Today was my fourth or fifth time using the thigh abductors at the gym, and since I began, my inner thighs tremble. I found a similar question here, which has a good explanation of the different muscles used for stabilizing free weights, however it's not quite what I'm looking for.

This tremble is apparently a normal thing, but when I use the machine, I don't need to do all the balancing and stabilizing I would without a machine.

  • Why does the tremble still happen?
  • Is there any way to correct this or does my body just need to become accustomed?

I haven't noticed any tremble like this on any other weight types I try for the first time, so why is just my thighs? Also, leg adductors cause no tremble in my legs.

1 Answer 1


Muscle tremble is a sign of muscular weakness, or "system" weakness since even on isolation machines there are multiple muscles involved to perform anything. If you put your palms together directly in front of your chest, your arms don't shake. If you start pushing them together, you'll probably get some shakes.

Your body was designed to work as a total unit, not as isolated parts. A big advantage to free weights is that all of the little unsung-hero muscles that assist in stabilizing get brought up to speed.

  • Thanks for the answer! Do you know why this only happened to this one group of muscles? Is it just that they were incredibly weak and couldn't properly perform the action?
    – Alex L
    Sep 23, 2014 at 3:07
  • 1
    @AlexL I've trained a few folks on squats and hip strength is always a problem. Hip adductors have ~9 muscles going on, and any of them out of balance can cause it. Usually the most painful areas for new squatters are the adductors. There's a lot of physiology jargon in here (bit.ly/1mFQ3GC ) but notice that the #1 weakness this trainer notices is weak adductors. It's not just you, and it really is a big reason why fitness people love squats (barbell, no smith machine!).
    – Eric
    Sep 23, 2014 at 3:15
  • 1
    Rambling a bit further, it's not enough to strengthen muscles. You need to strengthen them through a good range of motion and keep them all in balance. Proper compound lifts (overhead press, squats, dead lifts) in a proper program develop your body as a cohesive unit and nothing will get out of balance. Read up on Rippetoe's Starting Strength book and program if you're interested. It's just not practical or realistic to try to reproduce that balance with machines. Machines, truthfully, are there (99%) because they're less intimidating.
    – Eric
    Sep 23, 2014 at 3:17

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