How I have come to reduce DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness!
We have all been there. You went to the gym, you trained legs hard and the next morning you could barely move! To top it off the day after that it was even worse!
I have been training for around 15 years and have been playing competitive sport for as long as I can remember. So I thought I would share my top tips to help you out, especially with the new year looming where im sure you will all be setting new fitness goals!!
1: SMR Self myofascial release pre workout
Something that I do prior to every training session and you should be to! The most common methods is the use of a foam roller (Discount code ‘LDNM’). I even have a tool used for instrument assisted soft tissue mobilisation.
LDNMuscle followers stay tuned for more information of everything you need to know with regards to SMR.
2: Topical Magnesium spray
This simply has changed the game for me. This has had a major impact in allowing me to train much more frequently especially as I have aged. When I have ran out I do find I suffer more and recover less then normal. It even aids with sleep, Its amazing stuff! I currently use TDT recovery spray and you can get it here . But you can also buy other forms.
Don’t rely on foam rolling. Get yourself a decent therapist! They will look after your soft tissue needs. ART or active release technique is the gold standard in soft tissue therapy and I swear by it!
4: Fascial stretches pre/post workout
I find these can work wonders particularly for certain body parts. Ming Chews book the permeant pain cure is awesome and has a ton of them in. His lower back stretch is by far my favourite and has quite literally been a life saver in the past! I recommend his book to my clients and I like to also incorporate some of what he does into my clients home care. His book is a good reference guide and one of the only places I can think of to see so many eldoa stretches in one place.
5: Active recovery sessions
On ‘non’ training days I believe it can be beneficial to still do something to get the blood flowing and aid recovery. This could mean using the exercise bike the day after a leg session if your feeling a little sore. The use of a foam roller is also a great choice and you kill two birds with one stone, aiding your recovery and also improving your soft tissue quality at the same time!
6: Drink up/Eat up
Simple really! drink up, this does not just include water but tea and coffee to it all adds up. I recommend around 1 litre per 20kg of body weight. Not all beverages are created equal but we will leave that for another day.
Use food to fuel your training not train to fuel your desire to eat! If you are aching you might simply need the extra calories.
7: Supplementing with BCAA
If you can afford to purchase amino acids I believe they are a worthwhile addition to your DOMS fighting arsenal. I tend to use around 10g-20g intra workout. I also use Beta alanine pre and post workout which acts as a lactic acid buffer and also arginine post workout in my shake to help my bodies uptake of vital nutrients. I don’t tend to use arginine pre workout as I find the pump can often be a hinderance. But each to their own 🙂
8: Training frequency
We all know DOMS in general is worse after a lay off from training and after training regular for a certain period of time it tends to decrease. This simply is your body adapting to the stimulus your providing. I often train each body part 2/3 times a week and have had no issues.
Remember though if you introduce an exercise have not done in a long time you may well suffer from a little DOMS. You will also find eccentric training will have a hand at creating the most. If you don’t believe me try lowering (eccentric portion) yourself as slow as possible during a glute ham raise and tell me your not crippled the next morning ha.
9: Get some sleep
No brainer really, we all know how much of a difference a good nights sleep has on us! I find that ZMA can really help here.
Rich Knight ART, SRMT, IASTM, PT
Rich is a manual/performance therapist who specialises in rehabilitation of injuries and helping take his clients performance to the next level whether they be a professional athlete of your average joe. He is a full body certified active release technique (ART) provider and instructor with Ki health concepts for Fascial Abrasion technique and Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilisation.
Twitter: @richknight_ / @ITTsystems