Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Understanding Exercise-Induced Muscle Soreness (Part 3) :

Understanding Exercise-Induced Muscle Soreness (Part 3)
πŸ‘‰ Understanding Exercise-Induced Muscle Soreness (Part 1)

πŸ‘‰ Understanding Exercise-Induced Muscle Soreness (Part 2)

Understanding Exercise-Induced Muscle Soreness (Part 3) :

The process can be compared to sunbathing. If you stay in the sun too long, your skin will burn. Shortly thereafter, the burn is accompanied by localized tissue swelling that is sensitive to pain. The burn heals over time and the skin becomes more resistant to the rays of the sun. Thereafter, repeated sun exposure results in a tan rather than a burn. While the specific adaptations in tanning are quite different than in training, the basic concept is the same: adaptation breeds resistance.

Interestingly, DOMS is somewhat gender-specific: Given the same exercise protocols, women experience less muscular soreness than their male counterparts . The reason appears to be hormonally related. Estrogen, the primary female sex hormone, has antioxidant properties. It rapidly responds to muscle damage, expediting the healing of the injured tissue. Moreover, by promoting stability of the muscle membrane, it helps to maintain the integrity of the cell and thereby reduce inflammation.



Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to prevent DOMS (outside of altering your training program). Warming up doesn't help . Neither does stretching . You can, however, help to alleviate soreness by engaging in an active recovery. While the natural tendency is to remain sedentary if you are sore, this is really counterproductive. Light activity is generally best, especially using concentric-based activities . There also has been some research showing that post-workout massage can be of some help, but this seems to be dependent on the individual .

In final analysis, it's imprudent to use muscular soreness as a gauge of workout success. Although much still needs to be learned about the complexities of DOMS, the overwhelming evidence says that it has little to do with muscular development. Rest assured, you can make terrific progress without getting sore.


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