Kara in Texas writes… “So I did my 3rd workout of yours this morning, and I haven’t felt sore or anything.  Am I doing it wrong?  I’m really excited to try this, thank you for getting back to me!” Bethany wrote back… Hi Kara, My hope is that you won’t be sore much at all while your progress through this initial phase. Soreness is a terrible thing for a mother, because we have so much to do every day. I want to get my members away from thinking that soreness is a sign of a good workout. Signs of a healthy, wholesome workout include:

  • Muscles that feel more alive and maybe slightly tired but not necessarily sore.
  • A feeling of accomplishment and confidence and relaxation.
  • The knowledge that you could do the workout AGAIN right way if you wanted to.
  • A deeper mind and body connection.
  • A heightened awareness and more energy as your oxygen levels have increased.
  • A better night’s sleep
  • What else have YOU noticed after a workout that leaves you feeling invigorated, not injured? Please comment!

I work with the most special population on the planet: Mothers. We are sleep-deprived, broken down from birth and dealing with diastasis recti. We are responsible for a million little details every day, and we need to be ready to lurch and lunge for our kids who – we swear – have a death wish until age four. On top of all that we grocery shop, ferry kids back and forth, make appointments, memorize health histories, and if you have a newborn, you are feeding them for 11 hours a day on average! Moms do not have time, energy or healing properties – quite frankly many moms are downright malnourished – to keep up with soreness! We are too busy patching up our kids’ boo-boos to be mindful of our own.

I said how tired we are, right? I already said that… See? I am NOT complaining. I’ve got mommy-brain, too! I love my life as a mom. I also kind of like a little soreness here and there after a good hard workout, but sometimes I think I know my limits, and I push, and I’m tired, and I’ve hurt myself… not because my alignment was wrong, but because the energy simply wasn’t there to support my “normal” level of exertion.

Tired muscles are prone to more soreness, and tired muscles are more easily injured. Moms are often so tired, that feeling exhausted is their new normal. So my goal is never to make a mom sore, but make a mom strong. I do my very best to keep things simple and safe, yet progressive. Here are some things to be mindful of when it comes to soreness:

  1. Continual soreness is more about poor nutrition than a good workout. It means you weren’t fueled well enough for the load of work you subjected your muscles to, and now there is residual byproducts of inefficient energy breakdown left hanging around in your muscles. Drink more water, and balance your protein and carbohydrate intake before and after your strenuous routines… this includes sprinting for kids who escape you in the parking lots.
  2. Soreness should be felt in the belly or middle of a muscle, not in the ends or joints or connections of a muscle. If your joints are sore, it means you did put a lot of energy into bad alignment. Your body should feel BETTER after a workout, not worse. If you are waking up stiff and crackly all the time, you need to join Fit2B long enough to at least watch our “Align it Flat” video which is about how you get a flatter belly through better alignment… it’s not about flat backs. We don’t want those!
  3. Occasional soreness when you FIRST go back to exercising is normal and expected. It will feel like a light bruise or tenderness in the middle of your muscles. Massaging it with your hands, drinking lots of water and doing some gentle stretches should help. If soreness persists, AGAIN THAT IS NOT A GOOD THING, and if it’s been longer than 1-2 weeks of continual discomfort, and you’ve stopped the move that aggravated your muscle/joint, and the pain is still there, it’s time to talk to a physical therapist or chiropractor.
  4. Want to add anything? Comment below! I love a good discussion, and I’m open to new research!

You will move forward. You will feel it. You will get stronger, but it will be the kind of strong that empowers you to go from a dead sleep to fully awake and catching puke at 2:27 a.m. It will be the kind of strong that lets you pack your kid on a hike. It will be the kind of strong that doesn’t leave you limping but LAUGHING with joy at this wonderful, beautiful life you have been given. It’s the kind of strong that lets you jump on a trampoline without, eh, side effects. Try a gentle workout NOW that will only take 10 minutes and – while you MIGHT be a little sore because it directly targets a core muscle that RARELY gets used – I promise you’ll feel energized and amazed when you’re done!


  1. Dede

    May 3, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Wow! sounds like my kind of day/life, you just need to add in home schooling and being an Army wife. Bu, to be honest, I enjoy the soreness even after having 5 kids and still BF #5. There is just something about the “high” of being sore and knowing that I can still push myself to my limit and beyond if I feel the need to.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-94 alignnone photo of Beth Learn
      Beth Learn

      May 3, 2012 at 11:49 am

      Yes, I totally get what you’re saying about the high of soreness. For an advanced exerciser that knows her limits, that’s fine. However, most of my members are just beginning afters months or even years of being totally sedentary. That, or they’re moms who still have jelly bellies and any soreness in that area could mean that they’ve made their diastasis separation worse. Also, many people can’t differentiate muscle soreness from muscle pain and injury. I mean, have you ever tried to explain the difference? What should basic, healthy “soreness” feel like? It’s hard to define to someone who is just re-establishing their mind body connection. Also, for the beginner exerciser, soreness is a deterrent not a delight. It’s a negative connection to make with exercise. However, if simple exercise feels good, they’ll keep at it! Later down the road, they’ll learn what you have: That a little soreness (emphasis on little) in the right spots can be affirming. But we’re not there yet :)

  2. Dede

    May 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Now that makes sense to me and my jelly belly :).

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