You push yourself to go a little farther on your run or lift a little more weight on the leg press. You want to see results so you consistently challenge yourself at every workout. Sweating, you finish your session only to find that your body is a little shaky. This is not an uncommon occurrence, especially with high-intensity exercise. Take steps after your workout to stop your muscles from shaking.
Cool down your body upon completing the high-intensity portion of your resistance or cardiovascular training workout. Cooling down with a walk or other light exercise for five or more minutes brings the blood that is in your working muscles back to your heart and core, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Whatever activity you choose, keep your pace slow and easy.
Hydrate your body by drinking water. Your muscles are up to 70 percent water and exercise can cause you to sweat and lose water, leaving you shaky and dehydrated. Replace fluids lost during sweating to help treat your shaky muscles. Try not to guzzle water, but sip it slowly and consistently.
Drink a sports drink that contains carbohydrates and electrolytes. When you exercise and sweat, your body burns carbs and loses electrolytes due to repeated muscle contraction and the process of sweating, according to Nancy Clark, MS, RD. Drinking a sports drink can get these things quickly into your body to help shaky muscles.
Stretch your muscles gently after your cool-down. Stretching can be relaxing while it lengthens the muscles of your body and improves range of motion. If your shaky muscles are due to involuntary muscle contractions after a strenuous workout, stretching can help. Hold each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds without bouncing. Stretch only until you feel a slight pull in the muscle or joint, not pain. If your shaking increases, release the stretch slightly.
Consume a post-workout snack or small meal immediately after completing your workout, or within one hour. Choose a post-workout supplement or bring something from home. Post-exercise nutrition ideally should have 3 to 4 g of carbohydrate to 1 g of protein. Chocolate milk or a fruit smoothie made with milk or yogurt are good examples. If your workout lasts longer than one hour, consider refueling with a sports gel or sports drink during your workout to keep your energy supply up.
Rest your body. Rest allows your muscles to repair and recover from your exercise session. If you work them too soon, you can end up feeling shaky during your session, derail your progress or even injure yourself. If you are shaky, try to avoid heavy physical activity the rest of the day and take a day off from exercise if necessary.
Things You'll Need
Post-workout snack or meal
Eat one to two hours before your workout to prevent shaky muscles caused by insufficient energy. Hydrate with water before and during your exercise session. Warm up properly before you begin exercising at a higher intensity. Consume a sports drink during your workout if you sweat excessively or exercise longer than one hour. Eat a balanced diet throughout the day for muscle recovery. Rest a muscle 48 hours before you train it again with resistance exercise.
Stop exercise immediately if you feel pain or are dizzy, light-headed or nauseous. Stop exercising if shaky muscles are compromising your form. Avoid dehydration. If you are thirsty, you already are dehydrated slightly. Avoid high-intensity exercise if you haven't eaten in many hours. Don't wait to eat after your exercise session is complete.
- ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription; American College of Sports Medicine
- Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning; National Strength and Conditioning Association
- Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook; Nancy Clark, MS, RD
- American Council on Exercise: What Should I Eat Before, During, and After My Workouts?