Exercise What Causes Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

We all experienced muscle soreness. Here is how you can prevent it.


A New Year’s resolution is a dangerous thing, because it’s usually something you’ve waited too long to do. With a fitness-related resolution, now that you’ve made up your mind to do it, you’re probably going to hit it with all the gusto possible, like beating up a bully that’s been picking on you for a long time. Like a tempest in a teapot, you’re going to hire a personal trainer, take a step class, hula class or yoga class, or start fast-walking around the block… and it’s all going to hurt to some degree at first.

WHY THE MUSCLE PAIN? It’s called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).

It happens to most people 24 to 48 hours after exercise. Even the fittest person experiences some DOMS. Whether you’re beginning a new sport or challenging yourself as an athlete, small microscopic injuries occur within muscle fibers and surrounding connective tissue. This results in a slow chain of biochemical events leading to inflammation and edema within the injured muscle. The repair process is how the muscles get stronger. Muscles build themselves up and become denser as they repair.


Although you probably won’t avoid soreness altogether in the beginning, you do not need to experience pain to make “gains” in your overall health and strength. You can get fit with relatively little soreness if you start light, go slow, use proper supported form, and get plenty of food and rest.

Happy New Year! See you at the gym!

 Vicki Morgan is a Strength Trainer at Flex Gym & Fitness and Victory Fitness Team Coach. Visit her at victoryfitnessteam.com or call 719-237-9020.

What Causes Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program, or a healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience pain or difficulty with exercise, stop and consult your healthcare provider. This article is not meant to take the place of any treatment your physician has deemed necessary. 

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