Weight training (correctly) will make you sore. If you’ve wondered why weights make you sore but riding a bike doesn’t, you’ve come to the right place. The crucial question is:
Is this soreness beneficial? Does being sore mean you’re getting stronger? Let’s see.
What causes muscle soreness?
After you exercise, some soreness is normal. Lactic acid accumulates in your muscles and causes soreness, but passes quickly. Delayed soreness that happens a day or two after exercise is caused by white blood cells and other fluids that flood the area after a tough workout. It’s an inflammatory response to repair microscopic damage.
Muscles work by creating tension, or force. This happens in three ways:
- Concentric muscle contraction happens as a muscle gets shorter. An example is the arm curl, in which the biceps becomes shorter as you lift.
- Eccentric muscle contraction happens as a muscle lets longer. When you lower the weight after your curl, your biceps controls the movement eccentrically.
- Isometric muscle contraction happens when you control your position by keeping muscles the same length. An example is carrying an object in front of you. Your muscles don’t shorten or lengthen, but are isometrically contracting to carry the weight.
Muscle soreness is caused almost exclusively by eccentric exercise.
What Exercise Makes You Sore?
Some exercise use simply concentric muscle contraction, and they won’t make you sore. A good example is riding a bike.
Lifting weights always has an eccentric component. Essential exercises like the squat have concentric, eccentric, and isometric components. Squats exercise the quads eccentrically, and you can expect soreness in the quads until you adapt to the weight.
Emphasizing the negative part of a rep—the release—can get you very sore, because it emphasizes the eccentric movement. This is true no matter how heavy the weight is.
Are There Benefits to Soreness?
Soreness doesn’t make you stronger. It just makes you hurt! It’s easy to develop soreness just by emphasizing eccentric exercise without adding any extra weight.
To get stronger, add more weight. You may be sore after exercise, but you’ll see progress. If your exercises do not involve increasingly lifting heavier weights – then will not make you stronger, even if they make you so sore you can’t walk.
If you have been operating under the assumption that soreness = s progress, re-evaluate. Improved performance means progress, and while soreness is often a necessary evil, it should never be the objective.
Chiropractic Can Help You Improve Your Program
Muscle soreness is inflammation. Occasional soreness is part of training, but chronic soreness stresses the body and should be avoided.
King Chiropractic can help with muscle soreness and other soft tissue injuries. We address hypoxia, a deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues, for immediate pain relief. We stimulate ATP in your body’s cells to help them repair faster. We can help provide fast, lasting pain relief from a variety of injuries. We help improve your performance.
Call King Chiropractic today at (910) 777-7228 to schedule an appointment for past pain relief from muscle soreness.