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Should You Work Out With Sore Muscles?

Sore muscles are one of the most common outcomes of strenuous and vigorous workout sessions. Sore muscles are an indication that your muscles are working hard and are adjusting to the new strenuous regime for your body. It is one of the basic indications that your body is strengthening against the rough routine of workouts. Hence it is nothing to be worried about.(1) However, people often have a doubt whether they should work out with sore muscles. Let us understand it in details.

Should you Work out with Sore Muscles?

Should you Work out with Sore Muscles?

Sore muscles can be really painful and it often hurts more when you are trying to move with a sore muscle. This often leads to people thinking whether they should continue the work out with a sore muscle. To answer this, it is absolutely fine to continue with work outs with sore muscles. However, once you have sore muscles you must bear in mind a couple of things before hitting your gym again.

Rest is Imperative

Your muscles often face wear and tear while doing exercise. This can lead to a condition called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Under this condition, your muscles are likely to feel worn out after some time from when you complete your exercise regime.(2) In other situations, your body turns to anaerobic respiration to provide your muscles with the required fuel. Lactic acid is one of the by-products of the process of anaerobic respiration. Too much accumulation of lactic acid in your muscles can lead to soreness and a burning sensation. In both these conditions, you need to provide your body and muscles with adequate rest. This time is given to your muscles so that they can recover from the condition at the earliest. Then, you can start working out once again.(3)

Often it is seen that the recovered muscles after the resting period develop stronger and better than what they happened to be formerly. However, to make this happen and sustain the developed condition you must return back to your former workout regime.

Stretch the Sore Muscles

Depending on the condition of your muscles and the wounds that have been inflicted upon them, you can also opt to do some really light stretching exercises. You can try simple yoga postures or swimming laps. However, these workouts should be very light exercise patterns, where no stress will be involved in the process.(2) Simple exercises will only help to improve the blood flow in the body so that the pain can ebb faster. Nevertheless, you need to be very careful before doing these exercises. In case they go wrong, it can worsen your condition even more. Hence, always have some expert by your side while doing these light stretches.(4)


Sitting idle with your sore muscles is often not the best way to cure them. However, you must be careful with your movements immediately after the injury. Actually, it will depend on the nature and the extent of your injury when determining the best way forward. In some cases, taking a couple of days’ rest is advisable.(3) In other cases, you can start with light stretches immediately. Keep in mind that you need to be careful while stretching. Overdoing any of it in any way can be dangerous. Always have an expert with you. Whether you are to take rest completely for a couple of days or do light stretches must be decided by an expert. You can also try some over-the-counter medicines for some extra benefit and relief.


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 25, 2022

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