (jumping exercises), and after long-distance running. The soreness and swelling are caused by microtears in the muscles and an increase in anti-inflammatory hormones, white blood cells and nutrients acting to help repair the muscle. But don’t worry, this isn’t a bad thing. This process helps us to grow our muscles and those sweet, sweet peaches!

What can I do to prevent it?

I know it can be tempting to go super hard and fast when trying out a new workout routine, but doing this can increase the likelihood of experiencing painful DOMS symptoms! When starting a new routine build up your weights slowly and work on perfecting your form at your current weight level. Once you have done that then you can increase your weight, trying 10% or less increments. Not only will this help with reducing DOMS, it will also reduce the risk of injuring yourself. I also recommend drinking enough water while exercising and adding EHPlabs Beyond BCAAs to your water to help reduce the duration and severity of DOMS!Beyond BCAA | Recovery Intra-Workout

How can I ease the pain?

So you’ve slightly overdone it and are feeeeeeling the tenderness of those muscles. Ouch, ouch, ouchhhhh!! Thankfully, there are some strategies you can try to ease the pain. One of my all time favorite ways to ease DOMS is by having a foam rolling session. Foam rolling is a great way to loosen up tight muscles and help you get moving again quicker! Try 20 minutes of foam rolling straight after a big exercise session or next time you’re feeling stiff with DOMS. Foam rolling can hurt so goood, but I promise you’ll be feeling SOO much better after. Another way to ease the pain of DOMS is by moving your body! Try going for a fast-paced walk or jog for 30 minutes.Katya in gym, mirror selfie.

Is DOMS an indicator of an effective workout?

In short, no it’s not! It isn’t necessary to feel DOMS after every single workout for the workout to be effective. Don’t be worried if your muscles aren’t sore after a tough workout, this can be totally normal! You can still see results if you aren’t experiencing DOMS, as long as you are increasing your weights, difficulty or resistance of your training you will still build strength and see results even without DOMS! 

How to know if muscle pain is something more than DOMS?

Even though DOMS can be a normal part of starting an exercise routine. There’s certain tell-tale signs when pain may be something more than DOMS. If you hear a pop, snap, or an exercise is extremely painful while performing it then stop immediately and contact your physiotherapist or healthcare provider. 

#WBKgirls I hope this helps you in understanding DOMS and empowers you to understand your bodies a lil’ more! Let’s get THICC together!!