How to deal with a sore Core
(Brought to you by Bicycling.com)
We’ve all been there. In our zeal to strengthen our core, tone our abs…maybe get a little 4 pack if not a full 6 (or 8!), we go overboard with the crank planks, Russian twists and ball pikes. You’ll leave the gym feeling like a bionic boot camp bad dude…until the next morning when you can barely sit up in bed.
Yep, like the rest of your muscles, your abs, obliques and the rest of your core movers and stabilizers are susceptible to delayed onset muscles soreness (DOMS), the painful inflammation caused by micro-tears in overworked muscles. “Generally you stay sore for about two days, and it diminishes as the inflammation goes down and you get rid of the fluid” explains David Costill, PhD, director emeritus of the Human Performance Laboratory at Ball State University. Still, when the inflammation is in your core, which is so essential to daily functions like sitting, standing, and breathing, it can feel debilitating. Here are a few strategies to get you belly laughing again quicker.
1. Break out the Hot Water Bottle
2. Flush and Feed
3. Put'em Through The Motions
4. Give'em A Squeeze
And most importantly, Make It A Routine
When you do an activity you’re unaccustomed to, the contractions necessary are novel to your muscles. Those fibers won’t be as efficient as if you were doing an activity you practice regularly; some will be firing incorrectly; some will be tensing up. In other words, the new movement will beat those muscles up a little extra. So rather than sporadically hitting your core with a surprise movement every few months, set yourself up for success (and less pain) by making core work a regular part of your routine.
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