We all get tired, overworked muscles from time to time. Maybe you overdid it at the gym or working in the garden/yard. Perhaps you play sports and pushed yourself just a little too hard. Whatever the cause, you can learn how to massage sore muscles.

Things You'll Need

Start by placing a heating pad on the sore area for 15 to 20 minutes. The heat helps warm up, loosen and release some tension from the muscle, priming it for massage. Heat also helps to rush circulation and nutrients to the area, which is always good to help the healing process.

After heating the muscle and before adding any lubrication to the skin, try gently squeezing the skin and muscle. Avoid squeezing too hard, because the muscle is sore. If it hurts too much, squeeze lighter or skip this step.

Next, apply some massage oil or lotion to the skin.

Slide your hand down the sore area. If, for example, you are rubbing the forearm, enclose your hand around the arm, starting below the elbow (the arm will be gripped between your thumb and forefinger). If you are rubbing a larger area (for instance, someone’s back), use the palms or heels or your hands to slide down the back. Repeat.

Gently knead the muscle to ease the soreness, almost as though you are kneading dough.


  • You can use these steps to massage sore muscles on yourself or someone else.