Preventing Soreness after Exercise

McNabb enjoying some stretchingI ate way too much food this Thanksgiving.  As I rolled out of my food induced coma the day after, I met some friends for a game of football.  After watching the Packers wreck the Lions, I had to vent some frustration because I am a Lions fan.  Even though we did not play tackle, I am still sore and I can barely move!  But, I figured out why.

First of all, I should have been wearing shoes, but it was nice out and I forgot to bring my shoes home from college…plus the football field was like new carpet; it just felt good on the feet.  However, that is not the point.  I totally forgot to stretch after and do a cool down.  I did some light stretches before the game started and took it easy the first few plays.

With no support from shoes, my ankles to my hips were starting to hurt and that was the beginning.  The next day, I could hardly move!  It was like an intense leg workout with no shoes.  The reason you get sore is because you tear the muscles somewhat when you exercise. This is why you shouldn’t work the same muscle group or do cardio 2 consecutive days in a row.  The best way to ensure you don’t get sore or as sore is to stretch before and AFTER your workout.

When you do your cool down and stretch after, you help prevent the muscles from cramping and they are still warm, so they are easy to stretch out.  This ensures more blood flow to the muscles and the blood supplies the nutrients needed to help with the stiff muscles.  You can do the exact same stretching routine you do for your warm up as your cool down stretching.  This also helps a little bit with flexibility, which is very important for injury prevention and strength.  If you feel sore after a workout, try to stretch a little bit longer and see how it works.  This way, you won’t feel so stiff and you can train with the same intensity.

Posted on Nov 29 2009, under Training | No Comments »

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