Training with sore muscles?

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by Smile-n-Nod, May 3, 2017.

  1. Smile-n-Nod

    Smile-n-Nod More than 500 posts

    I've been doing S&S for about four months. I've noticed that my trapezius muscles (just below my neck) are often sore when I do S&S two or three days in a row (actually, they're slightly sore almost all the time, and have been since January; they're just slightly more sore after the days I do S&S).

    I've experimented with doing just swings or just get-ups for a couple days, and it seems both exercises contribute to the soreness.

    If I have muscle soreness from training, should I skip a couple days until the soreness goes away or should I continue to train while waiting for my strength to catch up?

    [Maybe I'm training too much at my age: 53 years. I'm doing something almost every day of the week--kettlebells, martial arts, walking, running--and perhaps I should just give myself a few more days of rest. I'm a beginner at this stuff, so it's hard to know what to do.]
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
  2. Kettlebelephant

    Kettlebelephant Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    From what I read it's ok to work out with light to medium DOMS.
    It's normal to experience DOMS/soreness after introducing new movements/exercises, but this usually disappears after 1-3 weeks.
    Personally if I'd experience soreness for more than 4 weeks (especially chronic, which seems to be the case for you), I'd see a doctor.
    ShawnM likes this.
  3. taikei

    taikei Triple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    Anyone beyond 45 should put an hour every day doing recovery work. Stretch, mobility, shaking body etc.
    It's time consuming as much as watching 1 hour TV program.
  4. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    I'm thinking "work on shoulder packing." Because I've definitely experienced this too at times, and I think that was the root cause. I though I was, but it wasn't good enough. My strength in wielding the bell advanced beyond my strength of the muscles used to keep the shoulder packed and it was my upper traps that complained. Maybe some days with a bell one or two sizes smaller, and see if you can pack the shoulders better throughout your movements...
    Pinkninja, OneBunke, WxHerk and 2 others like this.
  5. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    If it can't be traced back to form per @Anna C, I'd seriously consider slowing down at least until the soreness is all but gone. Then reintroduce your routine with slowly increasing intensity.

    If it were me I'd want to know for sure it was training related, and there's only one way to do that.
  6. Smile-n-Nod

    Smile-n-Nod More than 500 posts

    I think I am keeping the shoulders packed, but perhaps I'm not.

    One issue that may be related is my lack of ability to completely straighten my arms (either one) to the point that my forearm and upper arm are in line. Consequently, I think I have to use muscle strength to keep my arms straight during a get-up; maybe the tension in the upper arm affects the shoulders, which causes the soreness in the traps (the trap soreness is mainly in my left side, and my left arm is weaker, too--maybe there's a correlation). So complicated, this stuff.
  7. Benedictine Monk

    Benedictine Monk More than 300 posts

    I'm spit balling here but there's a significant group of Strong First trainers who use supplementary KB and bodyweight exercises and one that consistently earns rave reviews is kettlebell rows for filling in the weak spots in the upper back. I have no idea how to program it but it would be worth a try along with a proper functional assessment with the practitioner of your choice.
  8. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    I think you are on the right track. Personally I'd consider changing your routine/lift selection until you have ironed out the flexibility/ROM issues. Doing overhead lifts, esp relatively longer duration static ones such as TGU without being able to lock out could be setting yourself up for a more serious strain or pull.

    If the swings alone are not enough to keep the soreness constant, you'll have your answer. If the swings are contributing as well (since they should be a lot less effected by the lack of lockout) then I'd begin to widen the search.

    It could just be that you are taxing yourself with too little rest and its showing up in chronic tension/soreness of the traps. Again, I'd want to track this down.
  9. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    Some drills to try, here:

    Shoulder Packing Drills

    Also monitor yourself closely, try to "freeze" at the top of the swing (literally by having someone catch the bell, or without a bell if necessary by just holding your arm out in front) and see if your shoulder is packed there. Chances are you can draw it down towards your hip... try to pattern your swing so that it stays there. Same thing on the get-up -- check each position AND each transition, see if your shoulders are really packed.
  10. Alexander Halford

    Alexander Halford Triple-Digit Post Count

    And you can determine whether it's light soreness by having it gone after 15-20 minutes of foam rolling and some mobility and stretching drill for the target muscles.

