What Workout to Do When Sore

You wake up feeling a little sore from yesterday’s workout. What workout should you do today? Get the answer here.

Understand Muscle Soreness

Muscle soreness is a normal part of any workout routine. It is an indication that your muscles have been worked hard and that you are making progress. Although it is normal to experience soreness, it is important to understand what type of soreness you are experiencing. In this article, we will discuss the various types of muscle soreness and how to work out when you’re feeling sore.

What is muscle soreness?

Muscle soreness typically refers to the discomfort or pain that is felt in the muscle following physical exercise. Muscle soreness can make everyday activities uncomfortable, and if it persists it can slow down progress towards your fitness goals. It’s important to understand the cause of muscle soreness and how best to treat it in order to maximize workout gains.

Muscle soreness is caused by tiny tears in the muscle fibers that occur as a result of working against resistance during exercise. As resistance increases, more and more micro-tears are formed which results in increased stiffness and pain. This type of muscle soreness is known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). It begins 12-24 hours after exercise and can last up to 72 hours depending on how hard you worked out. DOMS usually occurs when starting a new activity or increasing intensity levels too quickly, but can also occur after performing an exercise using unfamiliar muscles or just trying something new altogether.

While there is no “cure” for DOMS, there are steps you can take to reduce its intensity such as stretching, foam rolling or applying heat/cold therapy. Additionally, active recovery techniques such as low- or moderate-level cardio sessions, light swimming and walking are great ways to reduce DOMS without overworking your muscles further. Getting adequate rest between workouts is also essential for promoting healing of your muscles and reducing discomfort levels over time.

What causes muscle soreness?

Muscle soreness is a common feeling after physical activity. It results from a combination of biochemical processes that occur in the body following the exercise. Several factors contribute to muscle soreness and all of them can be grouped into three main categories: lactic acid buildup, connective tissue damage, and microscopic muscle tears.

Lactic acid buildup
Lactic acid is produced by muscles during intense activities like running or weightlifting. It is a byproduct of energy production and acts as an energy source for muscles when oxygen levels are low. Prolonged exercise causes lactic acid levels to build up in the body, resulting in burning sensations accompanied by pain and stiffness. This type of soreness usually appears 12 – 24 hours after exercise, peaks at 48 – 72 hours and fades away several days afterwards.

Connective tissue damage
Connective tissues act as shock absorbers for the muscles and protect them from unexpected strain from physical activity. During tedious or overly intense exercises, these tissues may become damaged lead to stiff, sore muscles that feel tight to the touch. This type of soreness usually occurs about 12 – 24 hours after activity too but does not typically peak until 72 – 96 hours afterwards.

Microscopic Muscle Tears
During intense movements—especially when lifting heavy weights—the contraction of muscle fibers can cause tiny microtears which leak into surrounding tissues and fluids causing swelling, inflammation and pain. This type of soreness reaches its peak within just 48 hours after workout with painful sensations gradually fading away in 2-3 days later than other types of post-exercise aches or pain

Types of Workouts to Do When Sore

When you’re sore from the previous workout, it can be difficult to know which type of workout to do. Should you take a rest day? Should you try to push through the soreness? Knowing the right type of workout to do when sore can help you get back to feeling great and help you maximize your results. Here, we’ll go over the different types of workouts to do when sore so you can make the best decision for yourself.

Low-impact cardio

When you’re feeling sore — either from a strenuous workout or an injury — taking it easy is the best remedy. That doesn’t mean you should take a day off completely, though. Low-impact exercises that don’t put too much stress on your muscles and joints can help relieve some of the stiffness and give you much-needed relief.

Ideal low-impact exercises for sore muscles are those that involve relatively gentle movements and lots of repetition. These types of exercises will improve circulation, stretch and relax your muscles, reduce inflammation, and have a soothing effect on aching joints. Popular examples of low-impact cardio include walking, cycling (indoors or outdoors), swimming, jogging on soft surfaces such as grass or sand, elliptical machines, rowing machines, and aerobic dance classes.

Light weight training is another beneficial type of exercise for soreness; just make sure to keep your movements slow and controlled to prevent even further irritation. Examples include arm circles with dumbbells or incline bench presses using light resistance bands. You could also do yoga poses like Child’s Pose to gently stretch out stiffness in the legs and arms without putting too much pressure on them at once.

