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Leg day is one of my favourite days. I love feeling sore afterwards like I’ve put in some real effort. But after a while, the soreness can become downright annoying.
Depending on what time I work out, I generally notice some soreness around 20 hours afterwards, which peaks around 24-36 hours afterwards. But there are actually quite a lot of things you can do to aid muscle soreness and the recovery process. Most of this advice can be used for any kind of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). These are my top leg day recovery tips.
Leg Day Recovery Tips
Go for a walk the next day
One of the best things you can do is keep moving. I like to take my dog, Harley, for a walk the next morning. Depending on how sore I am over the followings days will depend on if I do this on consecutive days.
A slow-release protein like casein can help the muscle repair overnight. I generally only have casein before bed after weight training my legs.
On top of casein, protein, either from protein powder or food will also help your muscles repair themselves. My protein mug cake is the perfect breakfast to have the next day or try some protein pancakes instead!
I started using compression pants a few years ago to recover from sore muscles after boot camp. The pair that I use now is actually for recovery and are quite a snug fit. I only wear them overnight and occasionally around the house.
I like to stretch my legs out straight after the workout before I even get in the car to go home. I like to do stretches for my quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and hip flexors.
I find a massage with the heel of my palm really gets into the muscles and kneads the soreness away. And if you have one, a spiky massage ball is absolute bliss on tender muscles!
Take the stairs
If you have the option, take the stairs whenever possible. I can be quite a struggle and sometimes painful, but getting those legs moving certainly helps.
Warm-up and cool down
I always did my warm-up and cool down for legs on the treadmill. I have since switched to using a bike because I feel it uses more muscles than just walking does. But I also generally do about five minutes on the treadmill or bike before any workout.
Rather than doing leg day, incorporate 2-3 leg exercises in each workout. I used to do upper body one day then lower body another day. Now I do half of the upper body and half of the low body one day, then do the remaining exercises for upper and lower body another day.
*Disclaimer: I have no professional qualifications. The above is just a list of things that I find works the best for me.