Exercises For When You're Freaking Sore

paghorizhydrationPhotographed by Winnie Au.
There’s nothing better than a killer workout that leaves you drenched in sweat and flying high on endorphins. The next morning, however, might be the exact opposite, as you cringe in pain trying to get out of bed. This is caused by delayed onset muscle soreness. It's a result of stressing muscles not accustomed to such activity — and it’s usually not a big deal as long as you can still do your everyday activities.
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Still, a few things to keep in mind for the next day: Don’t push yourself too hard again, but don’t transform into a complete couch potato, either. Personal trainer Rachel Cosgrove from Women's Health recommends an active recovery workout filled with mobility or flexibility exercises that won’t overwork your muscles or max out your heart rate — but that still get you moving. Think a light jog, a long walk, or even better, a low-intensity yoga session (since stretching aids in muscle recovery).
If you can’t make it to a yoga class, Cosgrove lists out a few stretches you can do at home. An awesome but seemingly simple stretch is the Cobra, which aims at stretching your abs, shoulders, and chest. All you have to do is lie on your stomach with your hands directly under your shoulders and your elbows at your waist. Just take in a deep breath and, while exhaling, lower yourself down until your forehead touches the mat.
Another great stretch is the Wall Slide, which will help increase both blood flow to the upper body and your shoulder mobility. To do this, find an empty wall space to lean the entire backside of your body, including your head, against. Bend your hands and arms in a “high-five” position at a 90-degree angle, and place them against the wall at shoulder height. Now, slide your elbows down to your sides and then back up, as far as they can go, all without removing your arms from the wall. Just a few post-tough-workout-day stretches like these will get you back on (the) track in no time.
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For the full list of incredible, next-day stretches, click through. (Women's Health).