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Working out with sore muscles?

I finally starting strength training and my muscles are really sore. Which I'm taking as a good thing because hopefully they will heal stronger. My question is: should I rest my muscles until they feel better or can I keep working out? I'm not so worried about my upper body, because to start I am only going to work each muscle group one day per week so hopefullly they will feel better by next week. But I want to keep doing cardio and my leg muscles are sore. Is it okay to keep running and biking while my legs are sore or will that slow the healing process?

Tue. Dec 19, 2:45pm

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to avoid lactic acid build up, take a glutamine supplement after a workout. Or, in the event of lactic acid, take bromelain to help ease the pain.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006, 4:43 PM

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I'd just try icing the sore muscles before I went so far as to take anything for them.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006, 5:23 PM

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icing doesn't rid ones body of lactic acid. Bromelain is a pineapple enzyme. Infinitely better for ones body than something like tylenol. Glutamine is an amino acid the body needs to build muscle mass. Lactic acid is often made when the body doesn't have enough glutamine- hence glutamine helps prevent a lactic acid dump.

Moreoever, my muscle building buddy used to tell me to soak in a hot tub to reduce lactic acid pains, not ice anything down. You ice things down when you pull or strain them, not when they're simply sore from a workout.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006, 6:47 PM

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Your muscle building buddy is wrong. Try a comparison on two different weeks (soak one week and ice another) and then come back and tell us the results. Warmth will make sore muscles more sore for longer. Icing right after exercise is the best way to go.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006, 7:08 PM

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neither I, nor I think the OP were talking about "after exercising" - we were talking about the next day when you realise your worked yourself pretty hard.

The odd time I get that pain of I-worked-myself-too-hard-yesterday, I take a hot bath and feel better. I don't get more sore.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006, 8:49 PM

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cause of soreness

Well, it's fine to do cardio w/ sore muscles, though you may be sore longer as a result. You won't kill yourself or anything, but you won't see performance gains from it either.

The lactic acid thing is a complete red herring. Lactic acid is out of the muscle an hour after exercising. No need to break it down days later (see link -- one of many easy to find, this is probably the easiest to read). The muscle soreness is a consequence of microscopic damage to the muscle fiber, and there's no reason why ice wouldn't help it.


Thursday, December 21, 2006, 12:41 AM

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I say work out with sore muscles AS LONG AS you can still function normally (reach for a can from the cupboard, walk down the stairs) without feeling like you're going to snap in twain, lol. If you do feel THAT sore, rest, you've overtrained. Otherwise, go for it, but make sure you do some low weight sets to start after a good warm up (wether it be dynamic stretching or some short cardio).
Good luck!

Thursday, December 21, 2006, 9:19 AM

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Yes you can...

I might be alittle late w/ this answer but as an overweight woman who started working out w/ a personal trainer a few months ago I too was in pain alot the day after a workout.. But I have realized that you can actually work out w/ sore muscles... some days I could barely walk into the gym and I made every excuse in the book not to go back the following day but I paid alot of money for this and it was money that we really didn't have so even though I drove there making excuses in my head I still went.. I limped my way into the gym and got on the eliptical and I might start off slow but as I continue to do my cardio my muscles feel better. And after I do my 30 mins of cardio I spend an hour w/ the personal trainer working one muscle group. We do a different muscle group each time so the days that I know we're going to work on legs I am less active on my cardio... I still do it but I'll do it at a lower level and I won't push myself... But I was surprised at how I could work through the pain and be fine afterwards! And like another posted said on the days when you know you worked out alittle too hard take that Glutamine. I would get one scoop of it in my protien shake after my workout and it did seem to help. Also drink alot of water the day you workout, I do actually notice a difference in the amount of water I drink and how sore I am. The days I work out I try to drink nothing but water for the rest of the day to make sure my muscles are getting enough.

Monday, June 04, 2007, 10:38 AM

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horrible advice

Ran into this in a search for something else. Realize this reply is several years later than this post but just in case someone is trying to learn something and finds this like I did, its important to note how incorrect this individual is in his theory for why lactic acid occurs. I will give a hint, it is not because of Glutamine. For those who haven't learned about fermentation, I think you would find it to be enlightening.

Saturday, November 14, 2009, 2:43 PM

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Although Glutamie is important, ITS NOT why lactic acid occurs. (I thought I'd just come out and say it). Lactic acid occurs due to the body using up oxygen, not glutamine.

Saturday, November 14, 2009, 2:45 PM

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I'm glad this thread has been resurrected, as I sit here with sore muscles after yesterday's work out and prepare to head out to the Y in an hour. However, I'm no better informed than before I read the thread. Just more confused!

PP, can you give us more than a "hint"? It's still unclear to me whether I should work sore muscles or rest them. Am I doing more harm than good to work a sore muscle?

Sunday, November 15, 2009, 9:05 AM

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your muscles require time to heal what ever time that takes but a slight soreness wont kill you its strains in your tendons you should pay attention to and side note cold reduces swelling which creates mass through stretched muscle fibers warmth relaxes muscle fibers allowing better mobility for your tendons you ice injuries not sore spot sorry man im gonna have to agree but ice during a work out can be used to release strain on tendons reducing chance of injury while allowing your work out to continue either way the point is if youve just worked your legs then its all what your comfortable doing you may consider a row machine for cardio hope this helps

Saturday, March 13, 2010, 4:36 PM

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I know from personal experience that working out with sore muscles (not injured) is completely fine. Playing football causes a lot of soreness from heavy weightlifting mixed with heavy sprinting. Usually running will help the muscle soreness.

My friends who power lifted, lifted the same types of lifts daily. They started out very sore but eventually got used to it and i want to say that they were "immune" to the soreness feeling but they did feel weaker while lifting due to their muscles being overworked.

Overall I say work out with sore muscle because it will help strengthen you mentally when pushing yourself but make sure to have at least 2 days for healing. Example would be working out on weekdays and resting on weekends. Eating healthy is the best way to recover, because most supplements are artificial.

Saturday, June 19, 2010, 4:59 AM

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Snap in twain! Bwahahaha

Sunday, June 20, 2010, 9:33 AM

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Related PEERtraner Thread:

Recovery From Strength Workout


Wednesday, September 22, 2010, 10:26 AM

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Related PEERtrainer Thread:

Knees Get Sore When I Start To Run Faster


Wednesday, September 22, 2010, 10:29 AM

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Related PEERtrainer Thread:

Foods That Help Sore Muscles Recover


Wednesday, September 22, 2010, 10:32 AM

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Related PEERtrainer Video: Best Diet For Sore Muscles:


Wednesday, September 22, 2010, 10:50 AM

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This article will help you learn which supplements can help your muscles recover:

Wednesday, February 09, 2011, 4:15 PM

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Just a suggestion, even though you just started strength training, if you are only doing it once a week, even to start off....thats really not enough. You need to do it I'd say three times a week minimum, starting off. If there is so much time ni between, your muscles will definitely heal, but unfortunately, they will be receiving SO much rest, that they won't get stronger, nor will you see any change. The most effective way to lose weight/tone is to combine strength and cardio. Its certainly ok to take a day off one one or the other, but not a week, and you definitely want to spend the majority of your workouts combining the two. Hope this helps!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 12:24 PM

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Lactic Acid

Lactic Acid is made from Glycolysis. Starting material for this GULCOSE which goes into pyruvate and further foes into lactic acid for anaerobic environments. When you work out(depending on workout) you produce an anaerobic environment for your muscles so when they are using GLUCOSE for energy the GLUCOSE converts to lactic acid. In the presence of oxygen then instead of lactic acid the GLUCOSE breaks down into the Kreb Cycle for further ENERGY. Google Glycolysis/Kreb Cycle. Fermentation is for producing alcohol.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 8:39 PM

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icing is a no no

Icing sore muscle is the worst thing you could do instead of relaxing the muscle it causes them to tense making you susceptible to a muscle tear . Try taking a warm bath with Epson salts instead :)


Thursday, December 29, 2011, 1:19 PM

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Many people try to ice there muscle when they pull a muscle which only makes that muscle stiffer and more susceptible to anouther muscle pull

Thursday, December 29, 2011, 1:23 PM

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I'm sorry, but I have a little ocd and I couldn't help but correct the person above me who was talking about lactic acid build up. Yes, you were correct t about the kreb cycle, glycolysis, pyruvate and anaerobic and aerobic glucose consumption and all that, but you did get one thing wrong : fermentation. Fermentation IS "for alcohol " but ALSO in the muscles, they're really just the same process. (anaerobic respiration)

I just learned this in biology last year.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012, 2:36 AM

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I work out with sore muscles. They only remain sore the first 10 minutes of the workout and then they start to feel really good.

Thursday, April 05, 2012, 10:16 AM

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Look here...

Thursday, May 16, 2013, 8:14 PM

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This is PEERtrainers complete guide to inflammation. Worth a read if you have sore muscles!


Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 9:40 AM

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