The Best Types of Exercise to Do When You’re Sore

Because yes, you can still exercise after a hardcore leg day.

By: Rebecca Jacobs

If you’re feeling the aftermath of an intense HIIT workout or feel like there’s no way you can power through a workout after leg day, we got you covered. Feeling sore is a part of getting back into the fitness game, but even the most seasoned athletes feel sore after a good workout. So, if muscle soreness if holding you back from working out as much as you would like, we’re breaking down the top five exercises to do when you’re sore. And yes, these workouts will still leave you dripping in sweat and crushing your fitness goals. 

The Top 5 Exercises to do When You’re Sore 

Heads up—just because these exercises are ideal to do on days where your muscles are feeling a bit taxed, it doesn’t mean you are taking the easy way out. With some modifications, you can still work on conditioning other muscle groups and working towards crushing all of your fitness goals. 

Here are the best exercises to do when you’re sore. 

#1 Focus on Exercises That Target Other Muscle Groups 

There’s no need to exhaust those tired muscles even more, so give them a break! Do an exercise that’s going to target different muscle groups. Legs feeling sore? Try an upper body workout. Went hard on the abs yesterday? Give them a break and work on arms, legs, and glutes instead. 

#2 Go Low Impact

On days where you’re feeling super sore, there’s no reason to go all out. Take it slower with some low impact exercises. Things like yoga, Pilates, or even stretching are all great for working on your fitness, but taking things a little easier for your sore muscles. 

#3 Don’t Go Too Heavy 

If you’re using weights, don’t go too heavy on days where your muscles are crazy sore. If you’re using resistance bands, lower that resistance a bit, and be sure to take some time to stretch things out after. Foam rolling is ah-mazing for this! 

#4 Walk it Out 

Why not hop on the treadmill or get outside for a brisk walk on a day you are feeling super sore? There’s no workout police telling you what you need to do, so do what feels good to you. 

If you can only muster up the energy to go for a half-mile walk, then do it. Plus, walking is the bomb for cardiovascular health and can actually help you slash some cals. In fact, a one-mile walk can help you burn 100 calories, so what do you have to lose? It’s low impact and awesome for overall health. 

#5 No Matter What You Do, Listen to Your Body

As always, don’t forget to listen to your body. The day after an intense workout shouldn’t be over the top, and you for sure shouldn’t force it. If you’re feeling totally drained after half the workout, listen to your body. There’s no shame in the modifying game, so modify to your comfort level. After all, injury is going to set you way further back than taking things a little slower. 

So, always listen to your body—it’s telling us exactly what we need to know, and it’s our job to listen. 

Exercising When You’re Sore is Possible

Trying using these exercises to do when you’re sore to still get a good sweat in even after an intense cardio or leg day. With regular physical activity, you may find yourself crushing each of your fitness goals faster than you thought. So, listen to your body, lower your impact, and get your body moving. You’ll thank yourself later.