These stretches for sore muscles are the perfect antidote to a workout that leaves you feeling stiff and achy, so you can remain active and pain-free.
For anyone who wants to live the healthiest and most vibrant life possible, exercise should be an essential part of your daily routine. There are almost too many benefits of exercise to list them all in one article. Exercise does not only help maximize your heart health, increase muscle size, maintain weight loss, and improve endurance, but it can also be extremely beneficial for your mental health, too. As long as your body is healthy and well enough, exercise is something that you should regularly incorporate into your schedule.
There are very few drawbacks when it comes to exercise. However, one of the most common negative effects of exercise is muscle soreness. It's common for your muscles to feel stiff and achy the day after you've done some exercising that has taxed muscle groups that are not used to being worked as hard as you worked them. Luckily, however, there are many stretches for sore muscles that can help alleviate the pain you feel in your body so that you feel ready to tackle your exercise routine again and to stay on top of your fitness. Stretches can also help you maintain your flexibility, which can help keep your body nimble and pain-free as you age.
Here is more information about why muscle soreness happens, as well as four stretches you can do to alleviate it.
What Causes Muscle Soreness?
For many years, people believed that a buildup of lactic acid in your muscles post-workout caused delayed onset muscle soreness(DOMS). In reality, however, that belief was debunked in the 1980s when scientists discovered that muscle soreness post-workout is actually caused by micro-traumas or microscopic tears in muscles that you worked during exercises. These tears take a few days to repair themselves and are usually caused by a muscle that has been pushed or worked harder than it has before (or in a different way than it has previously.
Stretches for Sore Muscles in Your Abs
Lots of people who exercise regularly try to build muscles in their abs. If you work out your abs and find that your core muscles get sore, try out the following exercise:
• Lie on your stomach with your arms stretched out in front of you and your legs stretched out behind you, the soles of your feet to the ceiling.
• Bend your elbows to bring your hands, palm down, next to your hips.
• Keeping your legs and pelvis on the ground, use your arms to push
your torso, chest, neck, and head up and perpendicular to the ground (like the "cobra pose" in Yoga). This should create a pull on you.
Stretches for Sore Muscles in Your Legs
The following exercises for sore muscles in your legs can help your hamstrings after a long, tough workout that taxed the top of your legs. The following stretches will reduce hamstring soreness so you can continue to do things like run, squat, lunge, and more easily:
• Sit on the ground with your legs stretched out in front of you.
• Reach our hands forward with your arms all the way outstretched and try to touch your toes.
• Wherever your hands land or however far they can go, rest there for 20 seconds.
• Once 20 seconds are up, release and sit back up.
• Repeat this three times each day if you feel hamstring soreness.
Stretches for Sore Muscles in Your Arms
If you've been trying to build big arm muscles, your arms might be quite sore. These exercises for sore muscles in your arms will help reduce the soreness in your biceps:
• Stand next to a wall with your right side facing the wall.
• Take your right palm and press it against the wall.
• Slowly turn your body away from the wall, keeping your palm on the wall.
• When you feel the stretch in your shoulder, arm, and chest, hold the stretch there.
• Count to 30 seconds, then release the stretch.
• Repeat with your left side.
• Repeat this stretch for both sides three times.
At the end of the day, muscle soreness can be unpleasant. However, as long as the soreness is just from working hard and not from overextending yourself (or getting injured), muscle soreness should be considered one small inconvenience of exercise—a process that has innumerable positive benefits and can vastly improve your life. Consider stretches for muscle soreness a very important part of the exercise recovery process.
If you learn the above exercises for muscle soreness and know what steps to take to avoid muscle pain before you start working out, you can regularly reap all the benefits of a fitness routine while easily minimizing any simultaneous negative impact. If you need to figure out ways to increase your exercise level to begin with (so that you can begin to strengthen your muscle), consider our list of ways to sneakily incorporate more movement and activity into your everyday routine.