Soreness in the muscles is something that we all experience after a hard day of lifting in the gym. When lifting weights your muscles tear, and when you rest those muscles will heal and become bigger and stronger. The tearing of the muscles can cause pain in those worked areas.
Is soreness something that you should push through and continue to lift? Or should you rest when that feeling of soreness is bringing pain to your muscles? Well in this article I will be answering these questions for you.
Why Do You Get Sore?
In order to build muscle, the muscles must tear which will happen when you lift weights and repair over a rest period. Live science.com says “Muscle contractions cause microscopic tears along with the muscle and nearby connective tissues, according to ACMS. These tiny tears don’t directly cause soreness. Rather, the pain is a side effect of the muscle repair process” read more here.
This is the reason why you Should not work for the same muscle groups every day. You should always rest at least a day per muscle group so that they can get the proper rest time to heal and build themselves back up.
Muscle soreness is actually a good thing because the pain is indicating that your muscles are healing and that they will become bigger, stronger, and more toned. Even though being sore hurts it may seem not as bad when you look at it from this perspective.
Are you Sore Or Are You Injured?
The first thing that you should determine is if you are sore or if you have an injury. Muscle soreness can last for a few days, Depending on how hard you worked the muscle it can vary on how badly it hurts and how long you are sore for.
If the pain lasts longer than a few days and feels a little bit more than just a little uncomfortable it might be an injury such as a muscle strain. Muscle strains happen when the tendons or muscles are overworked.
These injuries can be painful and dangerous if not treated “Minor injuries may only overstretch a muscle or tendon, while more severe injuries may involve partial or complete tears in these tissues.” read more here.
If your pain lasts longer than a few days and is more painful than the normal feeling of being sore you may possibly be injured. If the pain is unbearable you should seek medical advice. According to mayoclinic.org, the symptoms of a strain may include, pain or tenderness, bruising, limited motion, swelling, and more.
But the good thing is that most minor strains can be treated easily. “Initial treatment includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Mild strains can be successfully treated at home.” read more here. So if your muscle is strained then you should rest up to prevent further injury.
A great way to avoid strains when working out is by using dynamic stretching prior to your workout. This will help to reduce your chances of injury while also assisting you with having a better range of motion. if you want to learn more we wrote another article on warming up. read here.
When you are healed from an injury you can return to your workouts, but you might wanna take it easy at first just in case it is still healing. injuries are nothing to make light of. When not treated injuries can possibly affect the functionality of your body for the rest of your life.
If You Are Still Sore Should You Workout?
If muscle soreness is a sign that they are healing, then is it a bad thing to lift again, if you are still feeling sore after a day of rest? Should you push through or is that an indicator that you should rest for longer?
As mentioned earlier if you are injured or think that you might be injured you should most definitely not workout. But if it is just soreness the answer can be different depending on the situation.
In my personal experience, I have worked out even when still feeling sore and it has actually made me stronger in the long run. I remember just a few months ago I did this new routine that called for lifting weights twice a day. And there was a day’s rest between each muscle group.
During this workout for the first week, I was feeling sore in all of my muscles. It wasn’t unbearable, it was just that annoying pain that we all get when doing a new routine. I ended up pushing through the pain for the first week and by the second or third week I wasn’t getting the pain anymore.
Pushing through was definitely the right decision for me personally because it just helped me become better at pushing myself and in the end, it made me stronger because after a while I did not feel as sore as I did the first week of doing that routine.
But also the pain was not at the point where it was unbearable, it was just normal soreness. Pushing through normal soreness will make you stronger in the end. But be careful if the soreness is more painful than normal to avoid injury.
If the pain seems more than just a little sore that might mean that you should take a rest for a day or two and decide after that what you should do next.
Soreness is not a bad thing. Soreness is a sign that you are making progress and working hard. When you are sore you are healing and that is really good news.
Should you push through the pain and workout when you are sore? If the pain is tolerable then Absolutely! Pushing through is going to help you become stronger and more perseverent when lifting weights. But if the pain is not tolerable then you should most likely take a day off. If it is unbearable you might want to consult a doctor.
Soreness is all part of working out and if you are smart with the decisions that you make when you are feeling pain then it will be no problem. You just need to know your own limitations and not be too prideful when it comes to pushing through pain.