Muscles shaking after exercise

It is common to feel shaky after a strenuous workout and can happen for several reasons, but it usually does not cause concern. Learn more about why muscle shaking after exercise.

In some cases, shaking after exercising may indicate a more severe problem, especially if the tremors continue long after a workout.

What can cause shaking after a workout?

Because there are several possible causes for shaking after exercise, it is important to note any other symptoms. Also, pay attention to your habits before and during training, which can help you find the cause behind your shakes after exercise.

Muscle fatigue

Muscle fatigue is a common cause of tremors after exercise.

The central nervous system (CNS) fires motor units to contract the muscles during physical activity. The firing of motor units gives power to your muscles. But the longer you exercise, the more these signals are slowed down and become less intense. These changes can cause your muscles to switch between contractions and relaxation, resulting in tremors quickly.

The CNS can also lose the ability to move the muscles with force, leading to fatigue, which can cause shaking or twitching.

Other signs of muscle fatigue include:

  • weakness
  • soreness
  • low energy level

Muscle fatigue usually means that you have trained your muscles to the max, which is why you are more likely to develop fatigue if challenged with a more challenging workout.

But sometimes, it can mean that you have pushed yourself too hard. If you are in pain or unable to complete your workout, try to reduce the intensity of your workout.

Hold a muscle in one position

Shaking can occur when you hold a muscle in one position for a long time. You may have experienced this while doing planking or a barre workout.

Shaking is due to the activity of motor units. You use some motor units in your muscles for powerful movements. If you hold a muscle in place for a more extended period, these units are activated to provide more power.

Usually, you will experience tremors in the muscles. For example, the arms and core may shake under or after planks. The same can happen when you lift and hold a heavy manual.

Low blood sugar

Your muscles use glucose as fuel. When you exercise, your glucose levels can be too low, especially if you exercise at a high pace or over a long period, leading to low blood sugar, hypoglycemia.

Without enough fuel, muscles can begin to shake. You can also experience:

  • exhaustion
  • hunger
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • irritability
  • weakness
  • fast heartbeat


Staying hydrated is vital to keep electrolyte levels balanced. Doing an intense activity can make you sweat a lot and lose water. The same applies if you exercise outdoors on a hot day. If you become dehydrated, you may experience muscle twitching and cramps, feel like shaking.

Other symptoms of dehydration may include:

  • exhaustion
  • thirst
  • dark urine
  • reduced urination
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • confusion

Can you do anything to stop shaking after exercise?

Try these tips to reduce shaking:

  • Rest. Muscles often shake because they have been overworked. Avoid jumping into another workout and letting your muscles rest instead if you feel shivering.
  • Eat a healthy meal. Fill up muscle by eating a meal after exercise. Focus on carbohydrates to replenish glucose stores and protein to repair muscle.
  • Drink water. Rehydrate as soon as possible to restore electrolyte and fluid levels.
  • Stretch. Stretching after exercising can help loosen muscles and reduce spasms, pain, and cramps.

Related articles:

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What does muscle endurance mean


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