05 December 2018

The 5 best ways to treat sore muscles, according to the pros

Epsom salts are about to become your new best friend.

You know how, the day after a particularly brutal arm workout, lifting your arms to wash your hair puts you in a world of pain? Here’s how to treat sore muscles once and for all.

Read more: A physio’s guide to foam rolling the right way, plus which type of roller to use

It’s called delayed-onset muscle soreness and it’s perfectly normal for up to 72 hours post-exercise – although if you could prevent it, who wouldn’t? Here’s how the pros kick it to the curb.

1. L-glutamine and Epsom salts

“The best thing I have found is to drink L-glutamine and take a 30-minute hot bath with two cups of Epsom salts – it takes the bruising, swelling and water retention out of your muscles.” – Dayna Nienaber, pro-motocross racer

Read more: 5 easy pilates stretches that’ll finally sort out your stiff upper back

2. Hot/cold therapy

“I usually get DOMS in my legs and ideally a combination of hot/cold therapy works best: An ice bath followed by a warm bath. It’s best to do it a few times.” – Hanneke´ Dannhauser, champion obstacle course racer

3. Rest and recover

“I usually have DOMS in my shoulders, neck and upper back and I normally train through it. But if it feels extremely uncomfortable, I’ll stop training and rest and recover to prevent injuries.” – Michelle Weber, Olympic open-water swimmer

Read more: How to prevent – and deal with – post-workout muscle soreness

4. Stretching and foam rolling

“I’ve found that it’s difficult to treat DOMS adequately, but much easier to prevent it in the first place. The moment I started stretching and foam rolling after a workout, I found that the DOMS went away.” – Michelle Hayward, pro kite surfer

5. Sore muscles?

Hayward uses calcium and magnesium supplements at night. “It’s helped me prevent muscle stiffness after weight training and aids in sleep,” she says.

This article was originally published on

Image credit: iStock 


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