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Here’s why you don’t need to feel sore after a workout to know it’s worked. [Blog post]

Clark, David R.; Langan-Evans, Carl; Erskine, Rob


Carl Langan-Evans

Rob Erskine


"No pain, no gain" is a commonly used expression when it comes to getting in shape. It may also be why many of us think that you need to feel sore after a workout to know that you've done enough. There are many reasons why your muscles might get sore after a workout. But, contrary to popular belief, you don't necessarily need to feel sore in the hours or days after exercise to know you've had agood workout. Delayed onset muscle soreness – better known as DOMS – is a common experience for many who exercise. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the scientific term to describe the sore and tender feeling our muscles have after a workout. Typically, it happens after we've done particularly strenuous exercise, or if we do exercise we aren't used to. It can happen after any type of exercise, though it's more common after eccentric exercise. These are movements where the muscles resist a load as they're stretched (such as when you're running downhill or descending stairs). The smaller upper-limb muscles (such as your biceps and shoulders) can be more susceptible to DOMS as they may not be accustomed to eccentric exercise.


CLARK, D.R., LANGAN-EVANS, C. and ERSKINE, R. 2022. Here’s why you don’t need to feel sore after a workout to know it’s worked. [Blog post]. Posted on The Conservation UK [online], 01 April 2022. Available from:

Digital Artefact Type Website Content
Publication Date Apr 1, 2022
Deposit Date Feb 6, 2024
Publicly Available Date Feb 6, 2024
Publisher The Conversation International
Keywords Exercise; Fitness; Workout; Muscle soreness; Delayed onset muscle soreness
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