Can’t Walk After Leg Day? 12 Tips To Recover From The Soreness

Can't Walk After Leg Day

Leg workouts are typical exercises that involve going hard and pushing your muscles to maximum limits.

Leg day seems not to be the favorite workout among exercisers, although it consists of about two or three sessions.

While this exercise can bring several benefits, it also causes soreness immediately after physical training sessions.

If you have sore shoulders or arms, you can still work slightly. However, having gruesome legs means you may feel pain even when doing little movements.

This session likely works effectively if you often have leg soreness after exercise. But can’t walk after leg day?

Fortunately, there are simple methods to reduce soreness while helping you get the same strength training without adverse effects.

Let’s scroll down this article to learn the tips!

Why Can’t Walk After Leg Day?

cant walk after leg day

Your muscles will get sore if you practice hard workouts such as weightlifting or repeat intense cardio sessions for a long time.

You will experience more pain in your legs than in other regions because this part contains several large muscles.

Therefore, while smaller muscles, like the abdominals and biceps, may recover far more quickly, leg muscles require much time.

After strenuous workouts, you may experience one of the two kinds of pain, including immediate soreness and delayed one.

The immediate soreness occurs when lactic acid accumulates in your muscles when you do demanding exercise.

Another term for this phenomenon is acute muscle soreness, as you can feel the pain immediately after you push yourself too hard.

The good news is that this soreness leaves quickly as the way it comes. After your workout, it usually lasts a little while or, at most, a couple of hours.

The second type is the main gruesome culprit for your worry after leg day, which is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). It is the main reason your legs hurt the day after a strenuous leg workout.

Building muscle and lifting weights correspond physiologically to your body making gains.

The fibers in your muscles experience tiny tears due to these heavy lifting activities.

After rest, nutritious diets, and recovery therapies, your new muscle will build and achieve strength.

However, your muscles’ micro-tears will expand, aggravate them, and make you feel discomfort while they heal. That’s why during DOMS, it’s excruciating.

After an extended period, it usually subsides after reaching its peak two days after exercise.

Moreover, because the muscles concentrated in your legs are significant, it will take longer for them to recover.

It’s worth noting that if you continue your leg workout, you won’t have to cope with this soreness forever.

After intense squats for a long time, your body should gradually adjust to the new circumstances, and you will soon walk normally.

Is It Normal If You Can’t Walk After Leg Day?

can't walk after workout

The answer is yes! It’s normal to have soreness in your legs the day after leg day. Your legs get shocked due to the sudden tremendous impact of weightlifting.

Furthermore, you may have a sedentary lifestyle, but if you lift harder than you do on upper body sessions, you will experience more soreness the day following a leg workout.

Another reason is that you spend too much time sitting down in front of the TV, computer, or driving.

As a result, your legs are unfamiliar with heavy weights, repetitive activities, or stretching.

Besides, you usually use your legs to lift the heavy weight when working out instead of your biceps.

Because you utilize your legs often and they are a large muscle group, the Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is terrible afterward.

Trying hard too soon might result in severe muscular discomfort. Instead, take it slow while starting a new exercise routine.

It’s best to start with lightweight so that you can manage it. Also, you can work with a trainer to have the most suitable program for your level.

12 Tips To Recover From The Soreness

After leg day, it’s irritating to waddle or go up and down stairs, and when you sit down, it’s gruesome.

Thus, finding ways to reduce soreness and help your painful legs recover faster is advisable. Here are some tips to blow away the pain:

1. Warm Up Gently

Warm Up Gently

It’s dangerous to exercise if your muscles are stiff or tense. It may cause you injury while doing workouts and pain afterward.

For this reason, before doing heavy lunges, squats, or deadlifts, you should warm up gently with light jogging or treadmill walking to loosen your hammies.

It’s advisable to gradually start with lighter activities to familiarize your body with the workout pattern before jumping into heavy muscle sets.

2. Hydrate

Staying adequately hydrated is essential, whether before, during, or after training, which is beneficial for reducing pain.

You must ensure your body has enough water to deliver nutrients to all parts and muscles that require it to recover from soreness.

According to a National Library of Medicine study, Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is related to dehydration.

