What Does DOMS Mean In Fitness?

The fitness world is filled with jargon that a layman may not understand. DOMS is one of them, and it refers to Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

It is a pain in the muscles that begin a day or two after you have gotten your workout. A key point to remember here is that you will not feel this pain while working out or right after.

Here is a complete guide to understanding DOMS in fitness.

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What Does DOMS Mean In Fitness?

DOMS means Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, a type of discomfort that lingers after a hard workout. The onset of the pain begins a day or two after you have worked out, and it is a warning sign that tells you to decrease your muscle activity to prevent further injury.

DOMS can help with muscle growth, but they should not be used as a primary measure of progress following a workout.

According to the ACSM, the symptoms of DOMS will usually happen between twelve and twenty-four hours after the workout.

Here are some symptoms you must look out for:

  • Muscle fatigue
  • A short-term loss of muscle strength
  • Swelling in the muscles
  • The muscles feel tender to touch
  • Decrease in range of motion because of stiffness and pain

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it means you might have DOMS.

What Leads To DOMS?

When you do high-intensity exercises at the gym, it can cause microscopic tears in the fibers of your muscles. The body responds to these tears by boosting inflammation, which leads to DOMS.

Any type of high-intensity exercise can lead to DOMS. However, eccentric exercise is one of the top causes of DOMS.

Such exercises cause you to tense and lengthen a muscle simultaneously. Therefore, if you partake in such exercises, you might experience DOMS more frequently.

Does DOMS Indicate A Good Workout?

Many people think that experiencing DOMS means getting a good workout. However, there is not much truth to this statement.

That is because you might get sore when you start a new exercise regimen. However, as you keep on working out, your body adapts to the new regimen, and the soreness goes away.

You begin feeling less sore with each workout you get in. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you’re not working your muscles hard enough.

So, DOMS doesn’t necessarily indicate that you have had a good workout. Instead, it only means that you have indulged in eccentric movements during your exercise regimen.

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How To Ease DOMS?

It is tempting to rest all day and not move an inch when you experience muscle soreness. However, doing this will only boost your stiffness and increase the pain.

It is crucial to listen to what your body needs during this time. For example, if the DOMS is bad, you can rest a day to give your muscles some time to repair.

Besides that, we recommend skipping any powerlifting or high-intensity sessions when you are sore. The best way to ease DOMS is to incorporate gentle movements in your day.

Such movements will decrease the soreness and give your muscles a chance to recover. Some great ways to keep your muscles moving during DOMS are gentle yoga, low-intensity cycling, walking, or even swimming.