8 Ways to Soothe Sore Muscles After Workout

A man holds a heating pad on his shoulder, a woman uses a TENS unit, a man uses a massage gun.
Mighty Happiness/NueMedics/TOLOCO

Working out is good, but sore muscles are not. From gadgets and rollers to creams and sprays, these are the best products for soothing sore muscles so you can get back to the gym.

No matter how regularly you exercise, the day will come when you push yourself a little too hard. Caused by microscopic tears in the fibers, muscle pain can range from mild to severe. Whenever you face this, the products below can soothe sore muscles until your body recovers.

Warning: Muscle pain usually goes away after a few days. If you experience sharp pain after training, or if the discomfort persists, be sure to consult your doctor. These could be signs of a more serious injury.

massage gun

A massage gun and attachments on a white background and a man uses the massage gun on his arm.


These devices may seem a bit intimidating, but they have grown in popularity in recent years for their ability to effectively soothe sore muscles. This massage gun gives you an effect similar to a deep tissue massage with the convenience of a tool that can be used at home.

Massage guns work by delivering rapid pressures (called percussion) to the body. It may sound painful, but this gun offers 20 different speed levels and multiple massage heads to choose from, so you can find the perfect level of comfort for your body. Each use will improve circulation, relieve stiffness and help you recover from pain faster.

TOLOCO massage gun

An economical yet powerful massage gun is a welcome addition to anyone’s recovery kit.

Magnesium vaporizer

A bottle of magnesium oil.

Seven Minerals

Magnesium is an important nutrient with multiple functions in the body, including regulating muscle function. A magnesium spray is absorbed by the body and can help your muscles begin to relax in no time through transdermal absorption.

This topical spray goes on smoothly and doesn’t leave a sticky residue or stinging sensation like some other products. It’s also made without harmful chemicals, toxins, or fragrances. Spray it before bed to help you relax if your pain is keeping you from falling asleep or any time of the day when you need a boost of pain relief.

bath soap

A muscle recovery swim bag and several bags sit in a gym in front of someone doing weightlifting.

Coach Dip

Nothing feels so good on sore muscles like a hot bath. Epsom salts (which contain magnesium compounds) are a popular supplement, but try this bath instead the next time your all over aches. It primarily uses magnesium flakes to get the benefits of this mineral into your body faster, as it dissolves much faster than salt crystals.

This bath also contains coconut oil, lavender oil, vitamin C crystals and Dead Sea salts. It has hundreds of rave reviews on Amazon and many customers say it works better than Epsom salts alone. Choose from four different scents that can help you feel more relaxed or energized.

TENS unit

A TENS unit on a white background and a woman operates the device on her arm.


A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit is a pittance, but this device can do wonders when it comes to sore muscles. It works by delivering small electrical pulses through adhesive pads attached to your skin over the area in question. The signals flood your nervous system and temporarily reduce its ability to transmit pain signals. It can also help your body naturally produce endorphins, which can aid in pain relief.

Studies have shown that TENS units are an effective, low-risk way to treat sore muscle pain. You shouldn’t use any of these if you have some sort of device implanted in your body. Talk to your doctor first if you have major health issues like cancer or epilepsy. Finally, be sure to read all instructions carefully to ensure that you are using the device safely and getting the most out of it.

TENS unit device

It’s a bit more involved than rubbing on a cream but the results are worth it.

BCAA powder

A black container of BCAA powder on a white background and the container on a black mat.

Optimal nutrition

Members of the health and fitness community have a lot of opinions about BCAA powder. Some say it’s completely unnecessary, while others swear by it when recovering from a workout.

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are made up of three essential amino acids: isoleucine, leucine and valine. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and these three elements, in particular, help you build and maintain muscle.

BCAAs have gotten a bad rap lately because they’ve been found to be virtually useless for building muscle as long as you’re consuming an adequate amount of protein in your diet. However, if your goal is to reduce muscle soreness, there is positive evidence to suggest that taking a BCAA supplement before and/or after exercise can reduce soreness.

Heating pillow

A blue heating pad on a white background and a man is holding the heating pad over his shoulder.

mighty happiness

A heating pad can help relax sore muscles and provide quick pain relief. This plug-in model heats up quickly and has multiple settings so you can get the perfect temperature.

The extra-large waist spans 12 inches by 24 inches, making it perfect for draping over your back, shoulders, legs, or anywhere on your body that might need some relief. You can even untie the cord and throw it in the washing machine for easy cleaning.

Penetrex Cream

Two white tubs of Penetrex cream.


This popular topical cream is widely praised for its ability to calm sore muscles and joints. It works by delivering a concoction of anti-inflammatory ingredients into the muscles to relieve pain in the affected area.

Penetrex can be used alone or in conjunction with other muscle soreness treatments like heating pads and massagers. It has a dedicated fanbase who say it’s best for joint pain, but it can definitely help with muscle pain too.

massage rollers

A purple and blue massage roller on a white background and sitting on a desk.

cool runner

For relief anytime and anywhere you need it, grab one of these portable massage rollers. They’re portable and as easy to use as you can ask for – just roll the ball over the sore muscle in question. They can be used solo or with the help of a partner to target areas you have trouble reaching.

Reviewers say they’re great for people who don’t have very strong hands and can’t tie knots manually. The roller is made of high quality resin and stays nice and cool when left outside. You can also place it in the refrigerator for about an hour for additional relief. Keep one at the gym and one at home so you always have one on hand.

Coolrunner massage ball

These will help you apply deep pressure without adding sore hands to your list of complaints.


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