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Why are my muscles sore after the gym?

By StuartSport 18 Nov 2019

Feeling tender after exercise?

Delayed onset of muscles soreness (DOMS) is the name given to the pain, soreness or stiffness in muscles typically experienced 12-72 hours after exercise. 

It’s particularly common following the beginning of a new exercise programme e.g. when someone who has been inactive for a long time starts exercising.

It is also likely to be experienced if the activity involves lots of eccentric muscle work and loading, for example going down stairs, running downhill, downward motion of squats or lunges; especially if the action is unfamiliar.  

DOMS may also occur when there is an increase in exercise intensity, e.g. if an exercise is progressed and made harder. 

The exact mechanisms that cause DOMS are not fully understood, but it is thought to be triggered by exercise-induced muscle damage (micro tears in the muscle) followed by an inflammatory response ( a small bleed in the muscles that aggravates the nerves and causes pain).

So there you have it, pain after the gym is normal and a good sign that you’ve had a good workout!