Those who are just starting on an exercise regimen experience it, and so do those who are already fitness buffs but have overdone their workouts a bit.

That’s right, aching muscles – they are either experienced right after a workout or even 2-3 days post-exercise.

Before you give up on exercising entirely, though, think about the fact that in most cases, aching muscles are normal.

The Physiology Of Post-Exercise Muscle Aches:

Dr. Gabe Mirkin, the popular Sports Medicine physicist and radio talk show host, explains that muscle soreness is due to the damage to the muscles themselves, not lactic acid buildup in the muscles as we used to believe.

Studies making use of biopsies have shown damage and bleeding of the z-band filaments which hold the muscles together.

This occurs when muscles contract and they slide over each other.

To Continue Or Not To Continue Exercising:

If your muscles feel sore the day after you work out and you continue to exercise despite the pain, chances are you’ll still have that pain the next day.

Doctors recommend a workout on the first day, pausing when you start to feel the burn. After a while, pick up the pace once more again exercise until you feel the burn.

Stop the regimen once your muscles begin to feel stiff.

The next day, it would be good to rest or if you must, continue working out that day at a slow pace.

What doctors suggest is to get a hard workout one day, rest for 1-7 days after that, and then go for another until-the-burn workout.

This is the way professional athletes train.

For instance, high jumpers don’t go for the high jump all throughout the week. Sure, they do sessions daily, but they jump for height as rarely as once a week.

The Exercise Advantage:

Women who keep finding ways to keep fit seldom experience muscle ache after their workouts.

Moreover, even if they do, they tend to recover pretty quickly.

On the other hand, newbies feel any of the following symptoms, aside from aching muscles: headaches, feelings of energy loss, and low-grade flu.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS):

This pain does not occur right after the workout is over, but 8-24 hours later, and ends within 3-7 days.

There is an increased risk for DOMS when you overexert yourself, or when you engage in a change in activity, such as from low-impact exercise such as working out on an elliptical to a high-impact activity, like running.

There are no surefire ways to prevent DOMS, but you can try the following to help relieve the pain:

  • Stretch before and after exercising, but do so slowly. Hold the positions for 10-30 seconds.
  • Always warm up before your routine.
  • Don’t shock your muscles when you change an activity. Perform changes over several weeks if possible.
  • When you’re doing weight training, start with small weights and work your way up in order to prevent excessive tearing of the muscle fibers.

Have a great workout,

M. Jamal

P.S. How often do you experience muscle aches? Do they hamper your workouts?

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3 Comments


    I think that it is very important to stretch before you exercise, so it helps keep your body from getting really sore.

    « winstrol »
    Nov 30, 2009 at 3:48 pm


    great article i have found some great video on youtube about it check it out here:

    May 2, 2010 at 6:37 pm


    I like to stretch after i work out.

    Oct 15, 2011 at 4:10 am
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