Tag Archives: Doms

Foam Rolling and Relief from Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Do you suffer from DOMS?

Delayed onset muscle soreness, the aches you have a day or so after exercise. You can feel it most after introducing a new routine, or focusing your exercise on a different set of muscles.

As a Les Mills Body Combat, Body Balance, and a Yoga instructor I struggle to remember the last time my muscles didn’t ache. Massage is good for relieving soreness, especially if you can find someone to deliver a hot stone massage. But frequent massages cost money and for a few years I looked for an alternative.

Foam Rolling
Over a year ago I heard about Foam Rolling. As usual when I come across something new I researched the concept on the Internet. Google and YouTube came up with a stack of great content about how to use a Foam Roller. So I bought one of these great big long blue foam tubes. And armed with the YouTube videos I started to roll my aching muscles.

I have to say the sensation of relief the foam roller brought surprised me. My quads and glutes in particular seem to enjoy the foam rollers attention.

But I couldn’t avoid the sneaking suspicion that I wasn’t using the equipment properly. I wasn’t benefiting from the full effect.

Then I saw an advertisement for the Trigger Point course “Foam Rolling Principles and Practice”. I was also delighted that my good friends from LIVEWright, Kevin and Diana, were hosting the session.

The training was just what I needed. Kevin delivered a simple but succinct summary of the anatomical benefits of Foam Rolling. And we spent most of the Saturday afternoon in practical sessions rolling each muscle group in turn. Some of the releases are quite painful. But as Kevin and Diana were keen to point out Foam Rolling is not about creating pain it’s about relieving pain.

By the end of the session I had gained a full understanding of the science behind the method. And most important, the correct application of the Foam Roller on each muscle group.

As we have limited time on the training course, we could only run through each muscle release on one side of the body. So by the end of the session the left side of my body felt relaxed and floppy. Unlike the right side of my body which was still tense and wooden. What a strange feeling.

Foam Rolling isn’t just about relieving DOMS. Use it to improve form during exercise. For example if you roll our calves, quads and glutes you can benefit your performance of squats. It increases flexibility and range of movement.

Are you interested in learning how to use a Foam Roller? Do you want to incorporate it into your personal daily fitness exercise practice. Or are you are a fitness instructor or personal trainer looking to introduce Foam Rolling to your clients? I highly recommend Kevin and Diana’s course. Check it out.

Foam Rolling

Your Turn

Do you use a foam roller? What benefits have you felt? Has it helped improve your overall form? Please share your experiences. Leave a comment or share on social media.

What is Body Combat – it’s the fitness class that thinks it’s a fight movie?

Body Combat is the only fitness class that lifts you out of the real world and sets you down inside a blockbuster fight movie. Who do you want to be? It might be the martial arts king Bruce Lee, or modern tough guy Jason Bourne. It could be Captain Jack Sparrow, James Bond or the fighters from the recent Warrior film.

That’s why I like teaching Body Combat so much. It really does offer you an escape from the day to day routine and gets you fit in a fun and challenging way. If you are an instructor you will already know this. If you are thinking of giving the class a try I hope I can convince you with this review.

What is Body Combat fitness class fight movie

Choreographed to music, Body Combat is from New Zealand fitness class experts Les Mills. They describe the class as follows.

“The fiercely energetic martial arts workout where you are totally unleashed and empowered.”

It uses authentic moves from many different martial arts. Boxing provides jabs, hooks and upper cuts and intensely aerobic training moves. Karate and Taekwondo bring precise kicks. Kick boxing and Muay Thai unleash an arsenals of knee and elbow strikes. Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art introduces a flowing dancing style that’s tough on the legs and conditions the muscles.

All the while in the background the music drives your motivation. You’ll hear current top 40 hits, older chart toppers and of course those block buster movie themes. As with all Les Mills classes, they bring out new music and new moves every three months.

What is Body Combat fitness class fight movie

So here’s what to expect in an hour of Body Combat.

Lower Body Warm Up: You’ll try out basic boxing moves and become comfortable with simple punches and perhaps mix in some shuffles to increase the heart rate. The music is always uplifting maybe even sing along.

Lower Body Warm Up: Here we set up and try single kicks such as the roundhouse kick and side kicks along with knee strikes and other leg toning moves. Now we are ready for the work out to increase in intensity.

