Strong and toned glute muscles aren’t typically something that happens by accident. But what if my glutes are sore all the time? Doesn’t that mean they’re growing? Yes and no. Soreness can be a good thing in some cases and detrimental in others. Even if you’re a regular gym goer, the age-old saying “no pain no gain” can only take you so far before you start asking “If your glutes are sore are they growing?”
For a more in-depth understanding of glute soreness and effective treatment options, read on and learn how you can master your glute health.
If Your Glutes Are Sore Are They Really Growing?
The short answer in most scenarios is yes. If you are directly exercising your glutes and eating enough to fuel your training, then sore glutes are the price you pay for future growth.
However, If you are not an avid gym goer and have regular soreness, then it is likely your glutes are not growing and there's a deeper issue at hand. Soreness comes in many forms such as injury, stress, built-up tension from overuse, prolonged inactivity, and even dehydration.
What do sore glutes mean?
Soreness of the gluteal muscles generally results from a combination of factors. During exercise, particularly resistance exercise, or any exercise that recruits glute muscles, there is microtrauma to the muscle fibers. This microtrauma will draw inflammation to the damaged area while the repair process is being initiated by the body.
This post-exercise soreness is commonly known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). DOMS is expected a day or two after the training. Together, the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus make up the major muscles of the glutes and function to create hip extension, abduction, and external rotation . Soreness from demanding or light exercises designed to use these muscles is an indicator that the muscle fibers are breaking down to be built up stronger.
Other Types of Soreness:
Other than DOMS, individuals may also experience acute forms of soreness that arise during exercise (such as a feeling of burning or fatigue) and can resolve within a few minutes post-exercise. This acute form of soreness can be attributed to the lactic acid buildup in muscle tissue.
Soreness tends to be cumulative, which can result in slower repeated sessions of the same exercises that place stress on muscles, joints, and connective tissues.
Isometric soreness is another form of soreness that results from static muscle contractions and can result in deep buttock pain. It produces a longer-lasting, persistent soreness in the muscle that’s been used.
Overuse is one of the most common forms of soreness and is caused by repetitive stress without adequate recovery. This is where the patient tends to experience nagging soreness and fatigue in a particular area.
The ability to distinguish a variety of soreness is important because they can require different therapy approaches for appropriate treatment and recovery.
Signs Your Glutes Are Growing?
Besides soreness, there are other signs of growing glutes. These include increased strength, size, and endurance. Muscle hypertrophy relies on progressive overload – meaning that you keep pushing yourself by lifting a little more or a little harder each time you work out your glutes.
Direct results include better definition, such as improved shape and muscle tone. When your glutes are being built the right way, athletic performance and overall comfortability in any movement improve, especially in activities that use the lower body.
How Long Does It Take For Glutes To Grow?
The timeframe for glute growth is complex and impacted by a variety of personal factors. While some people may notice progress in as little as three to four weeks, it's important to remember that this is likely the shortest term for noticeable changes. Factors including age, weight, caloric intake, and lifestyle behaviors have a large impact on muscle hypertrophy which makes the time frame for glute growth different for each individual.
Daily habits such as regular sessions and targeted glute growth combined with diet, and quality sleep all make major contributions. Genetics also play a role in determining how quickly and strongly muscles respond to exercise.
Younger people, for example, may get faster benefits due to greater amounts of growth hormones and improved muscle response. Weight and body composition also play a role. It's easier to see results with a lower body fat percentage. Not meaning the results are any different, just more visible.
Caloric intake per individual is also relevant. Excess and clean calories encourage muscle growth. When getting into a schedule of weight lifting you need to compensate for excess calories burned by taking more than your regular amount.
For those looking to build muscle mass while working out the recommended protein intake is typically between 0.5 to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight (or 1.2 to 1.7 grams per kilogram). For maximum results, we recommend 0.8-1.2 grams per pound of body weight. Sustaining this protein range while weightlifting, jogging, or any sort of exercise is recommended to help muscle growth and recovery.
Although some will notice benefits within a month, others may take longer, and long-term growth is frequently achieved over several months of consistent training. Creating realistic goals and focusing on long-term growth rather than instant results is a healthier and more practical approach.
Treating Sore Glutes:
Sore glutes after a workout are never fun to deal with but when it comes to sculpting an aesthetic backside, every rose has its thorn.
Proper rest, recovery, diet, and hydration will all help reduce soreness and buttock muscle pain after a lift. If you are looking to speed up your window of sore glutes there are certainly some other avenues you could venture down. A few of my favorite relief tips include
If you have sore glutes and need relief ASAP, massage is a great way to go. Massaging your glutes may be painful at the moment, but the upside of releasing tight and sore glutes is night and day. The glutes are made up of complex muscles and tend to benefit more from deep tissue massage versus a simple surface massage. Common tools like foam rollers can offer some relief but often don’t get quite deep enough. My favorite tool is the QL Claw. Designed specifically for deep tissue massage, the QL Claw is equipped to target and release the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and piriformis muscles for complete relief. Other popular and effective tools include massage guns and lacrosse balls.
Stretching is effective in treating sore glutes for a number of reasons. Muscle soreness or tightness days after exercise is a normal symptom known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
Stretching is a great way to treat glute muscle soreness/tightness. Elongating compressed fibers in your glutes, allows you to free up a lot of pent-up pain while giving mobility back to the muscle. A few effective glute stretches include gluteus medius stretch, seated piriformis stretch, and internal hip rotations stretches.
Ice can assist in decreasing inflammation and numb sore muscles. Ice packs and ice baths are easy and cheap choices. If you’re not a fan of the cold, heat therapy is a great recovery option that increases blood flow to sore muscles. Options for heat therapy include heat pads/wraps and hot tubs/baths.
Active recovery is a dynamic approach and one of my personal favorites for treating both the glutes and sore muscles as a whole. Low-intensity recovery activities, like walking, swimming, or mild stretching, enhance blood circulation to muscles. Increased circulation helps to clear out metabolic waste and distribute nutrients to speed up the recovery process.
Active recovery reduces stiffness and enhances joint mobility, improving total flexibility. Individuals may reduce muscle tension and accelerate healing by keeping their bodies moving. Active recovery has also been shown to improve individuals' moods over the passive option of recovery.
If your glutes are sore are they growing - FAQ:
Is massage good for sore glutes?
Yes, massage is an effective treatment for sore glutes. Massaging relieves tension and soreness by targeting the complex muscles that make up the glutes.
Can I work out with sore muscles?
Yes, you can as long as it's not affecting your movement. If your sore muscles are not hindering your form and you feel comfortable, then by all means go for it.
When can I expect to see results?
Depending on your caloric intake and training schedule, you can expect to see results anywhere as early as 3-4 weeks. On a more realistic time frame, 6-8 weeks is typically when people start noticing progress.
How long does muscle soreness last?
When overworked or not treated right, muscle soreness can stick around for a few days. If you are still experiencing soreness after 5-7 days, the issue might be more serious and you should seek professional help.
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