Post-workout soreness can go one of two ways. It can either feel amazing and act as a badge of courage — a reminder of all the hard work you put in; or it can leave you thinking, "Oh man, I'll feel that tomorrow." And although it's not always a bad thing to feel your workout the next day, if your muscles tense up too much or if you find you're too sore for your next workout, you can find yourself tossing in the towel.
Although allowing yourself recovery days and days to stretch out tight muscles is an essential part of every fitness program, there are some times when you still want a bit of a workout while still feeling the effect of your last sweat session.
For all those times, you're feeling just a tad too sore for your regularly scheduled programming, opt for a full-body workout that's slightly gentler on the joints and muscles but still incorporates a few heart-pumping movements. NASM-certified personal trainer and professional dancer Kaley Hatfield shared this 10-minute workout that is gentle enough for sore muscles but will definitely have you sweating by the end.
So gear up with your best sweat-wicking bra like the UA RUSH™ Mid Sports Bra ($45), and get ready to move — because trust us, you'll be dripping sweat by the end of this workout.
Alternating Jumping Jack/Punch Jack
Start with a full-body warmup that elevates the heart rate the faster you take the pace. This particular move also works the core as you incorporate the different iterations.
- Complete a standard jumping jack with your feet moving outward, slightly past shoulder-width apart as you swing both arms up and overhead and then back down to your sides.
- Add in a punching jack by repeating the jumping jack motion with your legs, but instead of swinging your arms above your head, punch one arm forward then alternate to the next arm.
- Alternate between standing jumping jacks and punching jacks, while also alternating punches. Complete three sets of 25 reps.
Reverse Lunge With Twist
Next, work on your stamina while also engaging your core, leg, and glute muscles.
- Step your right foot straight behind you into a low lunge position, keeping your front knee bent at 90 degrees. Maintain good posture with your straight shoulders stacked over your hips and your core tight.
- Clasp both hands together while keeping your arms straight out in front of you. Then, twist toward your right leg. Untwist and return back to neutral, while keeping your hands out in front of you.
- Bring your right foot back to start, and repeat on the same leg for 10 reps before switching to the left leg. Perform three sets of 10 on each leg.
Alternating Hands Off Burpee/Half Burpee
Maintain an elevated heart rate while keeping the whole body moving, specifically targeting the core, back, and legs.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hinge at the hips, and place your hands on the floor in front of your feet. Shoot your legs back into a plank position, and lay your chest onto the floor with your hands next to your chest.
- Pick your hands up off the floor, and place them back down. Bring your feet up to meet the outside of your hands, and stand up to complete your Hands Off burpee.
- For the Half Burpee, repeat the same motion, hinging at the hips and placing your hands on the floor in front of your feet. After shooting your legs out into a plank position, bring your feet back to the outside of your hands, and stand up halfway so that you're in a squatting position.
- Alternate these two burpee variations for three sets of 10 reps (five reps of each style per set).
Sumo Squat With an Elevated Pulse
Keep the entire posterior chain involved with a pulsating leg exercise.
- Turn your toes out to a 45-degree angle while keeping your knees over your toes and your posture upright.
- Slowly drop your hips to the ground to create a 90-degree angle with your knees.
- Staying in that low squat position, slowly lift your heels off the ground, pushing all of the weight into your toes.
- Lift a little higher than 90 degrees and back down in a pulsing motion, never letting the heels drop or the knees straighten out of the squat.
- Repeat for three sets of 25 reps.
Double Leg Hop Overs
Boost your stamina and heart rate while challenging your core strength, as well as your leg and ankle mobility.
- Stand facing forward. Act as if there is a hurdle placed next to your right foot, and bring your right knee, followed by your left, into your chest, one at a time, to hop over the invisible hurdle.
- Try to pick your knees up as high as you can — in and up and over — to complete this motion.
- Alternate the hurdle jump motion, right to left for three sets of 20 reps.
Down Dog to Plank to Knee In
End with a total body exercise that tests all of the stabilizing muscles in the core and upper body, as well as the flexibility and range of motion in the hips and spine.
- Place both hands on the floor in front of you into a plank position, and press your weight into your hands as you take your hips to the ceiling into a pike position for a Down Dog.
- Have your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes facing forward. Press your heels into the floor, feeling a stretch in the back of the legs. Keep your legs straight or opt for a small bend at the knees to keep the back flat.
- Lift your right leg straight behind you into the air as close to a split position as you can. Without placing that right foot onto the ground, bring your hips down, and keep your shoulders over your wrists, so you're back to your plank position.
- Drive your right knee toward your chest, and pause for two seconds before returning the hips back to the ceiling and swinging your right foot into the air. Perform the same motion, without letting that right foot touch the ground for 10 reps, then repeat on the left side.
- Repeat the movement for two sets of 10 on each leg.