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7 tips for Muscle Soreness After HIIT

Many people experience muscle soreness when incorporating a new exercise routine especially when starting HIIT (high intensity interval training) due to the fact that they are using muscles they haven’t used before in a variety of new ways. Muscle soreness is a completely normal phenomenon and is evidence of progress beginning to happen in your body!

Muscle soreness is part of an adaptation process in which your muscle fibers are broken down as the muscles recover and build, leading to greater stamina and strength! It can occur anywhere from 1-2 days after a workout and last anywhere from 3-5 days.

Some people are unused to and affected strongly by their muscle soreness, and need extra ways to combat that feeling. Below you will find 6 tips to help in the recovery process when you are feeling extra sore!


1. ICE

Sports medicine specialists recommend ice after workouts to speed up the healing process and prevent further muscle damage. A hot bath may initially help relieve pain and make you feel better but it will not initiate muscle healing.


A light massage after a workout has been proven to increase blood flow to your muscles and aid with decreasing muscle inflammation and soreness. If a massage is out of your budget there are ways to perform the massage on your own including simply rubbing the sore areas or using fitness equipment designed to relieve muscle tension such as a muscle roller, a foam roller or a tennis ball.


Studies have shown that drinking coffee before a workout can drastically reduce muscle soreness and muscle fatigue. Drinking a cup before a workout will also give you a nice boost of endurance during your workout. It has been shown that 2 cups of coffee, especially for beginner athletes, reduced muscle soreness one to two days after a training session.


An oldie but a goodie. Stretching can feel extremely aggressive when your muscles are very tender and tight so take any stretches you perform at a slow pace and perform them lightly. Never force your muscles into a stretch that is extremely uncomfortable.


If you feel like your muscle soreness is hindering your daily activity then take the regular recommended dose of ibuprofen to help reduce inflammation in those muscles. Ibuprofen should only be taken in light doses and used as little as possible.


The worst thing you can do after a tough workout is to remain stagnant. Take a brief walk or perform your normal daily activities but avoid sitting or lying down as this will cause your muscles to tighten up. When you move around you warm up any sore muscles helping to loosen any areas that are feeling extremely tight.


As with any new fitness routine starting slow and building up your endurance and your strength is the best way to prevent any extreme soreness. Be patient and gradually increase your intensity over time as your muscles slowly adapt to your new routine!

Photo courtesy of: Women’s Health

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