• Sun, Apr 28 - 1:00 pm ET

My Aching Back! 6 Ways to Ease Muscle Soreness

Sore Back

The day after a long run or an intense conditioning class you might have a tough time just getting out a bed, let alone heading back to the gym for another workout. Check out these tips to reduce muscle soreness and you’ll be recovered and back at the gym before you know it.

1. Ice Bath: I won’t lie to you, this is not pleasant, but if you want your muscles to feel normal again, this might help. After a hard workout, take a dip in a cold plunge, typically 55 degrees Fahrenheit or below and aim to stay in for about five minutes. This doesn’t help everyone so if you try it a few times and don’t feel a difference, perhaps next time skip the torture and try one of the below options.

2. Massage: Now this option is actually quite pleasant! Even just a 10-minute massage will help ease soreness but if you can spring for a 60-minute deep tissue massage you’ll feel like a whole new woman.

3. Light Exercise: When it’s a struggle to walk up the stairs, heading to the gym might not seem like an attractive option, but get in a little movement and your muscles will thank you. Go for a brisk walk or hit the stationary bike to get your muscles moving and on their way to recovery. Nothing too intense, but some movement will get your blood flowing and will allow more oxygen into the muscles, helping them to heal.

4. Foam Rolling: Another way to massage your muscles; foam rollers get deep into the pain. Using a foam roller, put pressure on your sore muscles, giving yourself a targeted massage. Check out Shape’s How-To Guide for all-things foam rolling.

5. Compression Socks: By tossing on a pair of these super tight socks you will stimulate blood flow, which will help your legs to a faster recovery. These can be worn during or after a workout; and some people even wear them to bed. Check out 2XU or Sugoi for a variety of compression pieces.

6. Drink Up: In addition to a healthy serving of water; cherry juice and caffeine have also been found to ease muscle pain. Tart cherry juice or about two cups of coffee may help, but make sure not to overdo it; too much caffeine can lead to muscle spasms.

Next time you’re sore, thank yourself for the solid workout, recover and then get back at it!

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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