Why Are My Arms Shaking Post Workout?

Exercise-related arm shakiness can happen to anyone, no matter your gender, age or fitness level. It can be caused by a variety of exercise errors and conditions, some that require the attention of a doctor. Because shakiness can be severe, it is important to understand why it can occur and how it can be prevented.

Shakiness can develop suddenly during your exercise routine. (Image: LUNAMARINA/iStock/Getty Images)

Symptoms of Arm Shakiness

Arm shakiness during or after exercise can vary from mild to severe. Although it can be localized to just your arms, you might also notice it in other areas of the body such as your legs. The MedlinePlus website notes that symptoms are typically more noticeable when they occur in just one part of the body such as the arms. Additional symptoms can include warmth, tenderness, inflammation, skin discoloration, instability or loss of arm mobility.

Why Your Arms Shake

Your arms can become shaky if you overuse the tendons, cartilage, muscles, ligaments or bones with excessive exercise. Increased exercise intensity, repeatedly moving the arms in the same repetitive patterns, or failing to take proper breaks between workouts can also cause shakiness. In addition, lactic acid builds up in the muscles and blood during exercise, which can cause shaking and injury. Small tears in the connective tissues or muscle fibers can also cause muscle spasms and shaking. Some medical conditions such as hyperparathyroidism and multiple sclerosis can also trigger shaking during exercise.

Self Treatment to Alleviate Shakiness

To alleviate shakiness, gently stretch your arm muscles or rest until symptoms subside. Eat a healthy snack that contains carbohydrates and protein -- such as a banana and a glass of milk -- about 15 minutes following your workout. A snack can help replenish the glycogen stores in your body and can help ease shakiness and soreness. Contact a doctor if arm shakiness is severe or does not subside after home remedies.

Prevention Arm Shakiness

Don't overload your arms during your workout; instead, gradually increase the intensity or number of repetitions. Give yourself about three minutes to rest in between sets to prevent your arms from becoming fatigued. Warm up your arms by stretching and performing a gentle exercise, such as arm circles, before your start your workout routine. This will help increase the temperature of the muscles in your arms and make them more pliable. Cool down the same way to help remove lactic acid from your muscles and reduce shakiness and soreness.

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