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January 16, 2023 2 min read

You pushed yourself to complete an additional distance on the treadmill, increased the weight you used for your strength training, and gave a brand-new aerobic exercise a shot. As a result, you're motivated and filled with pride, and you're prepared to get up the next day and exert even more effort until you realize that everything hurts when you wake up, which may suggest that you have a terrible case of DOMS. But the problem is that there are times when you need to continue training, such as when preparing for an upcoming running or bodybuilding event.


You usually have workouts planned for most days of the week when preparing for a long-distance event like a marathon or sport. So what should you do if DOMS strikes? Should you forego that exercise?

Put your feet up if you deserve a day of rest. If not, some people discover that active recovery, such as a slow jog or a leisurely bike, can help reduce discomfort. However, a day with DOMS is not the time to chase Strava segments; instead, take it easy and give your muscles time to heal.

If lifting weights makes up a significant portion of your exercise regimen, the best way to train while dealing with DOMS is to spread out your workouts over the week, working on your arms one day and your legs the next. This will prevent overtraining already overworked muscles. You can also use smaller weights and fewer repetitions for a less strenuous workout.


You should be able to continue exercising as long as the discomfort you're experiencing is only DOMS and not something more serious, like a muscle tear or sprain. However, there are certain restrictions:

  • Warming up before an exercise will help reduce soreness.
  • For comfort and to allow the muscles the time they require to recover, use a different workout technique or focus on various muscle groups. Therefore, if your legs are hurting, work out your arms instead, or do a low-impact activity like swimming or cycling. Most of the time, it is advisable to avoid back-to-back challenging workouts so that your body can relax and recover.
  • Monitor your level of pain. After a few minutes of exercising, it might be time to call it off if the ache and stiffness haven't subsided.


DOMS is attributed to an ultrastructural mild muscle injury that can occur when performing an unfamiliar or intense exercise, with peak soreness usually occurring between 24 and 72 hours post-exercise. There is evidence that percussion therapy, similar to massage, can help to reduce or prevent DOMS.

Massage guns may help with Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), pain that occurs several days after a workout. A study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research for Doctors in January 2014 found that vibration therapy (50 Hz vibration for five minutes) and massage therapy (15 minutes) were both equally effective in "significantly" reducing muscle soreness in exercisers when compared to a control group.