Yoga and stretching

Yoga and stretching are great ways to reduce pain and soreness in your muscles. Yoga is a form of exercise that helps to stretch, strengthen, and relax the body. Stretching can also help reduce pain and soreness. It helps improve flexibility, blood flow, and muscle recovery after a workout. This is especially beneficial if you typically perform high-intensity workouts that are very strenuous on your muscles. By doing yoga or stretching after strenuous activity you can help reduce muscle soreness and even prevent future injury.

Additionally, gentle movement such as walking can also be beneficial for relieving muscle soreness. Slow, gentle movements increase blood circulation which helps promote quicker healing for any aching muscles or joints. This will help speed up the process of restoring lost energy levels and eliminating fatigue caused by workouts or other physical activities. Since walking is low impact, it is ideal if you are feeling particularly sore after exercise as it allows your body to slowly adjust without having to do anything too intense or demanding on the body.

No matter what type of workout you decide to do when your muscles are sore, make sure it’s something low impact so that you don’t cause any further injury or irritation to the affected area of your body. By mixing yoga/stretch movements with light walking/jogging outdoors it helps give your body just enough activity to flush out any built-up lactic acid from vigorous activities like weight training but not overwork already tired and tired muscles at the same time. Remember – listen to your body always!

Foam rolling

After an intense workout, your body may be feeling stiff and have muscle tightness and soreness. If the soreness does not resolve with rest, foam rolling can help increase circulation to tight muscle fibers. Foam rolling is a method of self-massage that uses a foam roller to apply pressure to trigger points in order to releive tight spots, knots, and spasms in your muscles.

When using the foam roller on a sore muscle, roll slowly over the affected area from multiple angles until you can feel it loosen up. Always take care not to hurt yourself while doing this exercise—you want it to be uncomfortable but tolerable. You don’t need any specific instruction or special gear for this exercise — just the right amount of effort and some patience are the only requirements!

Foam rolling:
-Eases soreness by increasing blood flow
-Targeted release of built-up myofascial tension
-Improves flexibility in joint range of motion
-Increases mobility around connective tissue
-Decreases pain associated with post-workout recovery

Benefits of Working Out When Sore

Working out when sore can actually be a great way to improve any workout regimen. The benefits of sore-day workouts can range from increased muscle recuperation and recovery, to increased strength and muscle gains. Additionally, it can also help your body become more resilient, allowing you to push yourself further. Let’s dive into the details.

Improved blood circulation

Working out when sore can offer a number of important benefits. Improved blood circulation is one of the biggest ones. Working out when sore causes your body to increase production of oxygen and nutrients to the areas that feeling sore to help speed up healing. This is possible because increased muscular contraction and movement associated with working out pumps more blood into the affected area, increasing circulation and aiding in recovery. Additionally, engaging in physical activity during this time helps break down lactic acid build up, another common cause of muscle soreness and stiffness. Through improved circulation, you can expect your muscles to begin feeling better from their soreness faster than if you simply decided to rest without doing any activity at all.

Reduced inflammation

When you work out when sore, the increased activity can help your body reduce inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s way of signaling that there is an injury or trauma that needs to be addressed. To reduce this inflammation, your body will release hormones, such as endorphins, to reduce pain and discomfort in a natural way. Furthermore, physical activity increases blood flow and helps your body naturally produce beneficial proteins such as growth hormones and cytokines which will help rebuild affected cells and tissue.

By working out when sore, you are also helping to promote muscular health while breaking up lactic acid build-up which can cause soreness. Working out acts almost like a massage, eliminating knots and tightness in muscles while improving overall flexibility. Finally, working out when sore reduces the amount of time needed for full recovery by allowing more oxygen-rich blood to rush into affected muscles and joints providing faster healing times.

Improved range of motion

When your muscles are sore, it can seem counterintuitive to exercise. But studies have shown that working out when you’re sore can actually help improve your range of motion and lessen the intensity of your soreness. Working out when you’re sore helps pump fluid to the damaged tissues in your muscles, which can help speed up the healing process by flushing out any toxins and reducing inflammation. In addition, working out when you’re sore increases warmth to the area which can help relax tight muscles and increase flexibility.

Low-intensity exercises such as foam rolling or light stretching are great for targeting specific areas that are causing discomfort. Make sure to start slowly and increase intensity gradually so as not to overwhelm your body with too much strain. A few minutes of gentle warm-up activities such as walking or jogging is often enough to loosen up stiff muscles without making matters worse. Depending on what workout you choose, you should also be sure to give yourself plenty of rest in between sets in order for your body time to recover properly after exertion.

