Posted on November 29, 2023 by Kate Halsall

I completed my first solo Hyrox on Sunday. On Monday I was semi smug as nothing really hurt, ‘hey my training has really paid off’ I thought. Then Tuesday came and – boom – everything other than my fingers and toes hurt. Not just movement hurt, but even putting my leggings on over my muscles hurt my legs! Now, whilst there is some enjoyment in having DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), I find them totally impractical! I need to demo exercises to clients, teach fitness classes and keep training. So here are my top tips for coping with DOMS.

Low Impact Cardio

The trick is to not stop moving. Choose a low-impact option like swimming, walking or cycling. Some people find that some active recovery such as a gentle jog or walk, or even spinning it out with an easy ride can actually help lessen the pain! I definitely took it a little easier than normal in my spin classes this week.

Hot and Cold Therapy

Cold therapy such as an ice bath, can be used to help reduce inflammation. Heat therapy such as a hot bath, can encourage the muscles relax through improved blood flow. If you’re feeling really brave, you could try a bit of both i.e. alternating between hot and freezing showers or baths (!). The theory is that heat dilates your blood vessels which fills them with blood; and the cold contracts the vessels so the blood flow increases to other parts of the body, which could, reduce inflammation. I’m in the warm camp for this type of thing – especially in winter!

Self Massage

Think light foam rolling or gentle massage. This can help flush out toxins and increase blood flow providing relief from the pain. I would suggest however, not doing this on the first day of the pain and do not go for a deep tissue massage – ow!


Ensure your body is fuelled for recovery! Protein is an essential nutrient which helps muscles repair, and healthy carbohydrates will help replenish glucose stores. Make sure you also stay hydrated.

Ultimately, the NHS states “feeling your muscles ache or stiffen for a few days after exercise is normal”, so you can opt to grin (moan a bit) and bear it, but why not help yourself a little bit too!