A hot tub can be a powerful recovery tool that helps reduce working out with sore muscles.

If you're new to an exercise plan or to a more vigorous workout routine, such as long-distance running or lifting weights, you may experience delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) within 12-24 hours and in the days that follow. While working out with sore muscles is typical, it could make sticking to your workouts more difficult. One option for relief is hydrotherapy. A daily soak in a home hot tub offers a combination of warm water immersion and soothing jet massage that can help relieve sore muscles, restore flexibility, and make it easier to keep going with your exercise routine and meet your fitness goals.


When you work out, your muscles work hard and your body begins to burn energy. To produce fuel for muscle cells, your body uses oxygen to break down sugars to feed those cells. It is a relatively simple chemical process called cellular respiration, and it's one reason why workouts help to burn fat.

When your cells run out of oxygen—when you begin to feel winded, for example—your body goes through another process to keep you going: anaerobic respiration. This process produces lactic acid, the substance that makes you feel the burn when you're in over your head during a high-intensity workout. The burning sensation means your workout is paying off, but it's also a defense mechanism for your muscles, discouraging you from pushing too far and permanently damaging them.

When you soak in a hot tub after a workout, you get the benefits of hydrotherapy. The warm water helps to increase the blood flow from the extremities into the core and speed up the processing of lactic acid and other metabolites produced by exercise. It can also help to keep your heart rate up, extend the cardio-respiratory benefit of your workout over a longer period, foil the discomfort of working out with sore muscles, and, best of all, improve the overall quality of life by encouraging relaxation and helping with muscle recovery.


The soreness that you feel for a few days after the workout is normal and due to minor, reparable damage to the muscle tissue. Your spa can help speed up muscle healing and the workout recovery process. A hot water soak will relax blood vessels and improve blood flow. This helps to ease muscle soreness, as blood carries oxygen, protein, and the other nutrients needed to repair the muscles that were damaged by the workout.

A study on the effects of hydrotherapy on the cardiovascular, respiratory, and other body systems found increased blood levels of somatotropin (STH), a growth hormone that prompts cellular regeneration after a whole-body hot soak. The same study also linked a decrease in cortisol levels to heat. Cortisol is the body's main stress hormone. Furthermore, passive hot water immersion has been shown to encourage the release of heat shock proteins, which are related to protecting muscular development and are believed to help promote muscle growth, as well. Combined, these factors of warm water immersion could aid in recovery after exercise and could help you to avoid working out with sore muscles.

In addition to the benefits of warm water, the massaging jets of your spa play an important role in reducing discomfort.


Massage after DOMS can help eliminate muscle fatigue and can have a positive effect on pain and gait performance after leg exercises. The hot water of a spa combined with its soothing jet massage can help provide you with the relief you need after workouts.

While there are many types of hot tubs on the market, the best one to help you avoid working out with sore muscles is one that offers a wide variety of jets. Hot Spring® spas offer different jet systems across models to provide various types of hydromassage. For example, rotating hydromassage jets dial in to soothe specific muscle groups, while the innovative Moto-Massage® DX jets sweep entire areas of the back. Combined with easy-to-use hot tub controls, the range of jet settings are available at your fingertips to help you deal with the worst of sore muscles and stick to your exercise routine. Watch the video below to learn more about how adjustable jets on Hot Spring spas can create a customized experience.

While there is no absolute protection against muscle soreness, especially when you first start working out, soaking in a hot tub can help keep the soreness to a manageable degree. Reduced pain and improved muscle recovery times will help increase your workout performance level so you can work toward your fitness goals and see results. And noticing the results of your hard work daily is the best motivation to stay with your exercise routine. Take a look at what our customers have to say about the wellness benefits of Hot Spring spas.

Hot Spring is a leading spa brand known for quality manufacturing and high performance. Our spas lead the industry in design, innovation, reliability, and customer satisfaction. To learn more about how a Hot Spring hot tub can help you avoid working out with sore muscles, request a brochure.