Your body is very good at telling you whenever anything is wrong. The method is learning how to distinguish between the minor tears that are a normal part of your training procedure and the major tears that could lead to an injury.
The most effective way to ward off muscle soreness to immerse your muscles in an ice bath. It may not be the most efficient way to ice yourself, but it can cover a wide area of your body with little additional effort.
An ice bath may involve using a full-sized whirlpool or just dropping a bag of ice into a bucket of water. With a bucket, you can only cover the limited part of your body as such your feet. With a whirlpool, you can immerse your complete body.
In general, you should not immerse whole of your body but simply cover just the sore muscles in water. Now you can buy ice bath tubs for athletes through the web.
Someone who is new to the concept of an ice bath will probably not be able to stay involved for more than a minute or two. As you get used to it, though, you will be ready to increase your immersion up to 5 or 10 minutes. You should never stay immersed for more than 10 minutes at a time or you may become susceptible frostbite.
The ice baths result in your muscles getting constricted and the blood flow getting diverted to your deeper muscles which lay close to the bone to help them stay safe in the extreme temperature. When you take your legs or body out of the ice bath, fresh blood speeds back into your muscles. As such you do not have any of the chemicals such as lactic acid released by your muscles as they did when you ripped and cut them during exercise.