Exercise - no pain no gain?

Posted in Active Bites |
Key Facts: 
  • Muscle soreness is caused by the necessary breaking of strands of proteins.
  • Eccentric training can cause minute muscle tears that repair quickly.
  • Lactic acid can be used to our benefit.

You must have heard this phrase before.  If you’ve ever used a personal trainer or been a member of a gym then you will have for sure!  You shouldn’t feel pain, but a little discomfort may be actually beneficial.  Exercise isn’t possible without experiencing some muscle soreness. It’s the breaking down of old muscle fibres and building up of new ones that make you stronger.  How is it then that soreness works in our favour?

How do muscles work?

The basis of any movement is muscle contraction, otherwise known as ‘muscle tension’.  When you move your arm, your brain sends a signal via your nerves to the muscle to tell it to contract.  Depending on what kind of a signal the brain gives, the muscle will either contract a lot or a little.  A muscle is made up of tubular cells called muscle fibres.  These fibres contain sections of strands of proteins of varying thickness which work against each other to produce movement.  The thick stronger strands pull the thinner outer strands past them into the centre of the muscle, like closing a pair of sliding glass doors.  This is how the tension or contraction is produced.

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