I feel Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) on all my muscles except my medial deltoids. I know DOMS is not the only sign of muscle growth, but it's one good form of feedback. The way I do medial deltoid exercises isn't too different from my other exercises. I lower the weight slowly, which should increase DOMS. So I'm wondering if the medial deltoid is less prone to DOMS or just I'm not working them our effectively.

  • I have the same thing happen, but with my pecks. I work them extra hard, but they never hurt. I think it's just the way different muscles react to stimulus. Legs on the other hand... ouch. May 2 '11 at 14:56
  • Hmmm, I fear the only way to confirm this is to find a study that has looked into this and I haven't found one yet
    – Ivo Flipse
    May 3 '11 at 14:44
  • @Sparafusile Funny you say that. My most DOMable muscles are pecs, triceps, calves, glutes, and abs. Flat bench dumbbell presses are really good for DOMing my pecs. My least DOMable muscles are deltoids, biceps, and quads.
    – JoJo
    May 3 '11 at 16:50

I was interested to know the answer to this question myself, and ended up asking it to a few of my chiropractor and osteopath friends. The short answer I got is 'no'. Muscles are, generally speaking, muscles. If you push them to their limit, you're going to get DOMS no matter what. What complicates the simple answer is that some muscle groups are harder to put into DOMS simply because they're more isolated and difficult to separate from the rest of the body. The IT band on the outside of your leg is a good example of an extremely important muscle that is very important to tone properly if you're working for performance, but by the same token it is nearly impossible to separate it fully from the quads.

There's also simply the fact that people have different weak points. A DOMS reaction may be inhibited simply by the ligaments and tendons surrounding the muscle not being up to snuff, which causes a lot of radiating burn during workout, but fairly little lingering pain since these tissues are fairly small and can be repaired easily. Knowing that you have sub-par connective tissue like that is practically impossible without figuring it out yourself. The question this brings up is, are you even capable of working your muscle hard enough to induce a DOMS reaction? Or is your connective tissue going to give out first?

As a footnote, it is important to include that this was largely a physiological theory discussion, and not 'studies have shown x, y, and z.' I would consider it reliable simply because it makes perfect sense in what we know of the human body, but I hesitate to go around touting it as scientific fact.

  • I guess that explains it. If you don't get DOMS, you've been slacking ;-) Regardless, I think I agree with your hypothesis, so +1
    – Ivo Flipse
    May 18 '11 at 5:57

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