March 9, 2012 Posted by Drew in Body

Post Workout Muscle Soreness and the Best Total Body Exercise

Question: I started working out yesterday for the first time in awhile and today I can barely move. What’s going on and should I even think about working out again?

Rafael Eduardo, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Post Workout Muscle SorenessRafael, great question. Post workout muscle soreness is a normal and natural reaction following a workout or athletic event. It is your body’s way of saying, “Hey I need protein and carbs to repair all this micro tearing”.

Proper nutrition combined with rest allow your muscles to repair and rebuild, coming back bigger, stronger and better than before.

Every person is a little different but usually between 24 to 48 hours after exercise you begin to experience muscle soreness and discomfort known as delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS.

However, it is important to be able to distinguish pain from discomfort. DOMS is typical post workout discomfort that is OK. But if you are experiencing pinching, sharp or tingling types of pain or sensations… this is not a normal post workout reaction and should always be run by your doctor.

I strongly suggest never training the same muscle group on back to back days but even if you waited 48 hours and especially if you’re a beginner (or back in the gym after time off), it is not uncommon to experience some post workout discomfort. As long as you give it 48 hours of active rest between training muscle groups, you are likely OK to hit them up again.
 

To get over the soreness try this simple technique;

On the days between weight training it’s helpful to walk, do gentle bike riding or even body-weight exercises to flush the area with blood and enhance waste removal and the healing process.

 
 
In summary: DOMS is a perfectly normal result of exercising and giving a muscle group 48+ hours of active rest is always the best idea. Make sure you are able to distinguish between pain and discomfort (this comes with time) and although very tempting… avoid laying on the couch all day following a workout (even a slow walk around the block the following day will help reduce the soreness).
 

Question: What’s the best total body exercise?

Steve, St. John’s, Newfoundland

Best total body exerciseIt’s a toss up for the the best total body exercise (exercise that has multiple joint involvement) between the Olympic Clean and Jerk and the Snatch.

I’m guessing most of you are not competing in the upcoming England Summer Olympics so we might not need to take it that far. Don’t get me wrong these are 2 of the best exercises to develop total body strength, power and muscle but they come with a caveat- they are highly technical. So technical in fact that I would urge anyone who wants to incorporate these lifts into their exercise programs to find a good qualified Olympic strength coach.

Having said that I’ve found some nice alternatives that meet in the middle between technical requirements and total body benefit.

If I had to pick one exercise I would go with the One Arm Dumbbell Clean and Press. It is a very explosive movement that will hit every muscle in the body (except the Pec) and ramps up your nervous system and heart rate like no other.

As far as total body fat burning and muscle building go- it is highly effective. It is still important to note that there is proper technique and timing required to perform this movement but it is much safer and less risky than Olympic lifts. Master this movement before moving onto the Clean and Jerk or the Snatch (who named these things anyhow?).
 


Great questions. Keep em coming.

Stay Strong,

Drew

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