Answered by on Monday, June 1, 2009
Squats will make your legs feel like jelly for a while, and there's not much you can do about it. When you do squats, you induce micro tears in the muscle fibers of your hamstrings. While the tears are a good stimulus for muscle growth, they also cause soreness post-workout. (Also, the sensation of having knots arises from the fact that the motion of squatting requires the muscle fibers in your hamstrings to fire in a slightly different pattern than when you walk.) You can minimize the damage to the hamstring muscles by doing a couple of warm-up lifts before starting your regular squat routine: Do the first warm-up set of squats using 50 percent of the weight you would ordinarily use and squatting a little lower than usual; then increase the weight to 60 percent for the second warm-up set. (Be advised that the first time you do this preparation, you may be more sore than usual.) Cool down after you've finished your squat routine with a 10- to 12-minute jog at a slow speed. You should never abruptly cut the blood flow to a muscle and jogging will help maintain the flow to the hamstrings that squatting creates. The jog will also help reorient the hamstring muscles back into walking mode.