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Why Do I Shake During Strength Training?

You Asked: Why Do I Shake During Hard Exercises?

Dear Fit,
I tried out a new strength training class at my gym, and it was awesome. It uses dumbbells, resistance bands, gym balls, and mat exercises to tone your whole body. There were definitely a lot of new moves I'd never done before, and during one of the exercises, where you're balancing on your bum in a V-position, and lowering your torso and legs toward the floor, I was shaking uncontrollably. It was kind of embarrassing. This happened during some other really challenging moves, and I'm wondering why this happens, if it's bad for me, and if it'll ever go away.
—Trembling and Shaking

There are two things you should know about your body shaking. One, it's completely normal, so it's nothing to be embarrassed about and I bet if you had looked around you would see your classmates trembling along with you.

Your body shaking during strength training isn't a bad thing. It just means that your muscles are working hard and are not used to the demands you're placing on them. Meaning they're just not strong enough yet. The trembling is caused by your muscles grabbing and releasing one another as they lengthen and shorten. Once your muscles become accustomed to doing these new exercises, that action will become smoother and your trembling will stop.


Since quivering means that your muscles are hard at work, you just want to be careful not to overdo it, since you can end up tearing a muscle. Gradually work your way up to challenging exercises. Either do modifications, less reps, or hold difficult positions for less time. Keep up with the class, and as your body becomes stronger, you'll be able to say sayonara to the shaking.

Any other shakers out there? Tell me the move that gets ya!

Image Source: Laughing River Yoga
Join The Conversation
Run2bfree067 Run2bfree067 7 years
shake all the time during yoga and its embarressing but it means you are working and have good form. its mostly my abs that shake!
alba1 alba1 7 years
what about shaking after a hour or so after?
classysassy classysassy 7 years
pilates! my instructor always calls me out during class pointing out how i "shake like a leaf"
jellybeanjones jellybeanjones 7 years
i always shake no matter what when it comes to upper body. didn't really know this was the reason, so good to know!
bchicgrl bchicgrl 7 years
I follow along with a yoga dvd and as soon as I start the ab portion the shaking starts. It frustrates me sometimes but my abs feel sore the next day so I know I'm working those muscles.
vanillabean vanillabean 7 years
Yep, push-ups and planks get me shaking every time. A few times during Bikram yoga too -- and I too have had sore feet/arches afterward.
HappyKate HappyKate 7 years
Oh Yeah! I think it feels like I am shaking more than it looks to others, if you know what I mean.
KAT0002 KAT0002 7 years
I shook pretty bad during some of the poses in my first yoga class. Glad to hear it is normal.
katie448 katie448 7 years
pilates class does it for me. every time.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
I think shaking in the beginning is normal, especially for that pose because it puts a demand on major muscles, and it takes considerable balance. Just relax, breath, balance on your bottom, draw strength from your muscles, especially from your core. Incidentally, I love the boat pose. It was my favorite pose in yoga.
Beaner Beaner 7 years
My arms shake when doing push-ups.
kimmieb124 kimmieb124 7 years
My abs shake like crazy during the boat pose in yoga.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I shake when I lift really heavy weights or when I do pull-ups. I'm aware that my arms need a little work because they are definitely not as strong as they could be.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
I used to go to a sculpting class where we would start out with tons of squats and lunges in every possible variation. After doing them on the ground for about 20 minutes, we would get on a bosu ball and do more squats. It was really hard, and my legs would shake uncontrollably!
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
bigestivediscu - that was so me 3 months ago. I started an Ashtanga primary series class in August and dropping to chatarunga between each asana killed me. After like the 5th one, my arms would give out on it for the rest of the class. It's been 3 months and I can finally do a complete chatarunga between each pose but it was a slow and sore process for me.
syako syako 7 years
Gah the woman's form in the photo is terrible! Shoulders down!! Yep, shaking is a part of strength training, your muscles are growing, and that's a good thing!
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 7 years
When I first started going to my Vinyasa Flow class, I wasn't used to the intensity of the class so my arms would shake during plank (and I couldn't do chaturanga (sp) at all) and my legs would also quiver when holding extended side angle pose, etc. But now I'm ok. I went to a Body Blast class which consisted of weights, squats, lunges, etc. and that made my legs quiver after a while too!
Kimpossible Kimpossible 7 years
I tremble too especially on my last set of lifts of some type - it depends on how fatigued my muscles are on that last set. I love that feeling.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I always shake a little during "boat" pose in yoga. I looked at other people in the class and very few are also shaking, but I notice they don't try to hold their chest as far up as I do nor do they do it with straight legs. Nice to know the shaking will eventually become less evident.
dark-chocola dark-chocola 7 years
shaking after workouts..yeah tell me about it! when i start a new exercise, or resume my workouts after stopping it for a while for any reason..i shake like am a jello! that makes me happy though!
tylergrl33 tylergrl33 7 years
This definitely happens to me as well- especially when I first begin a class. I started yoga last week, and I felt some shaking. I also felt an uncomfortable pressure/tearing feeling on my feet- does anyone ever get that while doing yoga?
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