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How to Ease Muscle Soreness After a Workout

author image Susy Sedano
Susy joined LIVESTRONG.COM at its inception in 2008. Focused on all things food, fitness and health related, her daily contributions as the LIVESTRONG.COM community manager is an asset to the site and the millions of community members. She has a M. A. in Clinical Psychology.

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How to Ease Muscle Soreness After a Workout
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When you work out, you are essentially tearing up your muscle fibers. When those muscles recover, you build strength. But the act of breaking down those fibers can leave your muscles tender, sore, and even difficult to move. Plus, that soreness can take as long as 24 hours to set in (this often is referred to as delayed onset muscles soreness, or DOMS), meaning you'll be in greater pain two days following a workout than you were the morning after. Here is a five-step process you can use to reduce muscle soreness and get back to exercising faster.

Step 1
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Warm up before beginning your exercise program. Warming up increases the flexibility of the muscles and reduces overall muscle tension, which prevents excessive micro-trauma and can prevent soreness due to major or minor muscle strain

Step 2
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Perform a brief cool-down after every workout. Stretch the muscles you exercised to improve blood flow and increase your range of motion.

Step 3


Use a foam roller for 10 minutes after your workout. Foam rolling can release "knots" and adhesions in the muscle tissue, improving circulation.

Step 4
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Get 30 or more minutes of massage therapy. Massage improves blood flow to sore muscle tissues, releasing micro-adhesions and encouraging muscle repair. Therapy can be painful, but is an effective treatment if you can handle the sensation.

Step 5
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Get at least eight to 10 hours of sleep. The body repairs itself at night, triggering important hormones that signal repair to muscle tissue. Sleeping fewer than eight hours decreases the hormonal response, meaning your recovery will be slower.

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