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Reducing DOMS on Clients

Delayed Onsite Muscle Soreness (DOMS for short)

I have never heard of DOMS before, what is this?

As mentioned above, DOMS is the soreness that builds around the muscles that your client will come across when working out on selected areas of their body. There are many theories behind how DOMS is caused, and all theories are credible as they do relate to some areas of DOMS. However, DOMS is a very complex subject and the entire process has not been fully covered by any theories.

The three theories are as follows…

The theory of torn tissue
This theory explains that DOMS is caused by tiny tears in the muscles.

The theory of connective tissue
The idea behind this theory is that DOMS is caused not by damage to the muscles themselves, but to the tissues that are connected to your muscles.

The theory of inflammation
The final theory states that DOMS is caused not by damage to the muscles. DOMS is actually our bodies fixing the damage that we have done after a workout.

More information about DOMS

You will know if you have DOMS simply by sitting down. You will have no pain with DOMS until you get up and move your muscles. More severe muscle injuries you will experience when you are sitting down as well as standing up

You will normally start to experience DOMS-related pain one to three days after you have your workout. After a workout you are able to do any exercise that uses the muscles that you have worked on. However if you do a task that uses muscles which have not been worked out, then you will experience DOMS.

There are three types of muscle in our body. These muscles are heart muscles, muscles that are around our blood vessels and muscles that are based around our skeletons. DOMS only affects the skeleton muscle

Lactic acid is not the cause of DOMS. The lactic acid that builds up will be long gone and you will still be experiencing DOMS. DOMS is caused by muscle tears, fatigue is cause by lactic acid.

How do I reduce the effect of DOMS after a workout?

  • Take things easy when you are building up your muscles
  • One of the best ways to combat DOMS is making sure you do not hit the ground running when taking up an exercise program. The best way to do things is to slowly start off your program with easy tasks. Doing this will build up your muscles as requested, and you will also experience less pain from DOMS. Starting with instruments that are heavier/harder will lead to a greater amount of muscle tears, hence a greater amount of pain.

  • Why not try a massage? It may help
  • Research shows getting yourself a massage can be proven to ease the effect that DOMS has on your body. However, research is also shown to argue against this statement, declaring massaging will do nothing to help the issue of DOMS. The reason behind these two conflicts is probably due to the wide range of massages that are available to people out there. One thing science can’t argue against is that a massage feels great and it is well worth trying out to try removing the DOMS on your body. If it does not work, you have still had a good massage!

  • Stretching is important
  • Stretching your muscles can reduce the effect of DOMS. What is important about stretching is when you do it. Overdoing the stretching can sometimes have the reverse effect and actually cause DOMS! We encourage you to stretch, but make sure your muscles are warmed up and stretch at a gentle pace.

As an alternative, Yoga is also a good technique to take up. You will not realise at the start, but when you take an exercise program you will be less likely to get DOMS. The reason is down to the unique stretches that you do on your body. These unique stretches are a good preparation for the intense exercises that will come with your new training program!

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