5 Ways to Reduce Muscle Soreness Instantly

Alleviate that pain in your muscles in an instant.

Find out 5 ways to reduce muscle soreness instantly so that you can get back in the gym to keep pushing towards your fitness goals.

Whether you’re clinging to the railings to ascend a staircase, struggling to raise your arms for simple tasks like brushing your hair, or grappling for support as you lower yourself onto a toilet seat, the culprit is all too familiar—muscle soreness. Despite our attempts to endure and push through the discomfort that follows an intense workout, muscle soreness can significantly disrupt our daily lives. The hindrance goes beyond merely impacting routine activities like sitting and standing; it often necessitates extra days off to facilitate full recovery, ultimately delaying the next challenging workout. This reduction in training frequency becomes a crucial factor affecting overall fitness progress.

It appears that muscle damage, which is often associated with the sore feeling, isn’t as crucial for muscle growth as once believed. Surprisingly, excessive muscle damage might even hinder the process of building new muscle. This revelation turns the tables on the traditional understanding of muscle soreness as a necessary step for progress. Instead of being a straightforward sign of gains, too much soreness can delay your return to the gym and impede overall fitness advancement.

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This article aims to debunk such myths and offer practical tips to optimize recovery after a workout. The insights shared here are credited to Max Posternak, the visionary behind Gravity Transformation. With a substantial following of over 5.5 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, Max has established himself as a trusted source for fitness enthusiasts seeking valuable advice and effective training tips. His dedication to providing insights into fitness improvement and weight loss makes his perspective on post-workout soreness both relevant and valuable for those on their fitness journey.

Below you will see Posternak’s 5 ways to reduce muscle soreness instantly.

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5 Ways to Reduce Muscle Soreness Instantly

In a video, Posternak explored the 5 most effective ways to swiftly relieve muscle soreness, allowing you to resume your daily life unhindered and perform optimally during your workouts.

While many trainers advocate stretching immediately after a workout as the primary defence against soreness, recent studies question its effectiveness in reducing delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). That is not to say you shouldn’t stretch immediately after working out. You should. But that is not what is going to help you with muscle soreness.

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In fact, foam rolling, also known as self-myofascial release, has demonstrated more significant benefits for relieving muscle soreness. This technique involves using a foam roller to massage yourself, primarily targeting the stretching and loosening of fascia around muscles and reducing the intensity of sore spots. Proper execution of foam rolling leads to decreased muscle and joint pain, improved circulation, and enhanced mobility.

Source: CrossFit Invictus
Rolling for recovery

To make foam rolling effective, it’s crucial to proceed slowly, rolling up and down the recently worked muscles. When encountering sore spots, pause and apply gentle pressure for 20 to 30 seconds before continuing. Avoid the misconception of sitting on painful spots for extended periods, as this can exacerbate inflammation. Thirty seconds is the recommended duration before moving on, with the option to revisit sore spots later. Additionally, allocate extra time to roll out the muscle areas closer to their joints. While foam rolling directly after a workout promotes blood flow and circulation, it’s an activity that can benefit you beyond that specific timeframe.

The second tip to reduce muscle soreness instantly is to take ice baths or cold showers. Compared to simply resting, studies have indicated that taking a shower with water between or immersion cold baths helps reduce inflammation, which is the indication of muscle soreness. If you do cold showers, try not to exceed 6-8 minutes if you are just starting. In the shower, try to adapt first with 1 minute of cold and 1 minute of warm water.

Rich Froning recovers in Cold Plunge 2Source: Cold Plunge

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Thirdly, you will want to eat enough of the right macro and micronutrients. “Without enough essential amino acids in your diet, your muscles will take a lot longer to recover,” Posternak says. So make sure you are eating 0.8-1.3 grams of protein per pound of your bodyweight.

But protein is not the only thing that helps you build muscle and fight soreness. Fat in the form of omega-3 fatty acids as well as DHA, EPA and ALA have been linked to a reduction of inflammation. You can get those nutrients from salmon, avocado, tuna, flax seeds, mackerel, and walnuts. Also, stay away from fried foods, processed meat, sodas, refined carbs and low-quality red meat.

You also will reduce muscle soreness instantly if you stay active. By staying active, you will increase blood flow to your sore muscles and you will recover from them faster. But don’t go all out. Aim for low-intensity active recovery for those sore muscles. If your legs are sore, for example, try a couple of minutes on a stationary bike or simply take a walk. A light yoga session can also help, or simply do easy bodyweight movements for the muscles that you feel sore.

woman performs standing yoga poses and holds warrior 1 poseSource: Katie Bush on Unsplash

The last tip from Posternak is to use heat to decrease your soreness. However, you can go wrong with this. Posternak says that if you use heat immediately after a workout, you will probably end up with more inflammation compared to doing nothing at all. For that, you use cold therapy mentioned in tip number 2.

However, a day or two after the workout is over, when the soreness has already started to kick in, a sauna, jacuzzi or steam room can help you with decreasing inflammation and getting muscle soreness alleviated.

Ultimately, grasping the intricacies of muscle soreness proves pivotal in unlocking maximum gains and thwarting setbacks on your fitness expedition.

Even though soreness might not have a direct correlation with muscle growth, embracing recovery strategies supported by evidence elevates both performance and overall well-being. This collective strategy forms a comprehensive framework for expeditious recovery and enduring progress.

To get a deeper understanding of the 5 ways to reduce muscle soreness instantly, watch the video below.

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The research used to come up with these 5 ways to reduce muscle soreness instantly are below:

Stretching Does Not Reduce Muscle Soreness After A Workout

Foam Rolling Beneficial For Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Meta Analysis of Ice Baths and Cold Water’s Effect on Doms

Inflammation and Fatty Acids

Diet’s Without Fruit and Veggies Cause Slower Muscle Recovery

There are also other ways to reduce muscle soreness not mentioned above. You can see them in the link below.

7 Underrated Ways to Relieve Muscle Soreness

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