Training like a machine but pulling up sore? Great work, as it means you’re training hard – but no so great if you can’t sit down to the toilet! Here are a few tips on how to speed up recovery if you’re suffering from DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Especially as we know how frustrating it can be when you want to keep your training momentum up but you’re feeling too tight to give it your all!
Epsom Salt Baths
I hope you all have access to a bath at home! Because chucking some Epsom Salts in for a nice long soak is the perfect way to aid recovery. The salts are made of magnesium sulfate which quickly soaks through skin and into the swollen, aching joints to help alleviate pain and inflammation. Dissolve one or two cups of Epsom salts into warm bath water and soak for 15 minutes or until the water has cooled. But that’s not all you can add to your hot bath! Try adding some ginger to boost your immune system, lavender to help open up your airways or milk to sooth your skin. So many options, you could try a different soak each evening!
Stretching/Foam Rolling/Tennis Ball Rolling
I’m sure you’ve heard and read us banging on about the need to stretch and foam roll as much as you train, and we’re still sticking by it! Sometimes stretching alone is not enough, especially if you have a few knots in your muscles. This is where foam rollers and tennis balls come in handy – you can pin point the exact spot that’s giving you grief, and slowly knead the tight area with as much pressure as you can handle to loosen it up. Guaranteed to aid recovery after a heavy strength session!
Applying some sort of heat through a hot water bottle, hot towel or a heating pad directly onto the sore areas will increase the flow of oxygen and nutrients there while also suppressing the pain signals being sent to your brain.
Make sure you schedule at least one rest day throughout your week of training. Without it, the body starts to work overtime, break down, and you can actually start to go backwards with your health and fitness results. We know you love to train, but listen to what your body is telling you!
And one last point we’ll make is sometimes the best recovery for sore tight muscles is… get moving again! Sitting around stagnant will not speed up recovery, in fact it will hinder it. So get walking, jogging, do some light exercise to increase blood flow. You’ll notice your muscles will be not as tight as they were to begin with!