If you’re not feeling sore right after your workout, just wait, because you will.

There’s nothing better than the feeling you get after a hard workout, but when you don’t feel sore the day after, you might feel like you didn’t get the hardcore pump you thought you did. Just wait! As the day goes on, muscle soreness will creep up and you’ll feel as if you’ve moved mountains. The reason: delayed onset muscle soreness or what is better known as DOMS.

What is DOMS?

There was the belief that delayed onset muscle soreness results from a buildup of lactic acid or metabolic waste. That theory has since been dismissed. Delayed muscle soreness happens when there are small tears in connective tissue followed by inflammation to the muscle fibers. These tears happen during the eccentric (lengthening) part of the movement. For example, running down hill or during the lengthening part of a bicep curl.

Everyone can fall victim to DOMS, from the newbie who’s just starting out to the seasoned bodybuilder. The only real difference is that a bodybuilder may not experience the same severity as a first timer. The reason: seasoned athlete’s muscles are more accustomed to the workload put on it.

Delayed soreness is usually present 24-48 hours after the muscles have been exercised. This is because the muscles are stressed more than what they’re used too. This can also be a sign that the muscles are getting stronger or are growing (hypertrophy). You should notice the pain disappearing in about two to three days after the initial workout. Now, if you find that the pain is not disappearing or letting up, this could be a sign that something more serious may be wrong. Always listen to your body and never push a muscle if the movement is painful.

(Read more on Muscle & Fitness Magazine)

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