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DOMS - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

DOMS - What we dread after working out and what causes many people to give up working out altogether.

Causes of DOMS

1. Eccentric muscle contractions or "negatives." For example, when you perform a biceps curl and curl the weight up, that is a concentric muscle contraction.... the muscle shortens. When you lower the weight slowly, the biceps is contracting, but it is lengthening while it contracts. When you perform lots of slow, lengthening contractions, this can cause significant post-workout soreness.

2. A brand new workout. When you perform new movments, this is stressful to the body. It is not that you are using muscles you never used, it is that you are using them in a different way. This can cause soreness.

3. Dehydration. Muscles do not like when the body is dehydrated, so drink. Use a scale before and after to learn how much you need to replace. If you happen to gain weight after working out from drinking, then back off the fluid (this is called hyponatremia - for more click here.

4. Reactive Oxygen Species. In other words the increase of free radicals is related to DOMS. What to do - LifePak or LifePak Nano!

5. Neurology. Yes, this soreness can "spread" to adjacent muscle groups via the central nervous system. That is why recovery is so important. If your movement patterns are off, then this type of soreness is much more likely to occur. Get a Functional Movement Screen!

So, what can you do about DOMS?

1. Have your movements been analyzed? Have you had an FMS performed? Read more here.

2. Proper warm-up and cool down. Learn what you need to do to warm-up and cool down effectively. The results of the FMS will help you determine what your body needs. Most athletes either disregard warm-up and especially cool down or are doing the wrongs things. This topic includes proper "stretching." Read more about this topic in an article posted on my old practice website here.

3. Get plenty of sleep! Read this great article from the Australian Sports Commission.

4. Protein/carb shake post-workout and then eat a real meal within 60 minutes. Approximately 30 grams of protein and two to four times that in carbs. You must test to see what works best for you. More on types of protein in another blog!

5. Post-workout anti-inflammatory supplementation. Overdrive is the name of the best supplement I have come across in all my years of training to combat DOMS. I have always used a recovery supplement of some type and have experimented with dozens over the years. Overdrive has been a HUGE help to me during my recovery from surgery and allowed me to get back to where I am (see more here).

6. Self myofascial release. Do you use a foam roller, the STICK or similar products? Have you learned how to use these correctly?

7. Gradually increase your training!!! I have seen so many injuries caused by increasing training too rapidly. That means mileage for runners, increases in weight for lifters, increases in meters for swimmings, increases in the number of jumps for figure skaters and field athletes. Be smart here especially if you are an adult starting a sport for the first time.


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