If you’ve just started working out or added a challenging new move to your workout routine, you may experience sore muscles. Don’t worry! This soreness won’t last long. However, you may wonder, is it ok to stretch sore muscles?
Gentle stretching can ease your sore muscles and facilitate their recovery. It relieves your muscle pain by increasing blood circulation. However, be careful not to overstretch since it may injure your already sore muscles.
Stretching can help you accelerate your recovery when used the right way. You can do different things to support your muscles and make them recover faster.
This article will explain why your muscles become sore, how long it will take for muscles to recover, and how stretching accelerates recovery.
See the table below if you are in a hurry to see the products to help you heal your sore muscles.
- 1 Is It Better to Stretch Sore Muscles or Let Them Rest? 🤔
- 2 How Does Stretching Reduce Muscle Soreness?🤸♂️
- 3 How Long Do Sore Muscles Need to Recover? 🧐
- 4 Why Do Muscles Become Sore? 🤓
- 5 Can I Workout With Sore Muscles? 😕
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions ❓
- 7 Final Thoughts 🤗
Is It Better to Stretch Sore Muscles or Let Them Rest? 🤔
Stretching is a good warm-up and cool-down technique.
It increases your flexibility, range of motion, and blood circulation, which helps the healing process.
You should do light physical activity to break the cycle of muscle soreness. Light jogging, walking, and swimming can relieve the pain.
However, you need to warm up before these activities and cool down afterward.
Nevertheless, too much stretching isn’t recommended when you’re in pain. It can injure your muscles and worsen the soreness.
How Does Stretching Reduce Muscle Soreness?🤸♂️
Stretching improves blood flow by increasing your heart rate and dilating the vessels to carry more blood.
Blood has oxygen, and when the blood flow increases, the oxygen delivery to the muscles also increases.
Increased blood flow also means your muscles receive more nutrients, and they can expel more metabolic waste products, including lactic acid.
These effects help muscles recover faster and get rid of the pain.
It also releases endorphin, a hormone that makes you feel happy and relieves pain.
It would help if you had a good non-slip exercise mat to do stretches, so you don’t slip and further injure your already sore muscles.
See our top three recommended yoga mats below.
How Long Do Sore Muscles Need to Recover? 🧐
Muscles need time to recover; otherwise, they won’t get a chance to rebuild, and they may be at a higher risk of injury.
The optimal recovery time for muscles is 48 to 72 hours, depending on your diet, physical activity, and body composition. If you do intense physical activities, your muscles will take longer to recover than those with light physical activity.
Also, if you have higher muscle mass, you’ll experience longer and more muscle soreness than someone with less muscle mass.
Eating healthy and getting enough nutrients are necessary for your body to rebuild muscles.
Eat adequate calories and consume the right amounts of carbs, fats, and proteins to shorten the recovery period.
Check out this post-workout flavored water to help your recovery by replenishing lost electrolytes.
Remember to get adequate rest, too. Your routine should give you suitable rest days necessary for muscle recovery.
You need to get active rest when your muscles are in pain, meaning to gradually return the function of your muscles to the normal level.
Active rest may include light exercises, such as walking, biking, and stretching.
Taking hot and cold baths and massaging is also effective in shortening the recovery period as they accelerate muscular rebuilding by increasing the blood flow to your muscles.
Massage roller sticks can help with muscle soreness. See the table below for our top three recommended sticks.
Muscle soreness lasting more than three days can be a sign of significant damage to your muscles, and it may hinder you from getting to your workout goals. See a doctor if you’re experiencing this type of pain as it needs prompt medical intervention.
Why Do Muscles Become Sore? 🤓
There are two types of muscle soreness you may experience after workouts: Acute Muscle Soreness (AMS) and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).
The reason for muscle soreness varies depending on the type.
Acute Muscle Soreness (AMS)
You experience AMS during or shortly after a workout (no longer than 1 hour).
It disappears as soon as or shortly after you stop the activity (for up to an hour).
You experience AMS because of the quick buildup of metabolites during a workout session.
It can happen when you start to exercise after a long period of no or little exercise, include new moves in your routine, or modify your current routine.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
DOMS starts 12 to 24 hours after the workout, but the pain reaches the highest level one to three days later and subsides.
Micro-tears in the muscle fibers cause DOMS after high-intensity exercises.
Then the body responds to this damage by inflammation. The inflammation is the reason for the pain.
It’s common in exercises such as downhill running, where there’s lots of resistance to the stretch.
Can I Workout With Sore Muscles? 😕
Micro-tears in your muscles aren’t dangerous. They’re necessary for muscle growth and strength.
You have to give your muscles time to recover and work on them again.
However, giving time for your muscle recovery doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t exercise.
Although it isn’t comfortable to work out with sore muscles, you shouldn’t stay still. Light exercises, such as walking and stretching, are good for sore muscles.
However, you shouldn’t continuously work on the same muscle groups or activate painful muscles; otherwise, they may become injured.
Many workout routines give your muscles enough time to recover.
Doing one session of the upper body and the next session of the lower body is an example of such routines.
Frequently Asked Questions ❓
How Do You Relieve Sore Muscles Fast?
You can relieve muscle soreness and shorten the recovery period by getting more sleep and relaxing your body.
Get more protein and drink more water. Stop drinking alcohol since it dehydrates your body and prevents protein absorption.
Massaging and stretching also relax your sore muscles.
Placing ice on the sore area is another option.
Finally, you can try painkillers to relieve your sore muscles.
Are Sore Muscles After Workout Good?
Muscle soreness is a normal part of getting a healthy and fit body.
Your muscles get micro-tears during a workout, which causes soreness in some people. But this also allows the muscles to grow and becomes stronger.
In this case, visit a doctor.
Do Sore Muscles Burn Fat?
Sore muscles don’t directly burn fat.
They’re a sign of you doing the workout and burning calories.
All your muscles (with or without soreness) use calories for energy, and fat burning isn’t necessarily the result of sore muscles.
Final Thoughts 🤗
Is it ok to stretch sore muscles? Yes, stretching helps your sore muscles.
It increases blood flow and oxygen delivery and promotes recovery.
Muscles become sore due to the buildup of metabolites or getting micro-tears.
This happens when you start to exercise after a long sedentary period, do a new exercise, or change your current workout routine.
The recovery period is 48 to 72 hours, depending on the diet, physical activity, and body composition.
If soreness remains for more than three days, you need to visit a doctor.
Last update on 2022-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API