Muscle pain or delayed onset muscle soreness is usually felt two to three days after you worked out for a long period of time.

Some people believe that having sore muscles is a good sign. It means that your body is undergoing some changes due to exercise.

But this is not true. Positive results of training do not always include sore muscles. Muscle pain after exercise is caused by minor injuries, stress, tension, and overuse.

When you exercise, you put more strain on your muscles by making them work harder. The fibres in your muscles can be damaged and this makes them inflame and become painful.

In reality, you can do something to prevent feeling the soreness in your muscles after you exercise.

Here are 5 ways to reduce muscle pain after working out.

1. Keep Moving

After a strenuous exercise, do not take a full rest. Do some exercises that will cool you down before taking a rest.

Perform low to moderate aerobic exercises to gradually bring your heart rate down. Walk, jog, or pedal your bike at an easy pace until the beating of your heart is back to normal.

Do light exercises to minimise the muscle pain that usually follows a workout. These exercises include lunge and twist, stretching the hip flexors, overhead bench stretch, half-kneeling lat extension, and t-spine roll.

By keeping your muscles lightly engaged, you can prevent soreness and pain. If you stop moving, it will take a longer time for the muscle pain to go away.

You can also do stretching exercises. Some examples are supine shoulder flexion, supine hamstring stretch, side-lying quadriceps stretch, supine hip flexor stretch, and supine spinal twist.

2. Massage Sore Parts

Use a foam roller or vibrating foam roller to give your whole body a massage instead of just taking care of the sore parts.

To use the vibrating foam roller, sit upright and place the foam roller under your calves in a horizontal position.

Then, lift your hips and roll your calves on the roller for several minutes. Massage longer the muscles that are aching, running the roller five times or more.

Stretch your chest using the foam roller. Lie down lengthwise on the roller. Then, bend your knees to make your back curve.

Put your body in a “T” position by spreading out your arms. Stay in this position for 5 to 10 minutes.

You can also use a massage gun to help you with your body massage. Check out this article on how to use a massage gun for optimum results.

Massage Gun and Foam Roller

3. Apply Hot and Cold Treatment

The soreness that you feel is caused by the inflammation of your muscles. Once this happens, it becomes painful to move those muscles again.

One great way to control the inflammation is by applying ice to the aching areas. Many athletes find icing their painful muscles an effective way to relieve pain.

When inflammation subsides, you can now move your body easily. However, do not apply ice on the bony part of your backbone.

After the soreness is gone, you can take a hot shower to keep your muscles relaxed.  Soaking in a hot bath is another way of completely getting rid of the soreness and pain in the muscles. 

Applying cold and hot compress can also minimise the effects of delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS.

4. Warm Up Before Training

Warming up before starting your actual training can help prevent muscle pains after your exercise. Here are some recommended warm-up exercises you can do:

  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 2 to 3 minutes of jump rope
  • 20 bodyweight squats
  • 5 lunges for each leg
  • hip rotation and hip extensions

These will loosen your muscles and prepare them for the more strenuous workout that you will have.

When you perform warm-up exercises, your heart rate and blood flow to the muscles increase. Warm-up exercises also stretch the muscles, so that they will not get easily injured during exercise.

5. Eat Properly

Your body needs nutrients in order to heal. Eating foods rich in carbohydrates and proteins will help repair the damage incurred by the muscles during exercise. 

It will also help build your muscles. Foods rich in antioxidants will help reduce inflammation and the soreness that you feel.  Liquid meals will also be helpful.

When planning your meals, make sure that they contain foods from the basic food groups.

Healthy Eating

Bottom Line

By observing the tips above, you will not suffer for long from muscle pains after your workout. More importantly, you can stay active and perform at your best.

Also, check out the 6 tools to relieve muscle soreness post workout article by clicking here.

More Questions About Reducing Muscle Pain After Exercise

1. Will a massage gun help with DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)?

A massage gun relieves pain due to DOMS by creating percussive vibrations. These vibrations help stretch areas of localised tightness, increase blood flow, and aid relaxation of tense muscles. However, it is best to see a physician if the pain is more widespread or due to an injury.

2. Which is better for post-workout muscle pain: a regular or vibration roller?

Regular and vibration rollers are both effective in relieving sore muscles, encouraging circulation, and improving range of movement. However, scientific research has also shown that vibration therapy speeds up recovery and provides additional positive results.