Many people believe that DOMS is caused by lactic acid, which builds in the muscles during exercise. This is a myth. Although the topic remains controversial, most experts agree that DOMS is caused by microscopic tears in the muscle fibers, as well as some swelling.
There is no sure way to prevent DOMS, unless you decide not to exercise at all! However, there are ways to minimize the amount of discomfort you will suffer:
- Always do a proper warm-up before you start.
- Change your program gradually.
- Progress slowly over the weeks, allowing you body time to adjust to new challenges
- Warm-down for a few minutes after strenuous sessions, by lowering you heart rate gradually back to normal.
- Cool down after every workout by doing long, static stretches for every muscle group.