Recovery For Legs: 5 Ways To Reduce Soreness
If you follow a strict workout routine, you’ll definitely agree with us when we say, “Leg days are the hardest!”
Leg soreness after a workout is a common issue for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. Whether you’ve been running, lifting weights, or doing some other form of exercise, your muscles can become sore and stiff. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your soreness and speed up your recovery.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the importance of leg recovery, the causes of leg soreness, and five effective ways to reduce this. Make sure you follow these tips so you can quickly get back to your active lifestyle.
Want to achieve faster leg recovery on your next workout session? Let Firefly help you with that! Find out how our product works and how you can leverage it in your fitness regimen to get back on your feet faster!
What Is Leg Soreness?
Leg soreness is a common complaint among athletes and active individuals. It is a feeling of discomfort, tightness, or pain in the muscles that can range from mild to severe. It is often caused by overuse of the muscles, an injury, or a lack of proper stretching or warm-up prior to strenuous activity.
The soreness is usually mild but can be more severe if the underlying cause is not addressed on time and you continue to work out despite experiencing soreness in your legs.
Why Do We Have Leg Soreness After A Workout?
So, why do we experience leg soreness after a workout? During intense physical activities, the body uses energy more quickly than it can be replenished, resulting in a buildup of acid in the muscles which causes the muscles to become fatigued, leading to soreness and stiffness. Leg soreness is a natural process and is not a cause for concern.
Leg soreness can sometimes be due to muscle tears and strains, dehydration, and inadequate warm-ups and cool-downs. Taking the proper steps to reduce the risk of soreness and injury is essential to keeping your body in good condition and enhancing performance.
Importance Of Leg Recovery
Your workout routine is not complete without leg recovery. Here’s why you need to make sure you’re giving your body enough time to rest and recover after leg day.
- Reduce muscle soreness: When you exercise, your muscles become fatigued and need to be given time to repair and rebuild. That’s where leg recovery comes in. It helps to speed up the recovery process and reduce the amount of soreness you’re experiencing. It takes an average of 72 hours to recover, which makes a more immediate recovery option so needed! Check out our Clinical Studies for more on recovery research.
- Improve performance: When you give your legs time to rest and recover after a workout, you will be able to perform better during your next session.
- Preventing injury: Your muscles can become weak and prone to injury if you don’t let them rest so make sure to allot time to properly recover your legs to reduce the risk of injury and keep you safe.
Taking the time to properly recover your legs not only prevents you from injuries but it can also help you get the most out of your workouts and stay on track to achieve your fitness goals.
Causes Of Leg Soreness
In any workout routine, leg soreness is almost inevitable. Here are some of the most common causes of leg soreness that are currently contributing to your discomfort.
- Muscle Imbalance: When certain muscles are overworked and underused, they can become weak or tight leading to muscle imbalances, which can cause pain and soreness in the legs.
- Dehydration: When dehydrated, your body can’t absorb and process nutrients properly, leading to soreness.
- Overtraining: Legs are the most used muscles in the body and when they’re overworked and pushed beyond their limits, it can lead to soreness and fatigue. Fortunately, a focus on recovery with a device like firefly™ can help you get back on your feet faster, promoting a speedier recovery and reduced soreness in a streamlined way!
- Muscle Fatigue: When the muscles are used for long periods of time, they can become sore due to a lack of rest or improper form while exercising.
- Lack of Warm Up and Cool Down: Warming up helps to prepare the muscles for the workout, while cooling down helps the muscles relax and recover. If you fail to do these, you’ll likely experience soreness.
- Poor Nutrition: Eating a balanced diet, especially foods that are high in protein and carbs, can help the muscles rebuild and recover faster, ultimately preventing soreness. A diet that lacks these elements can contribute to leg soreness instead.
- Injury: Injuries can be caused by a traumatic event or from overuse of the muscles which result in soreness. If you experience any pain or soreness in the legs that doesn’t go away, seek medical attention right away.
How To Help Your Legs Recover
Leg soreness can be one of the more debilitating post-workout pains, but there are several ways to work around this common pain so you don’t find yourself unable to work out or even navigate daily life. Here are a few tips that you can use moving forward.
Eat A Well-Balanced Diet
Eating the right foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help replenish the energy and nutrients lost during a workout as well as reduce inflammation and improve circulation.
Passive recovery is a method of recovery that involves taking a break from activity altogether. This may be recommended in rare cases of injury when healing demands little movement. This eases the soreness you’re experiencing and speeds up the recovery process while preventing you from causing further harm to your muscles.
This type of recovery method requires you to engage in low-intensity activities to help restore muscle function, minimize fatigue and stress, and improve your mental clarity. Active recovery can include activities such as light jogging, foam rolling, stretching, or Pilates. Make sure to keep the intensity of the activity low and focus on maintaining proper form and technique.
Cross-training involves engaging in different types of physical activity to work different muscle groups and vary your activity. While isolating specific muscles is essential to targeting every area of your body, these muscles need breaks, giving you a golden opportunity to work on another area of your body while you leave one to recover.
