If I have to say one negative thing about lifting weights: the sore muscles the day after. And yes, I do realize that you have to do some heavy lifting if you want your muscles to grow. But these burning feeling in your legs you get days after your workout – thanks, but no thanks. Luckily there are a lot of things you can do to prevent some of this pain. Here are some of the best tips and tricks.
1. WARMING UP AND COOLING DOWN
Okay, if you only have 45 minutes for your entire workout, I understand you don’t feel like doing a warming up. But it is really important to do one before your training. And no, this does not mean you have to jump around for half an hour to some upbeat Zumba music. Certainly not. Your warming up can be a piece of cake, like an interval training on the treadmill for 5 to 10 minutes. Or give your best on the cross-trainer. Personally, I feel more like lifting weights when I have had a warming up like that.
Your cooling down should be just as important as your warming up, although it is often forgotten. I prefer slowly walking on the treadmill for 5 to 10 minutes, but sometimes a bit of biking is nice as well. (Especially after leg day, when my legs don’t feel like doing anything anymore.)
2. USE A FOAM ROLLER
This may sound more relaxed than it actually is, but damn, this works. It can hurt a bit in the beginning, but you’ll be more flexible and less sore when you’re done. Almost every gym has a foam roller, so pick it up! At first, I didn’t know what to do with it. But after seeing Kayla Itsines’ videos on Instagram, I started using it. Because if using a foam roller will help with the burning feeling after leg day, I will not hesitate to try it.
3. EAT YOUR PROTEINS
Every Fit Girl needs protein, especially if you train a couple of times per week. It is essential before and after your workout, because they help build your muscles. By eating lots of protein, you will be able to hit the gym again in no time! So make sure to eat enough of this useful nutrient every day. And yes, this will be hard in the beginning, because you will have to track your macros. But once you get the feeling of it, it will all go automatically. You can either get your proteins from whole foods or shakes, whatever you prefer.
4. NEVER FORGET TO STRETCH
I used to make this mistake over and over again. After a workout, I didn’t feel like stretching at all, so I took a quick shower and headed home. Worst idea ever. Stretching makes your muscles more flexible and will reduce the risk of injuries. It takes zero to no time, and it is ideal to catch your breath after your training. It is basically as important as your warming up. So girls, don’t skip your stretching next time you are in the gym!
5. TAKE SOME TIME FOR RECOVERY
When you get the hang of it, you feel like hitting the gym every day of the week. Which makes sense, because when you feel like working out, you should take advantage of it, right? But resting days are really important, and we tend to forget. When you do weight training and you want to work out more than twice per week, you should schedule your trainings carefully. Make use of a split scheme: train your upper body one day, and your legs en butt the next day. There will be plenty of trainers in the gym who can assist you with making a schedule like this. But even with a training program like this, rest is important.
What are your hacks to prevent sore muscles? Let us know, because sharing is caring!