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If I'm not sore after a workout does it count? | How...

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  • 4 years ago
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"When I don't have sore muscles does that mean I did not work hard enough?" - Chelsea G

Great question Chelsea!

First off, let me just say that I think that old mantra of "no pain, no gain" is outdated! It's time to throw that slogan out the window when it comes to exercise! Any exercise that gets you moving and feeling good is a great workout in my book. Working out to the point of intense soreness can actually hinder your results if it leaves you not able to move the next day or several days thereafter. No bueno!

Next, let's talk about the varying degrees of muscle "soreness" -- as I am sure you have noticed, there may be days when you wake up feeling more actively aware of the muscles in your body, but it's still not painful to get up out of bed or lift your suitcase in the overhead compartment. On the other hand, there may be days, usually about 24-72 hours after a really intense workout, where you may feel as if you have been hit by a mack truck! This is often referred to as "delayed onset muscle soreness" (or DOMS for short). DOMS is believed to be cause by tiny tears (or microtrauma) to the muscles. In my opinion, some light soreness is OK and even a nice reminder of the muscles you worked the day before, but the 'I've-been-hit-by-a-mac-truck' kind of soreness isn't a positive effect, especially when it leaves you unmotivated (or unable!) to keep moving afterwards.

Now the good news is that soreness is not usually a good indicator of how effective a workout is, and in fact, may sometimes be a signal that your body wasn't ready for the challenge you provided it with (for instance, your very first workout ever or when returning to exercise after a long hiatus). So, long story short Chelsea, if you aren't sore it doesn't mean you didn't work hard enough! It may mean you worked out JUST RIGHT :)


When you do have sore muscles, how do you deal with them?

If you do happen to suffer from soreness, there are a few recommended remedies (though of course every body is different so it's best to find a method that works best for you). Treatments that help increase blood flow to the muscles like low intensity activity, massage, soaking in a warm bath with epsom salts, may help provide some relief.


Should I workout when my muscles are sore?

Personally, I've found that lower to moderate intensity (also known as an 'active recovery day') can really help relieve muscle soreness and stiffness. I highly recommend checking out some of our stretching and flexibility routines as well, especially when you are really sore! But, as always, be sure to listen to your body to make sure this is right for you.

Check out our stretching/flexibility workouts here: http://bit.ly/1tmsdPC

Again, this will depend on the degree of soreness you are experiencing. Light soreness may be appropriate for a workout the next day while intense, painful soreness may mean you just need a rest day. I'm also often asked if it's OK to do two strength training workouts on back to back days, and if you aren't too sore to perform the exercises with great form, then it's usually OK to do consecutive strength days. That said, if I don't recommend lifting heavy weights daily as it's important to give muscles that are worked to fatigue time to recover. Like we always say here on JESSICASMITHTV, everybody is different, so be sure to listen to yours and find what is right for you!


Can they be prevented?

If you find your muscles trembling (or shaking noticeably) or feel tremendous weakness during a workout it could be your body's way of saying what you are doing is way too much for your body to handle at your current fitness level. If this happens to you during a workout, don't be afraid to rest and/or lower your weight or modify an exercise or even switch to a different workout that is more appropriate for your level.

Following our workout rotations can also really help prevent muscle soreness as we purposely customize our monthly class schedules, challenges and programs to include active rest days in between more intensive workouts in order to help maximize your results with minimal discomfort.

View our monthly class schedules here: http://bit.ly/1j86WCC


TELL ME, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WAY TO RELIEVE MUSCLE SORENESS? SHARE YOUR TIPS AND INSIGHTS WITH US IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

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