Most people who have started a new regime of fitness have to some extent experienced a rather painful, DELAYED ONSET OF MUSCLE SORENESS or “DOMS”. The extent to which an individual experiences the side effects of DOMS is dependent on a range of factors including:
- The level of fitness of the individual - Generally speaking the fitter the person
the less severe the side effects.
- The intensity of the exercise session - The harder the individual worked in the
session the more likely the side effects of DOMS will be more profound.
- The level of preparation before exercise and recovery post exercise - Essentially
if a persons completes a thorough warm up before the session and a cool down at the end the side effects may be reduced somewhat.
What causes DOMS?
The pain associated with the condition is a result of minor microscopic tears in the muscle fibres as a result of exercise. This sounds disturbing but is a normal response to exercise exertion and is a necessary process for the body to adapt and improve levels of strength and stamina.
What are the symptoms of DOMS?
A person who is new to exercise and starts a new exercise programme will inevitably experience DOMS. The symptoms tend to kick in within 24 hours of exercise and should subside around 72 hours after the exercise session. The individual will likely have soreness in muscles when they move that muscle group. For example a session containing squats and lunges will likely lead to soreness in the upper legs and buttocks. This will result in painful muscles when walking/jogging and in particular sitting down and getting up out of a sitting position.
What should I do to recover from DOMS?
There are steps you can take to reduce DOMS. Adhering to these tips will help with reducing the side effects.
1. Complete a thorough warm up before exercise which involve s light cardio jogging
followed by light stretching 8 second holds of all major muscle groups.
2. Complete a cool down at the end of the session. This should involve light cardio jogging and longer stretching of muscles for 15 seconds or more on all major muscle groups.
The good news is that as your body adapts to the exercise programme, your ability to work at higher intensity and recover quicker will begin to improve. Overtime you will likely still feel the side effects of DOMS but the relative intensity of the pain will reduce and recovery from that pain after the session will be quicker.
I hope this proves useful, any questions just ask.