If you’ve ever done a really good leg workout, chances are you’ve had to deal with sore leg muscles. Read sore leg muscle solutions from 29 fitness experts.
The Story Behind Sore Leg Muscles
You really did it this time. You were killing it during your workout; you were in the zone pushing limits, making gains, and you felt GOOD doing it. You finish your last set, put down the weight and then start to confidently walk away, knowing that you kicked some ass.
That’s when you feel it.
A nagging little ache in your hamstring on one side. You take a few more steps and realize another little ache in your calf on the opposite leg. You ignore them both and drive home. You get out of your car and realize that your hips are really tight as you step out of the door. Unfortunately, this is just the calm before the storm.
This level of soreness is excluded to two distinct groups of trainees: people who never workout and push it too hard when they finally do, and people who know how to workout and have a really good day. This article is more for people who know how to workout, but the “fitness binger” can use these tips as well.
Sore Leg Advice from 29 Experts
There is an underground group of elite trainers called The Fitness Commonwealth who collaborate online. They ask each other fitness questions and opinions, they test fitness products, and they generally support each other when it comes to building their personal fitness businesses. I have the honor of managing this group, and a frequently ask them for tips and tricks to address common fitness issues. This is the first of many collaborative articles using their input.
After a heavy day of lifting where I had a little too much fun, I became more sore than I had been for months. After years of training I had come up with my own routine of hydration, rest, decompression, and mobility training (also curling into a ball and crying on the ground while repeating the word “why” to the ceiling), but I wanted to see what my fellow trainers would recommend based on their personal experience.
Here is what they came up with. The logic and reasoning is explained a little, but the logic and reasoning will be discussed further in future articles. My goal here is to give you options based on professional opinions so you can test and explore further on your own.
After marathons and ultras I just try to keep moving, wether it’s walking or a light running. Foam roller or massage helps as well (At least it has for me).
These activities keep blood flow going to those areas which is essential to the body’s natural repair mechanism.
Lol… I did a burpee 5k today, so I feel your pain!… I’ve always found that keeping moving works best for me. When it is really bad I also get a massage.
Helps the blood flow to the sore muscles… Which in turn brings oxygen and nutrients to your muscles
Keep moving for another 30min or so, then salt bath for a LONG while. Huge nap after that.
soreness inevitable with a good leg workout… after your workout use a thumb roller and stretching lessons the degree of pain.. Ibuprofen before bed lets you get a better restful sleep.
When we train muscles, we actually break them down. This creates scare tissue And muscles tend to stick to on another. using a foam roller losins muscles that are stuck to one another. Stretching muscles keeps blood flowing to area worked and prevents atrophy from settling in. Ibuprophen relaxes blood vessels and nerves, Allowing blood to flow freely in worked areas and keep inflamed/worked areas for swelling.
Rolling, mashing and flossing. Light jog or walk to keep moving. Light weight kettlebells with fun circuits to remove that build up.
Mashing will apply pressure to painful or knotted areas. Flossing (I love) is moving your limb in all directions essentially moving and sliding surfaces of your limbs and it frees deep restrictions not in muscles but in the tissue. Walking, jogging and kettlebell easy movements will flush out the lactic acid. All of this available in one of my favorite books that I always carry with me: Becoming a Supple Leopard by Dr. Kelly Starrette
Systema mobility. Systema starts with a base in breath control. Certain types of reading alter the physiology of your blood and force otherwise tense muscles and relaxation. This increases total body awareness. From there they begin to use that base as the primary catalyst to fuel your movements. This allows for the most relaxed body work possible. Also recent studies have shown that properly trained martial artist can actually facilitate body movement not from muscles but from activating the fascia in a specialized manner. This leads to a kind of relaxed strength that is very beneficial and unique.
Epsom salt bath with walking and stretching.
Active Recovery, let it be light walking and or Arc Trainer 10-15 mins, Myofascial Release higher intake of my powdered greens and MitoXcell and banded distraction work and of course my #MarcPro recovery unit…and a Epsom salt bath
For the new person I’d say that even though we just put our legs through lots of strenuous activity we want to keep the good blood flow coming in and the soreness as low as possible eben though it may happen. I would say even the next day going for a light walk or 10 min bike ride will keep yor recovery up and some of that soreness down. Foam rolling or myofascial release I want you to look at as a poor man’s massage, you can get rid of sore spots and or tight spots by using a foam roller, lacrosse ball, softball to help you not be as sore in the morning without spending lots of money and will help you recover faster. Epsom bath as it is soothing and relaxing and will get rid of soreness and make you feel better
Shawn Balow Foam roll/any type of self massage, light stretching, water-stay hydrated and light walking
Staying hydrated aids in muscle recovery and helps prevent/decrease muscle soreness Foam rolling and/or light massage will help relieve “tight muscles” which can be a by product of a hard workout
Rolling and a lacrosse ball. I have even taken a bath in an essential oil Deep Blue. My wife suggested it once and it seems to work.
