If someone mentioned the word D.O.M.S where I come from, I would be apt to think of an Italian eatery or pizza shop. In this instance it means Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. This is the muscle pain or stiffness that you feel after exercising. It is most prominent the first time you work out or during an initial assessment and it is a completely normal response to exerting yourself beyond what your body is adapted for. In fact it is a part of the adaption process that allows you to become strong, fit and lean and boost your metabolism.
What creates D.O.M.S?
Eccentric movement creates muscle soreness. For example, walking down a lot of stairs… When you walk down the stairs your calf muscles have to decelerate the ankle joint movement as you make each step down the stairs, which can cause micro trauma or small tears in the muscle fibers (which is another way of saying small injuries), thus creating soreness in your calf. Another example of eccentric movement would be the downward potion of the squatting movement or the downward movement of a biceps curl.
Not only does eccentric movement cause Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, going beyond what your body is adapted for or doing movements that your body is unfamiliar with will also cause D.O.M.S. Another example we come across a lot is when someone is in amazing shape when it comes to running, but as soon that person does some strength training they feel sore, even in their legs. Many times the reply is, I thought my legs were in better shape than that
How do you to decrease D.O.M.S?
You can reduce or prevent extreme delayed onset muscle soreness by progressing your exercise regimen properly. What that means is adding enough stimulus to the body to engender growth and get results but not too much to cause severe soreness and therefore a longer recovery time. And this can take some experimenting; which is why an assessment is so important. Some people have stronger legs and can do more with the lower body than they can with the upper body.
If you do find yourself with D.O.M.S. here are 9 things you can do to increase the rate of recovery:
- Light jogging and then some light stretching
- Specific Yoga
- Our Back Pain Relief4Life Program
- Icing the muscles before they get sore will increase the speed of recovery
- Sitting in a hot tub or a sauna for 20 minutes
- Increase your water and vitamin (especially vitamin C) consumption
- Consume 300-400 calories of carbohydrate shortly after the training session
- Taking advil
Ian Hart is a Body-Mind Transformation expert, the creator of EarthFIT Training Systems, co-creator of BACK PAIN RELIEF4LIFE, and founder of BEAUFORTPERSONALTRAINING.COM and MYBACKPAINCOACH.COM. Ian and his team help people get into optimal shape in the safest, fastest and most effective way possible, using cutting edge science.