    I second that. Those stretch and mobility drills contributed a lot to me just in a few weeks I'm doing it. I do split it - 5-10 minutes here & there, not an hour a day, but there's definitely a difference between me without those drills and with it.
    Pinkninja and taikei like this.
  11. Sasa Rajnovic

    Sasa Rajnovic Triple-Digit Post Count Team Leader Certified Instructor

    Lack of shoulder mobility usually makes it harder to pack your shoulders, especially in the overhead position (kneeling position and standing position in the Get-up). I would recommend you to contact a Flexible Steel or an FMS instructor nearby and get your shoulders and thoracic spine working in full ROM.
  12. Jeffro

    Jeffro Triple-Digit Post Count

    Is your neck relaxed? I dont know if it shows up in the traps, but i was recently reviewing some Cook materials where he suggests rotating your head (saying "no) at each position of the getup to make sure you arent tense where you dont need it. Just a thought
    WxHerk and Anna C like this.
  13. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    I think you're onto something there, too. Any idea why you can't completely straighten your arms?

    My next suggestion is find a good massage therapist and get a deep tissue massage. It will help ease the upper traps, and if they work on your forearms, biceps, and shoulders it might help your mobility as well. It may take a few sessions. Currently I find that a 1.5 hour session once a month is what I need for maintenance.
  14. Smile-n-Nod

    Smile-n-Nod More than 500 posts

    Just the way I'm built. I first realized it when I was a teenager. They're almost straight, just not quite. The bend is only a few degrees--about the angle that a second hand on a clock moves in one second, but definitely not straight.
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
  15. Smile-n-Nod

    Smile-n-Nod More than 500 posts

    Over the past four months, I've been averaging 4-5 S&S sessions per week, plus martial arts, walking, and a little running. I've asked questions on this forum about pain in my traps, but more recently I've noticed pain on the outside of my thighs when I stand from the lunge position in get-ups.

    As of today, I have performed no get-ups in five days. I tested my unweigted stand-from-lunge today and I still feel sore in the same place on my thighs. Have I just been overdoing it for my age (53 years)? Should I just rest until my traps and thighs are no longer sore and then start slowly with a little more rest?

    (Sorry about all the questions. I'm a beginner to fitness and strength training; I'd love to hire someone like an SFG or other expert, but my older daughter is starting college in the fall and we have to be careful with our money.)
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
  16. taikei

    taikei Triple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    If full get up is too much, partial get up is more than good enough. Repeating partial portion works well.
    You can stop at lunge position and go back down.

    It does sound like your lats isn't fired during swings and there's more tension in your shoulder area.
    Farmer walk with kettlebell in each hand and or suitcase dead lift, where would you feel it. These can be good diagnosis. You should be drawing your shoulder joints far behind and ear/shoulder need to be far distant apart as possible.
    Billy59 and Sasa Rajnovic like this.
  17. Smile-n-Nod

    Smile-n-Nod More than 500 posts

    I can do get-ups fine; my thighs have just begun to hurt in the last couple weeks. Thanks.
  18. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    Age per se does not necessarily need be a problem. There are plenty of 'old' cats out there doing pretty hard and bad-a$$ training. Not building up slowly enough can be a culprit, as can volume, form, technique, or biomechanical issues.
    Matts likes this.
  19. Darren Best

    Darren Best Triple-Digit Post Count

    50 here, something I am learning is, if something aches or hurts for more than a few days, figure out what's causing it and fix it.

    The sad reality is that after 50, it seems like "something" always hurts. I joke with younger guys that's why us old farts are so grouchy.

    I just resolved a nagging shoulder issue, it felt like someone was shoving a icepick from my shoulder blade to my clavicle and the pain radiated down my arm, this went on for almost two months. Trips to the chiropractor, stretching and rubber band work seemed to have no lasting effect on it. Turned out the problem is that I sleep differently on my right side than my left, go figure.

    Don't put up with it.
    Shawn90 and offwidth like this.
  20. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    Ain't that the truth...

    Get off of my lawn!
    Billy59, crazycanuck and Darren Best like this.

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