Muscle Earthquakes

You’re pushing for that final rep when all of a sudden it’s like there’s a miniature earthquake happening in your body. But what causes our muscles to shake and is okay if they do?

We will always encourage people to push themselves during a workout, and shaking muscles often “prove” that you’ve hit that max effort. But those tremors might also be a way of your body saying, “hey, hold up!”

While these muscle trembles are common, and shouldn’t scare you too much, it’s also important to pay attention to them.

Here are some reasons your muscles might be freaking out:

You’re deconditioned. For a lot of people just getting back into the gym, the shaking can be a sign of working muscles that haven’t been worked in a long time. Yes, you have glutes, and yes, they will be surprised when you start engaging them again.

You’re not sleeping enough. Lack of sleep can cause muscle tremors. Remember that our bodies grow and heal when we’re getting in those precious zzz’s. According to Shape (http://www.shape.com/blogs/fit-list-jay-cardiello/why-your-muscles-shake-during-hard-workout )lack of sleep can “cause your muscles to stay in a catabolic-like state.”

You’re going too hard. When we first get back at the gym - or if we just feel super motivated to get in shape for the first time - it’s not uncommon to try and push ourselves to the limit.  When we’re working different muscles it can cause them to get wobbly. Ease back and lighten up the load. We don’t want you to injure yourself or have other muscles jump in to help compensate. We have so many ways and tools to help progress you - so if we give you a lighter load, don’t take it as “I failed,” take it as “I have to earn that progression safely.”

You’re dehydrated. As explained by Greatest , “When the body gets low on fluids (which can also cause electrolytes to get off kilter) the connective tissue has trouble doing its job— including transmitting signals from the brain down to the muscle fibers.” Yikes! Makes me want to drink some water right now!

A number of different factors can contribute to that 3.0 magnitude earthquake happening in your quads. While it might not be something to get too shaken up about, it’s definitely something you want to pay attention to.


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Jan 11, 2018 4:38 AM
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