Self-myofascial release or what I like to call it self-massage is a great tool to use to release muscle tightness.It can be performed with a foam roller, a lacrosse ball, two lacrosse ball taped together or even your own hands. When you apply pressure to the areas that are sore, you aid in the recovery of muscles and their return to normal, healthy function. In your case, walking normal instead on looking like Frankenstein.
Recovery drinks such as kombucha tea, followed by a relaxing Epsom salt soak and a relaxing leg massage. You’ll be back at it the following day like you never hit legs. But while this is the Grade A of leg soreness relief it should be saved for events like OCR, 10k, 1/2 and full marathon or any other type of long endurance type races.
Kombucha provides essential amino acids similar to protein drinks to help rebuild the muscles that have been broken down and decrease inflammation, as well as electrolytes much like gatorade this will help absorption of water to balance out your levels of hydration when your muscles are sore a large part is due to inflammation, inflammation is a swelling of blood in a localized area with little circulation hydration increases the flow of blood from the swollen area, then to top it off the probiitic effects in your tea give healthy digestion of the following foods you eat this in turn will transmit the proteins that your legs need after a large training day or event. How does this work for a Epsom Salt soak? Well the Epsom Salt soak will then draw out impurities from the skin the skin pulls impurities from the lipids in your blood and and push them out much like squeezing a sponge. Now what about the massage Ahhhh yes. Well with hydration, amino acids, and probiotics in your system a massage is an external facilitation of the benefits of just drink the Kombucha tea. Plus who doesn’t want a massage?
Foam rolling and drink lots of water!
Tyler Joseph Perez
I use a lacrosse ball for the density and drink a gallon of water.
Foam roll, lacrosse ball into the smaller areas, and a nice hot bath with Epsom salts.
Definitely some static and dynamic stretches with some foam rolling. Also, this routine:
Rolling with a PVC pipe because it tends to get a little deeper than your conventional foam roller. Cold showers and active recovery with usually animal flow style movements or light shadowboxing with the focus on kicks. These keep the blood flowing to all the right places especially with crawls and transfers and I like to lengthen the movements to really stretch as deep as possible with each movement.
Usually active recovery. Hike, mobility and stretch. Usually lots of easier movement and getting out and hiking and exploiting is a great way to do that.
My post-ultra routine was to simply keep moving throughout the day, stay hydrated, then sleep with my feet slightly elevated. My post race typically looked like this: go grocery shopping on the way home, pick up my son, then spend the afternoon rock climbing. Simple, fun, effective.
Foam rolling, and some form of active recovery.
Water, decompression, SMR.
Epsom soak and a nice leisurely stroll and a bit of gentle movement gets me right.
I highly recommend foam rolling everything from the waist down (hips, glutes, quads, and calves) and rolling your feet out in a lacrosse ball :)
2 cups Epsom salt and 1/2 cup cider vinegar bath. Make the water as hot as you can stand it and soak for 20-30 minutes. Honestly, there is not one single scientific study on the efficacy of Epsom salt for sore muscles. So, I can’t say why it works, but I’ve spent many nights in the tub and always feel better. Possibly, simply because it allows for deep relaxation of extremely tight muscles which eases the pain. I began adding the cider vinegar upon recommendation of a martial arts instructor after a particularly brutal sparring class. It does the trick, but no scientific evidence exists to back up why.
Hydration, NSAIDs, and flossing with voodoo bands- not just wrap and release, but a good tight wrap, then work the muscles through the full range of motion for about three minutes. Release for three. Then repeat. Do this twice a day until the DOMS fades.
Hydration and cold tub is what I did as an athlete in college. Worked all the time for me.
Jamie F. Wolcott
Foam rolling and some light work such a leisurely walk to keep the muscles active so they don’t knot up and drink plenty of water.
Maybe ice bath, gluthamine, ZMA, walking, rest.
Massage – work through the soreness until it’s gone, and you can massage your own legs if need be. Much better than rolling.
Extreme soreness is probably delayed onset of muscle soreness, which is associated with hydroxy proline leaking out of the muscle cell. Thus, any mechanical application should probably be gentle. A good friend of mine showed me “cross rolling” – if you are on the quads you move from side to side instead of up and down. Relax the muscles and you will get a great release. Also this vid: