Why are my muscles sore two days after exercising?

Question

Hi Lisa. Sometimes when I exercise, my muscles are sore the next day. Other times, they feel 100% the next day, but after two days they are sore. What is the reason for this?

Submitted by Beautysouthafrica on 2 November 2015

Answer

Hi there! This is very normal, in fact it is more common than not to feel stiffness more the second day after a workout than the first. It’s referred to as DOMS – delayed onset of muscle soreness – and it occurs mainly after a type of muscle or contraction called eccentric muscle contractions. This is when muscles contract at the same time as they are lengthening, like in the downward-moving part of a bicep curl. It’s typically ‘untrained’ muscles that ache days later, so you’re more likely to feel it after a workout you’ve never done before. Either way, unless it’s pain that’s significantly different to regular stiffness, it’s absolutely normal.

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