Exercise: When you start trembling

Monday October 11 2021

Sometimes, your muscles will shake rigorously when you try out new exercises such as lunges (right) or poorly carried out stretches. PHOTO | COURTESY

By Joan Salmon

Just as a (faulty) car will shake during or after long drives,  muscles will shake after a vigorous work out. However, if the car were to continue shaking a minute after you turned off the engine, it will cause you to worry because that is abnormal. 

In the same manner, if your muscles continued shaking long after you finish the work, there is need to dig deeper into what is happening to your body. 

One of the best courses of investigation, according to Marvin Mukasa, a fitness trainer is to take note of your practices before, and after a workout. 

“The state of your body in these phases matters a lot and will be a great way to pinpoint the problem before you think it necessary to visit a physiotherapist,” he advises. 

Muscles shake during as well as after exercising due to several factors. These include; 

Trying new exercise


When introducing your body to a new exercise, chances are that you are engaging a new muscle group while you are at it. 

Walter Ocheng, a spinning instructor says this can cause fatigue to the muscle faster and makes the body shake. 

However, he adds that there is no harm in this because it is crucial to switch workouts regularly to engage various muscle groups. 

“This shaking is no reason to worry as long you have a good understanding of your fitness form. That way you will understand that if you experience shaking around your arms, neck and shoulder while doing push-ups, then you need to work out your core to strengthen those muscles,” he says. 

“That way you strengthen your back and avoid any unforeseeable injuries. The short of this is that understanding your form helps you take note of what is happening in your body (shaking) and act for the good,” he adds.  

Additionally, the shaking is an indication that some muscles, save those you are currently using need strengthening. 

“For example, if you have been doing spinning, then you also want to incorporate strength training to balance out the training,” Ocheng says.

However, he notes that trying a new exercise does not mean that your muscles shake throughout the workout. If that is the case, say shaking legs as you do the stair-climbing workout, Ocheng advises that you tone it down. 

“Resting in between the climbs or slowing down a bit will allows the body to rest a bit thus reduces muscle shaking,” he advises.


During any exercise, the central nervous system is at work sending signals between your muscles and your brain thus enabling the muscles to contract. 

However, when the workout is vigorous, the muscles rapidly move between contraction and expansion. 

“When the rapid and strong movements continue for a while, they cause tremors within the muscles thus shaking or twitching after a hard work out as a physiological response to fatigue. Other indicators of fatigue are low energy levels, soreness as well as weakness,” Mukasa shares. 

He adds that it is important to understand your body so that you do not push yourself beyond your ability lest you fail to show up for the next training session thus falling back on your goals. 

“At times the shaking is a sign of pushing yourself beyond your limits and you may want to cut back on your intensity to avoid preventable injuries. Additionally, if you feel pain after a workout, you will want to take it slower next time so you build your fitness slowly yet steadily,” he advises.

Stomach workout

The type of work out one is engaged can also cause shaking during the workout. Ocheng says exercises such as planks are likely to trigger trembling because the body must generate a lot of force to hold the body. 

“In such cases, there is no need to worry. However, consistency is needed so that there will be tangible results rather than pain (an indication inconsistent muscle training),” he shares.

Another work out that is likely to cause this shaking is lifting weight because you hold the muscle in one position for an extended period.


While some shaking is part of the process, some is avoidable through resting, keeping one’s body hydrated, eating right, doing warm-up exercises before any workout and stretches after the workout. 

“That gives your muscles energy and allows for healing. That is not forgetting understanding your fitness level so you allow yourself time to grow,” Mukasa shares.