As a result, always stay hydrated. Otherwise, acute soreness will occur when you don’t provide enough water for all your body parts.

3. Stretch Out

Many people tend to leave the gym immediately after heavy lifting or strenuous exercise because of exhaustion. However, it’s not a good idea to do so.

Spending more time making stretching patterns as cool-down sessions would be best to relieve leg pain.

Ensure you focus on your hamstrings and quadriceps because they are large muscles and will hurt badly if you don’t stretch them out after heavy lifting.

If you need some stretch workouts, you can watch this video:

4. Use Foam Rollers

When you return home, if nothing appears to be helpful with the discomfort, you should probably use the foam rollers.

These excellent devices enable you to target muscles deep inside your body while other methods don’t.

Besides, foam rolling routines can also help you loosen up tight muscles and increase mobility.

Although the rolling motion might be irritating, you feel comfortable afterward, and your muscles will be relaxed.

5. Ice The Legs

If you’re experiencing an excruciating leg day session, your muscles likely suffer considerable microscopic level damage.

The essence of this damage is an injury. Thus, it will swell up and eventually hurt severely.

Applying ice to injuries is a go-to treatment, so you can do the same with your painful leg.

You can lessen the inflammation and soreness by placing ice packs near the injured area.

6. Eat High Protein Food

Eat High Protein Food

After heavy workouts, you should provide enough protein for your muscles to function correctly and develop, especially if you are a beginner.

Whenever you undergo a hard training practice, ensure to increase the amount of protein intake because it will improve the recovery of your muscles.

Adding foods rich in protein like fish, chicken, nuts, fish, tofu, beans, or whey protein smoothies is a good idea. Don’t forget to add healthy fats and good sources of carbohydrates.

Your body metabolizes these high-protein foods and fixes and builds muscles using amino acids, which reduces soreness faster.

7. Use BCAA Supplement

Besides eating rich protein foods, you can use BCAA (branch chain amino acids) supplements for faster recovery from the pain.

Your body can’t produce these amino acids, including valine, isoleucine, and leucine, but they are present in nuts, beans, fish, or chicken.

When using BCAA products, the muscle fibers heal more quickly, reducing discomfort and promoting muscular development.

8. Do Gentle Exercise

If you want your legs to recover more quickly, you can consider doing gentle and light workouts.

Instead of heavy weightlifting, it’s advisable to go for a walk, do some treadmill walking, or bike to reduce DOMS.

9. Use Painkillers

Use Painkillers

While it’s not a good idea to use painkillers, you can take some if it hurts like hell.

You may get confused between Tylenol and Advil. Remember, the first is better for headaches, while the latter is good for muscle soreness.

Most importantly, never overdo painkillers, as this anti-inflammatory drug might impede muscle development, according to a medical report.

Before taking painkillers, try other treatments mentioned above, like warming up gently, cooling down with ice, or using foam rollers.

10. Stop Ego Lifting

You might push yourself too hard on the leg day, and now you suffer adverse effects. As a result, you can’t handle weightlifting and will feel pain in your legs.

You have tried some ways to reduce soreness, but they didn’t work. If that’s the case, it’s time to stop ego-lifting until the pain disappears.

11. Bath Warm & Cold Water

Don’t skip bathing when you are too painful after the leg day workout. A study demonstrates that warm and cold water are beneficial for reducing muscle soreness.

Start your shower with warm water and finish it with cold. Like some skilled athletes, you might also try taking an ice bath.

12. Massage The Leg

The muscles will become more relaxed, and the blood flow more effectively when messaging the legs.

Massages can also lower stress hormones, aid healing from soft tissue damage, stimulate lymphatic circulation, and increase joint flexibility.


If you can’t walk after leg day, it’s a good idea to try one of the above-mentioned treatments.

It’s better to do warm-up exercises gently, always stay hydrated, eat foods rich in protein, drink BCAA supplements, or ice the leg.

Otherwise, you should stop heavy lifting and apply suitable therapy to reduce DOMS.

Besides, you can take some painkillers only when the pain is gruesome, as these drugs may cause some adverse effects on muscular growth.

Hopefully, these solutions will work for you!

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