Is Shaking While Strength Training Normal?

Is Shaking While Strength Training Harmful?

We all want to feel the burn when working out, but what about the shakes? I'm not talking about feeling dizzy from not eating enough or from coming up too fast after doing a forward bend. When your body is working really hard, either holding a challenging position or toward the end of a set, your muscles start to unintentionally quiver.

Kristina Marcussen, a doctor of physical therapy and a certified strength and conditioning specialist, says there is no reason to worry. "Shaking muscles is not dangerous! It's a different level of muscle twitch that usually indicates intense work that challenges the neuromuscular system," she says. "I see it as a good sign as muscles that are hard to target and are often neurologically weak tend to shake. Bring on the shake — you're activating your entire system!"

In essence, the shaking indicates that you're demanding more from your body than it's normally capable of doing. It's not a bad thing, but you can expect to be sore the next day since you're making tiny microscopic tears in your muscles. As the muscles repair themselves, you'll become stronger. So the more you work on those exercises that make you quiver, the stronger you'll get and the less you'll shake.

Just a reminder — you never want to push yourself too hard, so if you find that you're shaking from your first overhead press trying to lift 10 pounds, then you should drop down to a lighter weight.

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