Safety Tips for Working Out When Sore

Working out when sore can be beneficial for recovery and strengthening your muscles. However, it can also be dangerous if you don’t take the proper safety precautions. Before you even begin your workout, you should perform a warm-up and then stretch to loosen your muscles. It is also important to be aware of form and technique as well as listen to your body. Let’s dive deeper into safety tips for working out when sore.

Listen to your body

When working out while sore, it is extremely important to listen to your body and understand your capabilities. Many athletes assume they can push through the soreness or ignore it completely in order to reach their goals but this is often not the case. Even minor stiffness can lead to further injury if you don’t practice proper form and exercise caution.

If you are feeling sore after a previous workout, start off slowly with a slightly more relaxed pace when performing your regular activity and gradually increase intensity as necessary. Pay attention to which muscle groups feel tight or more strained than usual and focus on stretching those specific muscles prior to starting the activity. Additionally, warming up properly beforehand will help reduce discomfort during the activity. Keeping hydrated and well-rested between activities will also help give your body enough time to rest and recover from previous workouts.

Finally, pay close attention to any pains that may come up during exercise. If you’re feeling any pain that has become unbearable or doesn’t seem right, stop immediately and have yourself checked out by a health care professional for further advice or treatment if necessary. It is best not to try anything risky when recovering from an injury with physical therapy often being the best solution for such cases.

Start with low-intensity exercises

When working out when sore, it is important to start with low-intensity exercises and mobility drills. Doing so will allow you to warm up the affected body area without further aggravating it. Begin with gentle stretching and light calisthenics such as squats and lunges, followed by a few minutes of walking. This allows your muscles to gradually become more engaged while maintaining good form. During these exercises, focus on proper form over intensity, so you don’t cause any further damage to the area. After these low-intensity exercises are complete, allow your body a few minutes to recover before progressing to higher intensity workouts such as running or weight lifting. If after even 10-15 minutes of light calisthenics or stretching the area is still tender or painful, discontinue exercise until symptom relief is achieved.

Don’t push yourself too hard

When working out when sore, it is important to remember not to push yourself too hard. This is especially true for more intense exercises, such as weightlifting and running, as pushing too hard in these activities can lead to unpleasant or even dangerous results. Instead of pushing too hard and overstressing your muscles and joints, take things slow and allow yourself a few extra days of rest if your body isn’t feeling up to the task.

During workouts when sore, it is also very important to pay attention to any signs that you are potentially overdoing it. Signs that may indicate you need to stop and rest include: feeling lightheaded or dizzy; heavy breathing; sharp pain in any area of the body; noticeable swelling or inflammation in any area; nausea; or loss of balance. It’s better to take a break or lower the intensity than push through pain or discomfort.

Stay hydrated throughout your workout routine, even if sore. Drinking enough water before, during, and after exercise can help minimize muscle fatigue and prevent dehydration which can cause further injury or health issues if ignored.


Working out when you’re sore can be a tricky situation. It’s important to know how to get the most out of your workout while still avoiding further injury or fatigue. We’ve gone through the pros and cons of working out when you’re sore, as well as given some tips on how to make the most out of your workout even if you’re feeling sore. Now let’s wrap up our discussion and summarize the key takeaways.

Summary of the article

In conclusion, it is important to take good care of your body and listen to the signals it sends you when you start feeling sore. When your muscles ache, don’t push yourself too hard – allow yourself some rest in order to reduce soreness and help speed up recovery. Doing light stretching or yoga can help increase flexibility and decrease tightness and stiffness. Foam rolling or using a massage ball are also very effective in relieving muscle knots and tension. If pain continues for more than a few days, however, it is best to consult with a medical professional. Taking these steps will provide relief from post-workout muscle soreness while helping you get back on track with your fitness routine!

Final thoughts

When your body is feeling sore after a workout, it’s important to remember to listen to your body and give it the recovery time it needs. Remember that even light exercise can be beneficial when feeling sore, but you should avoid heavy lifting or high-intensity activities. Stretching and foam rolling are also great ways to help the muscles relax and promote healing. Finally, eating a balanced diet that is tailored to your individual needs may also provide the necessary nutrients for muscle maintenance and recovery. Ultimately, with the right combination of rest, stretching, nutrition and light exercise you will have the power within you to beat any post-workout physical setback.

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