Sore muscles do not mean muscle building: what you should watch out for when training

Muscle soreness does not mean muscle building: What you should watch out for when training

Muscle soreness is no proof for effective training. You can also build strength without feeling soreness. At the end of the page we explain how to do this and what you should pay attention to during strength training.

The pain also doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve done something wrong. They only mean: You have new muscles during training Stimuli set for specific muscles – and that is actually good.

But you have fine tears in the fibers which the body is now repairing. So soreness is a Reaction of the repair systems the stressed muscle cells to an overload.

You usually feel the pain 12 to 48 hours after exercise. The good thing: The more your body gets used to the exercises/movements and the stronger the (previously sore) muscle becomes, the faster you will become "muscle soreness free".

When do you get sore muscles?

Trained too hard? Then you may expect a sore muscle the next day.
© Getty Images

You have pushed the sore muscle more than it is used to. For example by unaccustomed movements or especially intensive loads.

"Also uncontrolled, jerky movements can lead to sore muscles", explains Moritz Tellmann, sports physician and personal trainer. Training beginners:inside suffer more frequently from muscle soreness in the first period due to the unaccustomed strain.

Good to know: Sore muscles are not harmful to health and has no serious consequences – as long as you do not continue to train with extreme loads and risk further injury.

Sore muscles: are these myths true??

If you don’t have sore muscles, you haven’t trained properly. Not true. Effective muscle building also works without muscle soreness.

Strength training must hurt in order to work. No. You need to set a training stimulus and push your limits. This can also hurt sometimes, the muscle may feel exhausted. But pain in tendons or joints is taboo.

Even top athletes can get muscle soreness. True. After unaccustomed exercises even top athletes experience the painful feeling of tension. But you usually recover from it faster.

you can get sore muscles only once in one part of your body. Not true! The muscle gets used to an exercise. But this only applies if the training stimulus remains the same. If you increase the load, it can occur again.

Going into a workout with slight muscle soreness is not problematic. True. However, you should avoid the painful zones. "A light endurance training is ideal to optimize the recovery of the muscle soreness", recommends trainer Tellmann.

Stretching can prevent muscle soreness. No. Whether you have pain after training is not due to the warm-up, but to the type of exercises and how you are used to them. You can’t stretch away sore muscles: this could even further damage the torn muscle fibers.

Anti-muscle soreness tips from Dr. Moritz Tellmann, sports physician and personal trainer?*

What helps against sore muscles?

Wait and see – and be proud of your efforts. After a week at the latest, it will be gone again by itself. Basically there is no cure for sore muscles. It’s just damage that needs to be repaired.

Can I support the healing?

Magnesium stimulates the regeneration of muscle tissue. This way especially small muscle fiber tears can heal faster. But it doesn’t relieve the pain and it doesn’t prevent it.

What should I rather not do now?

A very intensive massage would be counterproductive, because this irritates the sensitive tissue even more. But everything that subjectively feels good to you now, whether a warm shower or a gentle session with the fascia roller to loosen the stuck fasciae, makes sense. However: Unfortunately, it does not shorten the healing process.

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