What's the best way to ease aches post-exercise?

I do a power plates class once a week and the instructors are great so it is quite an intense 30 mins. The muscle pains for the following few days are really quite bad though, to the extent that it hurts to walk! I know that means it's working but what's the best way to ease the aches? It puts me off doing it so often...
Asked by Judy-J

11 answers

Top answer
hello Judy, a good massage will help restore muscle fibre length, massage is a form of stretching so it's a double whammy. Instead of having a hot bath take a cold one and then after 48 hours have a nice bath with epsom salts which are loaded with magnesium. Don't underestimate taking in good protein as this will help enormously. Recovery workouts will also speed up the healing process.
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Definitely good stretching, assisted stretching if possible. Training regularly is also another factor to ease the aches as your body will get used to it.
I use paracetamol pain killers ! At breakfast, and again in the afternoon, if the pain's really bad! You could also put Epsom salts in a hot bath, and use Tiger Balm, or Ibroprufen pain gel. I have used all of these after dynamic pilates classes which are monstrous. They all do the job. And don't work out again for at least 2 days !
Without a doubt, an appropriate and thorough stretch will reduce the muscular soreness in the days following a session. The soreness and discomfort is caused by a build up of lactic acid within the muscle, a waste product from your lactate energy system. And so, drinking plenty of water can be very beneficial to flush out the toxin build up. Moving is essential as sitting down can cause the muscles to tighten and stiffen up, so going for walks, (even if it hurts), can be very important. Massages are great, but are only enjoyable once the pain has subsided as a sports massage on painful muscles can be excruciating!
Swimming is fantastic as it's non-weight bearing and much gentler compared with a weight routine. Doing a yoga or pilates class AFTER your power plate class, (if possible), would be fantastic as they focus on the stretch and can leave you feeling very relaxed. Stretching immediately after the class, before the pain has set in, can prevent the extreme painfulness from setting in in the first place.
Doing exercise on a regular basis will help you to get stronger and build up a tolerence to the lactic acid so you won't be as sensitive. Your body will also become more efficient at getting rid of it if you are in a regular routine.
But don't give up! It will get easier :)
It's easy. We run a Power Plate Authorised Centre and every client gets at least a couple of minutes at the end of their session on the massage setting. The main problem area for after exercise muscle pain is usually the hamstrings and if that's the case, get your instructor to help by gently pressing the legs down onto the Plate while on massage mode.
Also make sure you're drinking plenty of water during and after the session. Power Plate training dehydrates you more than a lot of other exercise types and that can often cause muscle cramps.
The key cause of post exercise muscle soreness is over training; while the noted ice baths and good old tiger balm will help you need to hold back a little and allow your body to adjust to the intense session, also try to avoid lactic acid as this only ramps up the pain. The fact it is only once a week helps to some degree, allowing you to take part in another activity a a lower intensity. My advice therefore is to avoid creating the soreness altogether (by working too intensely) as apposed to finding ways to control the pain after.
These sound like DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)
Here is what you need to do:

Get as much protein into your diet as you can. This is basically meat, fish, eggs, chicken or turkey which will all help to speed up recovery
Go for a short walk, it will hurt a little bit but will promote blood flow to the area and make it even better to...
Drink more water: Water will rehydrate you, speed up the detox process and help repair muscle tissue quicker.
HOT bath- again promoting blood flow to the muscle and increases lymphatic drainage
Get a massage- the same reasons as all of he above and it feels nice!
Rub on magnesium oil- probably THE best thing you can do here. Magnesium is a natural relaxant.
Tiger Balm! :-)
An Ice Bath it amazing for reducing soreness and Lactic Acid post exercise, I played professional rugby for 6 years and we used Ice Baths on a regular basis, works every time. So simple but so effective at the same time!
If she does a proper cool down with you it shouldn't ache as much, but I'd recommend simple stretches after, hot bath, gentle yoga is good. Warmth is the key to loosing down your muscles but a stretch on the plate after is a must.
Muscle soreness is worse when exercise is unaccustomed therefore the more you do the more used to it your body will become. In the mean time try doing a couple of gentle lengths of a swimming pool after your session if you have this available, stretch after your workout is essential! Massage is a great way to recover. Accupuncture can be great. Sleep well and eat plenty of protein. If you can do any of these you will notice a difference! :)
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