Core workout can cause
Many popular workouts that aim to strengthen your arms,
legs, and abs give short shrift to many of the muscles that
form your body’s core (the group of muscles that form the
sturdy central link connecting your upper and lower body).
Strong core muscles are essential to improving performance
in almost any sport — and are the secret to sidestepping
debilitating back pain. If you haven’t been working your core
muscles regularly — or if you challenge yourself with a new
set of exercises — expect to feel a little soreness as you get
used to your new routine. Extremely sore muscles a day or
two after a core workout means you probably overdid it and
might need to dial down your workout a bit. Next time, try to
finish just one full set of each exercise in the workout. You
might also do fewer repetitions (reps) of the exercises you
find especially hard. Once you can do reps without much
soreness, build strength by adding one more rep of the harder
exercises in each session until you’re doing the full number of
reps comfortably. Then try adding a second set. For example,
say you are doing planks, the modern alternative to pushups.
Instead of trying to do four front planks a day, start with one.
Stick with that for a few days, then add a second plank. When
you’re comfortable at that level — that is, not feeling a lot of
muscle soreness — add a third plank. And so on. If even one
plank knocks you out, cut back on how long you hold it:
instead of 30 seconds, try 10 seconds for several days, then
try 15 or 20 seconds, and so on. Delayed-onset muscle
soreness is a normal response to working your muscles.
Usually, it peaks 24 to 48 hours after a workout before gradually
easing, then disappearing entirely in another day or so. But if
you experience sudden, sharp, or long-lasting pain, check with
your doctor. For more on how to safely and effectively strengthen
your core, buy Core Exercises, a Special Health Report from
Harvard Medical School.