The 1-minute shower hack to stop next-day workout soreness in its tracks


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As you’re glowing from a surge of endorphins—and a whole lotta sweat—after an intense workout, you’re probably feeling pretty good…until the reality hits about how sore you’re going to be. While spending some quality time with a foam roller will undoubtedly do you some good, there’s another way to stop next-day soreness in its tracks. Unfortunately, it’s just as uncomfortable.

A fool-proof way to give your muscles some much-needed relief is to hop in the shower. Not a relaxing warm shower, though; one where you alternate between hot and cold temps. Sort of like when someone ruins your steamy hot shower by flushing the toilet—but by choice. “These types of contrast showers, where you alternate the water as hot as you can handle for 20 to 30 seconds, and then turn it as cold as you can handle for 20 to 30 seconds, will fight tension and improve blood flow,” Dustin Raymer, MS, CES, CHWC, told Men’s Health. “Ideally, the water will get progressively hotter and colder the more you do this.”

“These types of contrast showers, where you alternate the water as hot as you can handle for 20 to 30 seconds, and then turn it as cold as you can handle for 20 to 30 seconds, will fight tension and improve blood flow.” —Dustin Raymer, MS, CES, CHWC

While even a minute will be helpful, doing 10 rounds, going more extreme with the temps as you get used to them, will help post-workout soreness be a thing of the past. With the change in water temperature, you’re essentially giving your muscles a massage of sorts. You know, via your blood. “The idea is that you’re creating an external ‘pumping’ of the blood by cooling muscles—pushing blood out—and then heating muscles (pulling blood back in). This should bring fresh blood and nutrients into the muscles for quicker recovery,” Raymer says.

The next time you know you’ll be feeling a workout later, try this shower technique. Sure, it’s going to suck a little—but one thing’s for sure: it’ll be much better than barely being able to get out of bed the next day.

The travel-size tool Emmy Rossum packs to work out sore muscles on the road. Or, find out the surprising way Olympian Julie Johnston relieves her sore muscles.

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