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Lifting and resistance work damages muscles. Sprinting and running can also damage muscles. Especially following eccentric (negative-rep) exercises e.g the lowering element of the pull-up or explosive movements like hamstring engagement when running at full-speed during a sprint.
The body responds with inflammation similar to injury, and this stimulates and triggers pain. This can vary from slight tenderness to mild aches and pain. This usually occurs between 24 and 72 hours after exercise.
This is known as Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and is a perfectly normal experience especially after long periods of inactivity, when increasing exercise intensity or challenging muscles in a way that is not normally experienced.
DOMS is necessary for muscle strengthening and adaptation to exercise. Feeling DOMS should not be a reason to stop exercising. See how you feel after a day or two, reduce the intensity, perform other activities to offset the discomfort and most importantly keep on moving.
Last updated on January 4, 2012 by Darryl Edwards