When you have sore muscles, is stretching the first thing you think you should do? Stretching is often the part of a workout, we all skip for lack of time, energy or avoiding the pain. So, our question is, does stretching actually reduce or prevent muscle soreness and is it something we should be doing?

What does the research say?

Cochrane (highest level of scientific research) completed a review in 2011 to determine the effects of stretching pre- and post exercise on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Interestingly, it was found that stretching completed before, after or during exercise does not actually produce clinical reductions in DOMS. We must keep in mind that we are only talking about muscle soreness in this blog. If you are someone who doesn’t like stretching but think you should do it when you’re sore, good news is, whether you stretch or not won’t speed up recovery or reduce your soreness after exercise.

On the contrary, if you are someone who likes stretching and it feels good to you, there is no harm in doing it. There are other benefits including temporary relief of soreness, enhancing performance, reducing risk of injury and feeling of well-being.

What should you do to reduce soreness?

So, if stretching isn’t the best thing to reduce DOMS, what is? There are a few different recovery techniques you can do to reduce DOMS, the one our founder and Physiotherapist most commonly recommends is foam rolling. A foam roller is a cost-effective tool that has been proven to reduce DOMS when completed post exercise. It improves blood flow, reduces toxins and massages sore muscles and can be done in the comfort of your own home. The biggest barrier to foam rolling is often how uncomfortable it can be. At Brayva we have developed a foam roller that is effective but soft and kind on your muscles, so you will be more likely to use it. Check it out here.

To reduce muscle soreness, we recommend foam rolling for 45seconds on each sore muscle immediately after exercise. If you want to know more about foam rolling, we wrote a blog on it and you can find it here.


  1. Herbert, R. D., de Noronha, M., & Kamper, S. J. (2011). Stretching to prevent or reduce muscle soreness after exercise. Cochrane database of systematic reviews, (7).
  2. Pearcey, G. E., Bradbury-Squires, D. J., Kawamoto, J. E., Drinkwater, E. J., Behm, D. G., & Button, D. C. (2015). Foam rolling for delayed-onset muscle soreness and recovery of dynamic performance measures. Journal of athletic training, 50(1), 5-13.


July 25, 2022 — Jayde Williams