Welcome back everyone to this week’s edition of 2-Minute Tuesdays. This week, we are talking to those of you who are returning to the gym for the first time in a while. You may be working out with a trainer or in a small group, but either way, you are doing exercises that you haven’t done for at least 10 weeks. What things can you keep in mind while you are exercising to help prevent the soreness that typically comes from exercise when you first start up again?
1) Think of Your Workouts as a Progression
Our first tip to help prevent soreness when returning to exercise is to think about your workouts as a progression. Especially the first couple of weeks back, you want to feel like you are building up to where you used to be, not jumping right back in to where you were. A lot of times, soreness can be experienced after doing things for your body that are way too much, so make sure to start slowly and progress yourself back to where you were.
Action Step: Consider starting at 50% of what you used to do. Yes, this may seem incredibly easy, but that is okay. Give yourself a week of incredibly easy workouts to reinforce and build back your foundation and then start to bump it up from there.
2) Limit Your Extremes
Our second tip to help prevent soreness when returning to exercise is to limit your extremes. This includes your extremes of motion, your extremes of speed, your extremes of load, and your extremes of volume. The closer you are to your extremes, the close you are to overdoing it, which may contribute to the feelings of soreness often associated with exercise. So, by intentionally limiting your extremes during the first week or two of your return, you can minimize the chances of being sore.
Action Step: In addition to starting at 50% of what you used to do for weight and volume, ease back into your workouts by using less motion and speed, as well. Again, the fewer extremes you go to, the less likely you will be sore from your workouts, and the more likely you will be able to return to exercise sooner.
3) Get Scheduled With Your Local MAT® Specialist
Our third tip to help prevent soreness when returning to exercise is to get scheduled with your local MAT® specialist. Muscle Activation Techniques® (MAT®) is designed to identify and address which muscles are not working well, allowing other muscles to not have to take on as much stress. When muscles are overloaded, there may be a great change of soreness, so having all of your muscles working well is vital to minimizing the risk of being sore. Not only will MAT® help prepare your body for your workouts, it will also help your body recover from your workouts by getting your muscles tuned up before they are challenged again.