Swimming provides a full body workout, targeting various muscle groups simultaneously. It provides the ideal stimulus for muscle development across the entire body, whilst being easier on your joints than workouts undertaken in a gym. Swimming in particular, if done regularly and on a consistent basis, helps to work the shoulders, abs, arms, legs, and gluteal muscles among many others.
However, swimming can be a pretty intense workout. In fact, it’s equivalent in intensity to a workout in the gym. Just like the average gym-goer, swimmers are susceptible to delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This kind of muscle soreness is cause by eccentric exercises, those where the muscles lengthen as the resistance becomes greater than the force the muscles are producing. DOMS symptoms can range from muscle tenderness with a dull ache to pain that’s debilitating. Many reasons can account for this condition, one being that it’s caused by inflammation present due to micro-tears in the muscles.
Believe it or not, the easiest way to alleviate the pain from DOMs is to engage in another workout the day after. (This will likely be tough!). Ideally, a concentric exercise will be performed, an exercise where muscle tension rises to meet the resistance placed on it and stays stable as the muscle shortens. Understandably, the pain experienced with DOMS can be demotivating enough to stop you from working out again until the pain has passed.
Here, we’ll explore the various ways to help alleviate DOMS faster and how to incorporate CBD into your recovery process.
Before You Make A Splash
Hydration, hydration, hydration!
The likelihood of experiencing DOMS is significantly increased if you start a swimming session in a dehydrated state. Being dehydrated in general can be unhealthy, but it’s particularly unwise to start swimming in that state. A lack of hydration may lead to early onset fatigue during the swim session and negatively affect your performance. We’d advise drinking at least half a liter of water a couple of hours before you set off and avoiding diuretics such as caffeine and alcohol.
Whatever your swimming ability, you’ll understand the importance of a warmup. The quickest method is to do dynamic stretches like star jumps, lunges, or sumo squats. Just 10 minutes of a warmup could do you wonders!
Hydration. Have we mentioned this already?
It’s not enough to only hydrate and stretch before your swimming session. Hydrating during your workout is key. As highlighted earlier, swimming is an intense form of exercise. As it’s performed in a large body of water, it’s easy to underestimate how much you’ll be sweating. Make sure to hydrate during your swim to further reduce your risk of experiencing DOMS.
After an intense swim session, cooldowns are a must. The best way to do this, although not the first choice of many swimmers, is to get back in the water! Do some gentle strokes to allow your muscles to cool down slowly. Skipping this step and heading straight to the showers will cool your muscles down too rapidly and increase the likelihood of experiencing DOMS. Some easy, slow laps in the pool will be an effective end to your session.
This will increase your blood flow, boost your flexibility, and help decrease any muscle tension in your body. When stretching after swimming, it’s important to do targeted stretches engaging whichever muscles were used the most during your session. Doing so will help those constricted and contracted muscles release back to their more comfortable state, boosting your flexibility, and helping to prevent you from experiencing DOMS.
CBD Oil to prevent DOMS and aid in post-swimming recovery
DOMS, simply put, is your body’s reaction to injury in the form of acute inflammation. There have been a few studies into the effects of CBD post-workout. A study in the International Journal of Physical Education, Sports and Health, tested the use of CBD post-workout amongst trained athletes. Each athlete found a faster recovery rate compared to what’s usual for them, as well as significantly less muscle soreness.
CBD oil has also been reported to have mild effects on CB2 receptors that are located in the peripheral lymphoid tissues. It can act as a mediator for the release of cytokines by immune cells, thus, helping to reduce inflammation and pain. There are yet more studies to be carried out to show us just how effective CBD oil can be for pain management but the early results, so far, are already very promising.
When choosing a CBD supplement, make sure you use a high-quality CBD oil UK product that really contains what it promises on the label. ACCESS CBD®, produced by BRITISH CANNABIS™, does exactly that. The ACCESS CBD® range consists of three mouth-watering flavors; Berry, Citrus, and Natural. No other CBD oil on the market today tastes as good as this medium to high-strength oil. Containing hundreds of cannabis compounds and naturally flavored with real cannabis terpenes, ACCESS CBD® oils could be a great addition to your post-swim recovery routine. Simply spray the required dose under your tongue and hold for 1-2 minutes before swallowing, or until completely dissolved for greater bioavailability.