If you’re a keen leg-day enthusiast, you might love waking up the morning after a hard gym sesh with sore muscles. Sore muscles = hard work = results, right? Well, not exactly.
by CHLOE ALEXANDER on
November 7, 2022
If you’re trying to build your glutes with regular lower-body workouts, it’s normal to experience muscle soreness from time to time. But that doesn’t mean that a lack of muscle soreness = poor gym performance, or fewer results.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at what causes muscle soreness, what it means, and why a lack of muscle soreness isn’t necessarily a bad thing. So if you’re wondering “why are my glutes not sore after my workout?” – keep reading to find out why!
What causes muscle soreness?
To understand the initial question a little better, it’s important to understand why muscle soreness occurs in the first place. Muscle soreness – also known as ‘delayed onset muscle soreness’ or DOMS – occurs when the muscle experiences unfamiliar straining, usually via new or strenuous forms of exercise. DOMS is typically the result of muscle damage and inflammation, and will usually go away after a few days.
If you’re exercising for the first time in a long time, or if you’re returning to heavy exercise following a recovery period, muscle soreness is common, and nothing to worry about. DOMS can also occur if you make any changes to your current exercise routine, such as increasing the weight you’re lifting, increasing your repetition, or doing more complex moves.
Why are my glutes not sore after my workout?
So, why aren’t your glutes sore after your workout? Here are just a few reasons why you’re not enjoying your usual post-gym sore booty:
Your muscles have adapted to your routine
This is probably the most simple and likely reason for your lack of sore glutes. When we exercise or perform certain moves for the first time, it’s normal to experience DOMS: this is because our muscles are not habituated to being moved or manipulated in certain ways, which will cause onset muscle damage and temporary inflammation. If you’re no longer experiencing soreness after a glute or lower body workout, it can actually be a positive thing: it means that your muscles have got used to your workout routines, and you’re ready to move onto a new routine, increase your weights, or increase your repetitions.
You’re not increasing your weights
Muscle soreness is almost exclusively linked with weight-lifting: this is because muscle fibre tears occur routinely when you lift weights (and damaging your muscles is how you make them larger, stronger, and more functional.)
While it is possible to experience muscle soreness after non-weighted forms of exercise such as pilates, yoga, or cardio, weight lifting strains the muscles more. And what’s different with weight-training is that you can actively increase your weights – or your repetitions – to continually challenge your muscles. If you’re not increasing the weight you use – especially if you’ve been using the same weight for a long time – this might explain a lack of muscle soreness.
Your fitness level has increased
Another reason you may no longer experience muscle soreness is that your fitness level has surpassed your current workout routine. This means that your lower body has become habituated with your leg routine, and it no longer experiences a muscle shock when performing exercise. This is a positive sign that your muscles are growing and getting stronger, so it’s no reason to be disappointed! All you need to do is change up your workout routine and your glutes will be achy and sore once again.
Does a lack of muscle soreness mean I’m not working hard enough?
No! As we explained above, certain forms of non-weighted exercises will induce temporary muscle soreness, but dissipate over time as your body gets used to performing the movements. A lack of muscle soreness simply indicates that your body is used to the strain, and while you may experience muscle soreness every time you change your routine, it shouldn’t be an everyday occurrence if you’re a regular gym-goer.
The reason you might still get muscle soreness with weight training is that this form of exercise is dynamic; you aren’t always going to be performing the same moves, lifting the same weight, and performing the same number of repetitions. Weight training requires you to change things up every now and again to keep your muscles guessing, growing, and repairing themselves.
What to do if your glutes are no longer sore after a workout
If your glutes are no longer sore after a workout, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not working hard enough. However, if you want to challenge your muscles and feel that next0day muscle soreness, there are a number of things you can do:
Increase your weights
This is perhaps the easiest way to improve your gains and improve your overall fitness level at the same time. Our bodies have great memories: once you’ve started exercising using a certain weight, your body will adapt itself to bear that weight, and once your body is adapted, your progress might slow down if you don’t change things up.
Increasing your weight limit (while keeping the same number of repetitions) will challenge your body, force your muscles into gear, and give you that satisfying sore muscle feeling the next day.
Increase your repetitions
Another way you can challenge your body is by increasing the number of repetitions you perform during your leg and bum workout. This will allow you to fire your glutes without having to increase your weights, as your muscles won’t be used to performing the increased number of movements. When increasing your repetitions, it’s also a good idea to focus on your form: a lack of good form can also be a reason why you’re no longer experiencing muscle soreness. Performing your exercises in front of a mirror is a good way to keep your form in check.
Don’t forget to go at your own pace and listen to your body while exercising: you don’t need to push yourself to the point of exhaustion to get results, especially when it comes to weight lifting. As the old adage goes, slow and steady wins the race.
I’m Chloe – a body confidence writer here at House of Peach! I help women to feel fabulous in the body they’re in and feel amazing in gym wear – regardless of their body shape and type. Unleash Your Peach.