The 7 Best Workouts For When You’re Sore

Gentle movement helps your muscles recover, trainers say.

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Tempting as it is, sitting all day when you’re sore from your last Pilates class can make you even more stiff, says Kelsey Decker, a certified personal trainer and the education coordinator for StretchLab. Gentle workouts will get your blood flowing and make you less achy.

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Glide Onto An Elliptical

“Increase blood flow to your muscles to reduce pain,” advises Weilin Wu, a NASM-certified personal trainer at Blink Fitness. The elliptical is a low-impact way to get full-body benefits.

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Work Out Different Body Parts

If you want a high intensity workout while you’re sore, Wu advises focusing on different body parts and muscle groups than the ones that hurt. So if you’re sore from leg day, maybe skip the lunges and opt for some upper body work instead.

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Do Some Yoga

“Your body has limits and it is important to take a day off if needed,” Decker tells Bustle. She recommends a gentle yoga class after a hard workout because the flowing movements ease muscle tension while building flexibility and strength.

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Go Swimming

Wu suggests a half hour in the pool when you’re stiff from kickboxing class. You don’t have to be a hardcore swimmer to reap the benefits — even just moving around in the water can target different muscle groups than you usually work.

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Take A Hike

Want some fresh air? Take a stroll on a tree-lined path — Decker says that hikes will challenge your cardio and full-body strength, and can also help soothe your muscle aches.

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Go On A Walk

You don’t need a hill to hike on — you can always take a walk around your neighborhood if your muscles hurt too much to run, Wu says. Walking is a full-body workout — your legs, lungs, and even your core will get some attention.

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Break Out Your Bike

Whether you have a stationery bike in the dusty corner of your home office or a bicycle chilling in your garage, Decker suggests a bike ride when your muscles hurt. Only 15 minutes is great cardio, and you can take it as easy as you want to.