Combat 1: In Combat tracks you will mix punches with kicks. To provide you with an elements continuity so that you can get used to the moves from class to class, certain moves occur in certain tracks. So you can always expect the roundhouse kick in this section. The music here is often modern rock.

Power 1: Just punching and usually inspired purely by boxing training this section is usually choreographed to fast beat dance anthems. The beat drives the moves and pushes up the heart rates as the sweat starts to pour.

Combat 2: Side kicks make an appearance now but the signature move in this track is the jump front kick. Once mastered it provides great aerobic intensity. Musically expect chart hits, rock or more pounding dance grooves.

Power 2: More upper body focus, this section usually provides a physical peak. Like most power tracks the music tends to be driving beats from dance favourites, though we have heard modern takes on old school hits like Johnny Be Good, and Proud Mary.

Combat 3: The focus move in this segment is the back kick. Combat track number three often includes more intense leg conditioning moves especially from Caporeira. These tracks can be quite cinematic. Who could ever forget the awesome moves choreographed to an up beat version of The Pirates of the Caribbean theme?

Muay Thai: Here comes the cardio-peak of the class. Fast and often endless knee and elbow work set to either driving rock or hard core house and dance sounds. You’ll be breathless and sweaty and approaching fatigue by now.

Power 3: This might be a long one. Possibly up to 8 minutes of punching to condition and shape the shoulders. Always uplifting dance music which carries you towards the finishing line.

Conditioning: Despite having finished off the shoulders, expect press ups, sit ups, crunches, C-curls, hovers and planks. Expect your core muscles to be tested to burning point? See hints of Les Mills core strength class, CXWorx, reflected in these exercises.

Cool down: Finally the pace slows down and a slower chart hit or rock ballad accompany stretches and kata moves often taken from Tai Chi. You’ll be tired, dripping with sweat, but you will feel fulfilled, energetic and proud.

What is Body Combat fitness class fight movie

So if you want some fun whilst getting fit. Or if you’ve had a bad day at work and you want to let off some steam. If you want to get out of the real world and unleash your inner Jason Statham, give Body Combat a try. It’s addictive and always has you coming back for more.

It’s the only fitness class that takes you out of the real world and puts you into a block buster movie.

Over to you: Are you thinking of trying a Body Combat class? Have I convinced you to give it a try? Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

Love your DOMS – it shows that your exercise is working

On Sunday I had a severe case of DOMS. I’m sure you have had that too at some point?

What is DOMS?

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. When you do a new exercise, or change your routine to target a different muscle group, the muscles involved will hurt between 24 and 48 hours later. It can provide some unintentionally hilarious results. You might find that you have to crawl out of bed sideways or that sitting down becomes a slow and delicate procedure, or that walking becomes a noticeable hobble.

what is DOMS exercise that works

It’s the body’s way of adapting to a new exercise and the ache is caused by micro-tears in the muscle fibres. The next time you do the new exercise the effect won’t be as bad. So as long as you don’t over exert yourself, and keep stretching and maintaining good blood flow to the affected muscles, DOMS is not a bad thing. It shows the body is responding to new stuff.

DOMS also highlights the need to change your exercise routines frequently otherwise the body becomes used to the movement and any training effect is reduced.

The first time I experienced DOMS was after my first Body Pump class. This was long before fitness bug consumed me and decided to train to be an instructor – I had to be dragged along to the class against my will. Once there I did not want to look “weak in front of the other guys”. I used weights that were really too heavy for a first timer. I got through the class with it’s hundreds of squats, lunges and bicep curls and admitted to the person who dragged me along that I had really enjoyed it. But the following day my quads were burning with a high intensity of pain. I couldn’t walk but I couldn’t sit down either. I had to put hot water bottles on my legs to soothe the pain.

what is doms exercise that works

This week I launched the new releases of Body Combat and Body Balance to my class participants (read about the new music and moves here). The former contains martial arts routines with over 100 powerful side kicks. The later has a standing strength routine of deep Yoga Warrior poses that lasts nearly 10 minutes. The combined effect of this has been DOMS worse than I have experienced in a long while.

I know my participants have felt it too. I’ve seen them post comments on twitter. They feel the aches and pain, but soon they’ll see the gain, and that makes it so worthwhile.

So be proud of your DOMS. Love your DOMS because it is your body telling you that the effort you are putting into your exercise is working.

Over to you: I’d love to hear your stories about how you have experienced change from your exercise. From really bad DOMS, to a visible tightening of the tummy muscles, please post a comment and share.