DOMS The muscular soreness or stiffness that you will usually feel one to two days after a session are known by the term DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). This is nothing to be alarmed of even the most advanced of trainers will get this. DOMS will be most prominent when either you first start exercising, and your muscles get used to brand new stimuli, or after you start a new workout programme, which will result in the same effects.

This is a normal response to additional exertion of your muscles and is part of the adaptation process (forming of “new” muscle and toning), helping you to grow stronger and increase stamina. The soreness will probably be at it’s worst around the second day after your session.

What is thought to cause delayed onset muscle soreness, is the microscopic tearing of your muscle fibres as you exercise, the amount of soreness you feel is linked to how tough of a training session you undertake, any movement you’re not used to can result in the side affects of DOMS. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t train hard, remember as part of the healing process, you will become stronger and fitter, as usually whatever exercise gives you DOMS the first time will probably have a much less intense feeling next session, due to the speed at which the body adapts.

DOMS should be completely gone within 7 days without any special treatment. In that time there are a few things you can try to help reduce the effects.

  • Alternating hot and cold shower to stimulate blood flow and muscle relaxation.
  • Stretching thoroughly before and after your sessions.
  • Conduct a full warm up and cool down every workout
  • Active recovery, keep on moving with low impact improving the blood flow.
  • Sports massage, helps to relax the muscle

One thing to note is that DOMS do not display the same symptoms as when you are exercising or if you have suffered an injury. Injuries usually present themselves with bruising and or swelling.