what hacks/techniques do use pre/during/post workout to help mitigate* soreness after a tough workout?
some stuff that has worked for me (mostly taken from MA days):
-cold water dousing/exposure
-self massage (I have a wooden stick--i.e. a broom handle--that I use to roll over sore muscles, this is both brutal/semi orgasmic when doing over the thighs after squats)...sounds weird but if you can get a partner to do knuckle pushups on you, switching hand position to your various muscle groups (i.e. the sore ones) this acts as an AWESOME massage, try using strikes also (not aggressive, just good, solid contact)...good breathing and relaxation with light tension in the contact areas paramount here. You may want to laugh/cry all at the same time.
-rolling around on the floor (do it slowly, with good breathing) but great for a sore back
-going through basic four bodyweight exercises REALLY slowly (i.e. pushup, situp, leg lift bringing toes back behind head and squat) and taking your time to pause/move through any really sore/limited parts of the movement
What do you guys do? I'm especially interested in pre-workout stuff you do? Do you do anything while working out/lifting? Often I will stretch lightly in between sets.
*i.e. prevent or shorten the length/severity it
Edit: Expanded and more in depth version of this post here.
Training as a D2 Decathlete (tons of sprinting, jumping, throwing, and lifting) as much as 30 hours per week, I was forced to seek out the best methods of recovery and for mitigating muscle soreness. Here are the things that worked for me, with the most effective first. Note that what will be most effective for you is probably whatever aspect you are currently most deficient in.
Sleeping a lot: Try to get 9.5 hours of sleep a night in a totally dark and quiet room. Magnesium and melatonin help a lot with this.
Eating for recovery: I think you've probably got this part figured out. Plenty protein, fat, and avoiding inflammatory foods (grains, sugar, n-6 PUFA). Drink a lot of water.
Massage work: This one is critical. Using various massage tools (scroll down to recovery tools), and information from the Trigger Point Therapy Workbook, I felt like I was given a new body without any of the previous aches, pains, and stiffness. Crucial for increasing sports performance. Most versatile are a foam roller and a lacrosse ball. Can be done before, after, or during workouts.
Warming up right: Doing dynamic mobility work and making sure my muscles are hot helps a lot for preventing excessive soreness.
Recovery workouts: Do something that takes out the eccentric motion of exercise, which creates most of the soreness. Pulling a sled is one of my favorites.
Enzymes: In-season I noticed that some systemic enzymes like wobenzym or something similar decreased muscle soreness a lot. However, once my CRP (systemic inflammation levels) got really low from diet and sleep, the enzymes no longer had the same benefit. Same thing with the tumeric- works if your inflammation levels are high, effects drop off as inflammation is lower.
Heat: I never found much of a benefit from ice baths. They did make muscles less painful in the short term (numb) but didn't accelerate recovery at all. I did them every day for 3 months then stopped and noticed no difference in recovery. Heat always worked better for recovery for me.
I've started using Turmeric tablets. It's got anti-inflammatory properties and it works pretty well for me. I definitely notice when I do not take it. I take one in the morning, one before a workout and one after the workout or before bed. If it's a longer workout, I'll take one 2-3 hours to supplement.
Hope this help.
Foam rollers are cute, but if you really want to get the soreness out, cut a foot long section of 4 inch pvc pipe. Roll that on your quads after some heavy squats. If you don't throw up and aren't scared to shed a tear or two, it helps with the soreness immensely.