How to alleviate soreness.

Through all the physical activities we do on a daily basis it’s pretty obvious we are going to have some very sore days. This is alright for a few reasons. We know the breaking down of muscle leaves room for them to rebuild stronger. Nothing says you’ve had a productive session without next day soreness. However no one wants to just deal with the after effects of working hard. I hate barely being able to get through a day of work, school, or errands because of weak legs. It almost feels like your body parts are being weighed down by cement. You struggle to with each step you take or object you lift. In short, the ability to find ways to alleviate stress has numerous advantages.

Now I don’t condone training or any physical activity that involves muscles that are already tired. Not only is it more difficult to perform, but you also risk injury. The pulling and tearing of muscle fibers is not fun and can leave you out the game for many weeks or months. Also without the ability to perform at our peak it’s easy to quick get frustrated and unmotivated to train. This is not a great attitude to have because performing out of anger can cause you to do things you may not be ready for or throwing techniques without a focused mindset.

With that being said there are a few actions you can take to alleviate soreness.

Most actions we can take should be done before the soreness actually hits. If you are physically prepared for what’s coming you can plan accordingly.

A Proper Warm-Up

Seriously. You won’t believe the amount of people I see at jams that just show up and start jumping around. NOT SAFE! Anytime you are pushing to perform you should show some respect to yourself and take the time to ‘wake up’ your body. You can warm up in various different ways. The most common is usually stretching and basic circling of the joints in your body. This is great, but also what I would suggest is you start with very small jumps and vaults  and gradually build up. With this method you’ll be able to safely reach peak performance quickly. Also if you do stretch it’s best to not hold the positions for more than 10 seconds. Stretching lengthens the muscle fibers in your body causing them to weaken in strength. This is great for greater range of motion, but not for physical activity. The best stretches to do are dynamic active stretching routines. So things such as high kicks and flexing of the joints between extensions are probably better suited for training. Don’t forget about light jogging or running sprints. These are a personal favorite of mine because they get you body responsive and ready for freerunning very quickly. So take a moment before training to run a lap or two around the training spot then jump into moving.

A Proper Cool-Down

Just as you built up to training you should reverse the process after. Now this will have a large impact on soreness the next day. If done right, you’ll be able to alleviate some pain. The first thing I usually do is jog once more, but instead I’ll start fast and quick and slowly go into a brisk walk over time. Also this is the time where those long stretches come into play. Your body is still warm, but you’re no longer training. This is the time to really stretch deep and increase your range of motion in your body. Even better is that this will eliminate some much of the discomfort you’ll feel afterwards. Overall creating a proper cool down routine is what you’ll want to focus on the most when trying to stop soreness the following days to come.

Invest in a Foam Roller!

The next day you still may feel a bit of discomfort. Nothing hits the spot like a deep muscular massage. Massages soften the tense spots in your body allowing relief  from soreness. Now if you can’t pay a physician to do this every time you feel sore ( like most of us ) the best thing to do is to invest in a foam roller. You can find a cheap one at a local store for a few bucks or you can get the more expensive and effective kind found at sports shops. Either way this method is very effective to reach those problem area in your body. What’s also great is how portable the device is and you can use it almost anywhere! It’s worth looking into and trying a couple times. Afterwards I know you’ll be hooked.