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Why am I sore after exercise?

Why am I sore after exercise?

Your muscles worked beyond what they were used to.

Soreness is the result of performing an activity or exercise that your body isn’t used to.

For example:
  • Exercising for the first time ever…or the first time in a while.
  • Performing a new type of exercise.
  • Exercising at a higher intensity or for a longer period of time than usual.

Soreness can also be the result of lifting weights or any other type of strength training.

Muscles develop tiny tears

  1. Your muscles are placed under increased stress when they aren’t used to a particular exercise, exercise intensity, or duration.
  2. The muscles involved in the exercise actually develop tiny microscopic tears as a result of the increased stress placed on them.
  3. Your body then repairs these tears and builds stronger muscles to better handle the same stress the next time.

Soreness is thought to be a result of these tiny tears and the repair process.

Muscle soreness is delayed and generally begins between 12 and 24 hours after the activity. The technical term for soreness is: delayed onset muscle soreness. (DOMS).

Source: ACSM. (2011). Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) [Brochure]. Braun, W. & Sforzo, G: Authors.



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FitnessforWeightLoss.com was created by Stephanie Averkamp, a recognized health and fitness professional and sole-author of the content on this website. Stephanie's approach to weight loss emphasizes making small, realistic, and permanent lifestyle changes. Read more...

Stephanie Averkamp

Our Approach: Short-term solutions (like dieting) are unrealistic and ineffective because at some point they end. As soon as a diet or program ends, so do the results. Permanent weight loss is a journey; it's not a race or competition and there is no finish line. Read more...