Do your muscles ache after exercise?
Turns out that your cool-down routine (or lack thereof) could be making you sore!
While generating force during exercise, your muscles experience many small tears (microtears).
Rebuilding these small tears is actually how you get an increase in muscle size with
As a result of this whole process, you experience soreness in your muscles that usually lasts 1-2 days after you exercised, peaking on day 2 – this phenomenon referred to as delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS.
Using a foam core roller after exercise can actually improve your DOMS.
What’s a foam core roller?
Ever noticed this round, firm cylinders hanging around the gym?
Well, it’s called a foam roller and some people use it to decrease soft tissue (muscle + tendon + fascia) “tightness” but, a recent study suggested that it may be most effective after you exercise to decrease DOMS. The study also showed that participants had decreased recovery time between successive exercise bouts – meaning you feel better going into your next exercise session if you foam roll after.
The participants in this study performed squats and, the results were obtained via performing 45s of foam rolling on each muscle group involved (quads, hams, glutes, ITB/TFL).
Foam rollers are pretty inexpensive -- for patients' convenience, I sell foam rollers in my office but, you can also find them online. They’re fairly easy to use but, I do like to give specific instructions based upon your unique movement patterns.