DOMS stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. It’s that aching and stiff feeling many of you have mentioned you feel the next day after a BrizFit bootcamp! It’s very normal to experience DOMS, particularly when you start a new training programme, however even elite athletes experience it so don’t let it put you off coming back for more. It generally occurs 12-24 hours after exercising and is usually gone within a few days although can sometimes take longer.
DOMS occurs because as we exercise, we create tiny tears in the muscle fibres. As these tears heal, they become stronger and firmer therefore making us fitter and stronger. DOMS isn’t a bad thing and shows you’ve worked your muscles. It’s only temporary and the more frequently you exercise, the less you’ll feel it after workouts.
It’s one of those things that can’t always be avoided but there are a few simple things you can do to help it.
Foam rolling and sports massage Although not particularly pleasant (don’t confuse a spa massage with a sports massage!), they get the blood pumping to muscles that need healing and can really help to loosen tight muscles and increase the range of motion again.
Hot/cold baths Hot baths are obviously more pleasurable than cold baths but doing a bit of both is best as it speeds up the recovery process quickest.
Eating well Get plenty of nutrients, protein and water in you to help aid your muscles with the recovery. Salmon is a great post workout food as it’s full of protein and ‘good’ fats. Cherries are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Just remember DOMS really is only temporary and will occur less and less the more you continue to exercise. Don’t let it be an excuse to stop exercising!