Look for ways to shift away from your main activity at times and find ways to enhance your overall approach to fitness.
5 Ways To Reduce Soreness
Soreness is a natural response to exercise that is essential for muscle growth. Still, soreness can be a minor inconvenience that prevents us from getting back to our fitness routine quickly. Here are five ways to reduce soreness and get back to your workouts faster.
Drinking plenty of water is not only crucial to maintaining good health but muscle recovery as well. Staying properly hydrated helps flush out toxins and replenish the essential minerals and electrolytes that the body needs. Remember to drink water before, during, and after a workout to keep your body hydrated and minimize leg soreness.
Getting adequate rest is necessary for muscles to repair, rebuild, and recover. When you sleep, your body produces hormones that help to reduce inflammation and pain and increase energy levels. Typically, adults are advised to take 7 to 9 hours of sleep, which should be enough to help their muscles recover with ease.
There are a variety of massage techniques available nowadays including deep tissue massage, Swedish massage, and sports massage. Massage helps reduce soreness, increase circulation, and promote relaxation.
When receiving a massage, communicate with your massage therapist about the intensity of the massage and any areas that need more attention. Your massage therapist should be able to customize the massage to meet your needs.
Massage should be used in conjunction with and not as a replacement for other recovery techniques such as stretching, foam rolling, and eating a well-balanced diet.
The cold water helps reduce inflammation and constricts blood vessels, allowing for better blood circulation and faster recovery
To take an ice bath, fill a bathtub with cold water and add a few trays of ice cubes. Make sure the water is cold enough for you to be uncomfortable but not too cold that it causes you to shiver. If you take an ice bath, make sure to stay in it for 10 to 15 minutes only, and don’t take it too often. Closely listen to your body to make sure you are not overdoing it.
Wearing compression socks or tights can help reduce swelling, improve circulation, and reduce muscle fatigue.
Compression gear is lightweight and comfortable. It can be worn during or after workouts to provide support to your muscles and joints, which can help reduce the risk of injury. It can also help reduce the amount of lactic acid in your muscles, which can reduce post-exercise soreness.
Make sure to choose the right size and type of compression gear for your body type and activity level. Only wear the gear in the right amount of time, as over-wearing can cause discomfort and reduce the effectiveness of the gear.
Achieve Faster Leg Recovery With Firefly
Soreness is a natural, albeit somewhat bothersome, result of working out. Luckily, there are many ways to reduce this painful experience. You can try eating a well-balanced diet, engaging in passive and active recovery, and using compression gear. But if you’re looking for faster results, you can also incorporate innovative devices like firefly™ into your recovery!
The Firefly Device sends small electrical pulses to stimulate your peroneal nerve (in your leg) creating a slight foot “flutter” which increases blood flow by 400%. This serves to stimulate blood flow to boost recovery and reduce soreness.
Whether you’re a professional or just a newbie finding their way through the fitness world, firefly™can surely give you the confidence to train longer and harder. Shop now to discover the power of firefly™ for yourself or dive into the clinical studies below to learn more about how firefly™ works for yourself!
- NMES device (Firefly Recovery) is superior to Intermittent Compression Boots in increasing blood microcirculation.
- The firefly device considerably increased microcirculatory blood flow which could benefit injuring healing and training recovery, while acupuncture decreased microcirculatory blood flow.
- Electrical nerve stimulation of the lower leg significantly increased blood flow, which has significant implications for preventing DVT caused during periods of sitting and travel when blood flow is decreased.
How long does it take for my legs to recover?
The amount of time it takes for your legs to recover depends on the intensity of your workout. Generally, it takes around two to three days for your muscles to recover and for soreness to subside. However, if you have done an especially strenuous workout, it can take up to five days for your legs to fully recover.
What helps muscles recover faster?
There are several things that can help your muscles recover faster, such as proper nutrition, hydration, adequate rest and recovery, and stretching.
- Eating a balanced diet full of nutrients and proteins can help to repair and rebuild muscle.
- Hydrating with water or electrolyte-rich beverages can help to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes.
- Getting enough rest and recovery time between workouts is important for your body to repair and heal itself.
- Stretching can help to reduce soreness, improve flexibility, and reduce the risk of injury.
Does walking help sore legs recover?
Yes, walking can help to recover sore legs. Walking is a low-impact activity that can help to reduce soreness and increase circulation. It can also help to loosen tight muscles and promote healing.
Why am I still sore after 5 days?
If you are still sore after five days, it could be due to inadequate recovery time or not stretching properly. Make sure to get enough rest and recovery time between workouts and incorporate stretching into your routine.
Why can I barely walk after leg day?
If you are having trouble walking after a leg day, it could be due to muscle fatigue. Make sure to get enough rest and recovery time between workouts and incorporate stretching into your routine.
You may also want to try using a foam roller or massage ball to help reduce soreness and improve circulation.