Should You Workout If You're In Pain?

Date: July 17, 2021

“Should you workout while you're sore?” is a common question for anyone new to the gym or a new fitness programme. This is a crucial topic to ask because when you initially begin your fitness journey or begin a new workout programme, your drive is at an all-time high, and you don't want to be held down by anything — including muscle soreness!

People frequently ask if they should push through their discomfort and continue exercising, or if they should take a rest day instead. So, as a physiotherapist, I'll give you my best recommendations in this circumstance so you may adapt your workouts if you're feeling sore. Let's get started!

What Does a Sore Throat Indicate?

When someone tells me they are sore after an exercise session, I remind them that this is a positive indicator that they are working hard to better their bodies.

When you wake up hurting, it's your body's way of informing you that you've worked hard the day before and that it's time to focus on recuperation for the next day before hitting the weights again. That being said, I'm not proposing you take a day off; instead, I challenge you to incorporate an active recovery day or a bodywork day into your routine to help you stay on track. Next, let's look into what these terms signify.

muscular pain in the leg


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The Most Recent Active Recovery Days

Don't let the word "active recovery" deceive you. This does not imply that you can take a day off. All it implies is that you're accepting that your body is sore and that it's time to help it recuperate so you can go harder the next day at the gym.

On an active recovery day, you will exercise at a lower intensity. In essence, you're selecting an activity that gets your body moving. This will assist you in loosening up stiff muscles, increasing blood flow to these areas, and speeding up your recuperation.

woman stretches her aching legs

Ideas for Active Recovery

On an active recovery day, you can practise a variety of workouts. The following are some of my favourite active recuperation sessions:

: A mild 30-minute yoga practise to help you stretch and enhance your mobility. Swimming laps in the pool for an hour at a pace that is equal to or less than 50% of your maximum output. Slow down, concentrate on form, and give your body time to recuperate. Get out for a great 1-hour walk, especially after a hard lower body training session, to get the legs working. Choose the portions of your body that hurt the most and concentrate your stretches on them. Concentrate on your breathing while sitting deep in the stretches.

Every week, I recommend including at least one active recovery session in your workout routine. Keep in mind that this isn't a day off. You'll be able to get back to working hard at the gym if you incorporate more active recovery days into your plan.

a woman doing yoga


Adding in a bodywork day every now and then instead of taking a total day off from physical out is another option. Bodywork is a non-medical term that refers to any therapeutic or personal development approach that tries to help people.

If you work out hard in the gym, you'll naturally experience stiffness and soreness in various places of your body. By including a bodywork day in your routine, you can help your body recuperate and get stronger while also lowering the risk of injury.

Massage therapy is a type of treatment that involves mass

Bodywork Illustrations

Here are a few of my favourite examples of bodywork that you can try:

: Schedule a 1-hour massage with your favourite masseuse to work out your body's trouble areas. You'll heal quicker and be ready to train the next day.

Floatation tanks (sensory deprivation tanks): Floating allows your body to absorb magnesium salt, which helps with cramps. After a week of intense gym exercise, this feels amazing.

Cupping/dry needling: Have cupping or dry needling done at your neighbourhood physiotherapist. Select a few trouble spots for the physiotherapist to address.

Cryotherapy: Cryotherapy machines lower the temperature to -202 degrees Fahrenheit (-130 degrees Celsius), which helps to relieve inflammation and discomfort after intense workouts.

Sore muscles can benefit from float therapy.

Should You Workout If You're In Pain?

I hope this answers your issue about whether or not you should work out while you're sore. Incorporate a few of the suggestions above into your weekly routine.

If you're sore, it's your body informing you that you're breaking down muscle tissue and need to recover so that your body can bounce back stronger and faster, regardless of the type of workout you undertake.

Active recovery days and bodywork sessions are a great way to take a break from the gym and focus on your body's recuperation rather than pushing through your pain and continuing to workout. Give it a shot.

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