Muscle soreness.  It’s a sensation that isn’t the funnest when you’re trying to get back to being healthy with your new workout routine.  When you start a new workout routine, you’re gonna get sore.  I prooomise you. You’re most likely going to feel fatigue during your workouts and could possibly have DOMS, (gym talk for ‘delayed onset muscle soreness’) or what normal people call it; second day soreness.  Totally normal.  But, let’s get into the nitty gritty on how to determine if you need to take a rest, and what to do when you’re so sore you can’t move.

4 cues you're too sore to workout because of muscle soreness

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How To Know When Your Muscle Soreness is Too Much

So this is actually probably one of the most common questions I get from clients; ‘how do I know when to just work through muscle soreness?’  I approach this question most of the time two-fold: one, either you need to stop being a weenie or two, you’re legitimately too sore and shouldn’t keep pushing. 

Now, bear in mind, when I say stop being a weenie, this is not adapting the “No pain, no gain” mindset.  More times than not, having that mindset is just setting you up for injury in the [near] future. 

To figure out if you should take it easy for a minute (okay side note: does anyone else use ‘minute’ and it could mean anywhere from a literal minute to years?  Cause I do.  Like, all the time), I’ve compiled this little list to help you out.


1.Everything Hurts and You’re Dying

This could be anything from not being able to roll out of bed, to having to shuffle instead of walking correctly.  If you drop a pencil and just stare at it hoping someone else will pick it up because you can’t bend down (for reals though, I’ve totally done this haha), you may want to take a rest day.  Overall, if you want to cry instead of move, you need to take it easy.


2. You’ve Turned to the Bottle

Of meds, that is.  If you can’t get through the day or another workout routine without popping some pain relievers, you need to chillax.


3.Something Just Doesn’t Feel Right

This is something that is suuuper important.  I always tell my clients when we start training together, that if at ANY time, something doesn’t feel right, to let me know immediately.  When you can pinpoint a specific location that has a sharp pain, you need to stop immediately and worse case scenario, get it checked out.  Safety first, friends.  You can’t make gains or lose weight when you’re broken.


4.You’re Always Sore

If you have gone days and you can’t seem to get back to normal, that could be a sign that you’re over training.  Your muscles needs time to recover and if you’re constantly pushing it to the limits, it’s not allowing your muscles to repair.  Listen to your body; being extremely sore for a week is no good.


Ways to Combat Muscle Soreness After Workouts

Because soreness happens to the best of us, there are ways that can help reduce the pain.

  1. Foam rolling:  This is a Godsend.  It hurts real bad but it also helps break up any lactic acid goin on inside those muscles which is making you sore.  I have three foam rollers, all with varying degrees of pressure.  You can find them here, here, and here.
  2. Taking a bath: make sure you use extra bubbles and epsom salts!
  3. Move:  When you’re seriously sore, you need to make sure you’re up and moving.  This could be meandering through you’re neighborhood, doing yoga, tai chi, etc.  Anything that’s movement but not rigorous
  4. Stretching:  Keep stretching those muscles cause when you’re sore, your muscles are wound up like headphones that were left in your pocket and take forever to unwind.

Ultimately, listen to your body.  Push when you can push, and don’t give up the fight!  And DON’T use being sore as a reason to give up on your goals! Nuh uh, no siree.  What are your go to’s for relieving muscle soreness?  I’d love to hear it!

Until next time!

xx Ash