How to Ease Post-Workout Soreness
hen you do a double or push it extra hard at SOUL, a little muscle soreness might come with the territory. The reason: Any change or acceleration to your workout can cause tiny injuries to your muscle fibers and connective tissue, and within 48 hours, you’ll start to feel the ache. To ease the ouch and help you pedal pain-free, try these SOUL-tested strategies from instructors AKIN, KENDRA, KRISTA and MANTAS.
1. Stretch and sip smartly.
"The great thing about SoulCycle is you never get the same ride twice. Even with weights, you could be doing triceps, deltoids and shoulders one class and working on nothing but full extension biceps in another class. So when you surprise your body and hit muscles you haven’t used, that makes for some serious soreness the next day or two. My preventative answer to that sweet soreness is keep the body well-stretched, but before class I empty an Emergen-C Joint Health packet into my water. This is a double-whammy that helps joints and muscles stay so fresh and so clean with antioxidants and glucosamine. And my post-workout answer is of course something many of us know: Protein! It significantly reduces soreness time because it helps muscle recovery. I use a plant-based protein called Vega Sport. My smoothies are another world of itself… ask me in class." — Mantas Zvinas
2. Rest, then ride!
"The best way to treat muscle soreness after a hard workout is rest and ice, and if you can, get a massage. And as long as it’s not a strain, get back on the bike as soon as you can!" — Akin Akman
3. Fill up on water and flex.
For starters, my number one rule is to hydrate. More often than not, your body is dehydrated before you walk into a SoulCycle class. Perhaps you consume several caffeinated beverages throughout the day, which will dehydrate you even more. So be sure to drink plenty of water before your sweaty SOUL session, but especially after class to rehydrate the body and curb soreness. Another major thing that I notice as an instructor is that so many people want to work out to stay fit but don’t want to put in the time to work on flexibility. The repeated stress that you put on your body over time will eventually catch up with you. So if you want to maintain an active lifestyle free of pain, try incorporating yoga or an active stretch program into your fitness regimen along with some rest and recovery. I am also a big fan of the foam roller, and I highly recommend the MELT method created by the brilliant Sue Hitzman. MELT is a hands-on manual therapy using a gentle foam roller and these amazing little balls for the feet and hands, which I carry around with me daily to work out soreness in between classes. Fascia is the connective tissue that links the muscles, bones, and organs. When muscles feel stiff and sore, it’s because the connective tissue is dehydrated. The MELT method works in rehydrating the fascia, which helps to restore length and mobility. I always feel so much better after just a few minutes of this self-treatment, so check it out!" — Kendra Kemerley
4. Get a massage.
"I love the "Tui-Na" (pronounced 'Twee-Nah') body work places all over New York City. They really work out the kinks. Their massage technique is an amazing mix of a deep athletic massage and Eastern medicine. They access a lot of the different pressure points within your body often relieving not just physical stress but mental as well." — Krista Bonura Questions or comments? Email SOULlife@soul-cycle.com!