I've been working out for a while now and I realized that my muscles shake whenever I lift weight. It doesn't seem like it's because of the weight. I could halve the weight on a bench press bar and I would still shake. I still always get through the work out but the shaking is always there. What could be an explanation of this? Is it a low blood sugar problem as a result of not eating enough?


  • 1
    That's one very probable cause, but there's really not a lot to go on in your question. Do you have problems with shaking when you aren't working out? Jun 13, 2014 at 3:16
  • Just eat an orange or banana before working out and see if it helps.
    – 에이바
    Jun 13, 2014 at 14:21

5 Answers 5


This could be because you are feeling weak because you haven't had anything for a long time before going to the gym. Quick solution is have something sweet full of sugar. Chocolate or something. But the best thing is to eat an hour or 1.5 hours before as your pre workout meal.

I had this before as well. No side affects but the risk of dropping the weight on yourself. I have a banana in between. So if I'm working on my back and biceps then I will finish my back work out then have a banana before starting biceps.


New Gym Users often experience their arm 'vibrating', this is normal. the arm consists of not only biceps,triceps or deltoids(shoulders), it also contains many small muscles that give the arm overall stability. while working out with free weights such as bench press with barbel, all these muscles are also activated, and since they are weak, your arm vibrates. give it a few more weeks in training and it should go away. If it doesn't then you must consult a physician. Just remember to add 5 kg when you are able to do 5x5 with your current weight and not more unless under supervision. Request your gym instructor to spot you during your workouts. Enjoy Lifting!

  • If you start with 15 kg, 10 percent a week will make 15 * (1.1 ^ 51) = 1936 kg after a year. That is, mildly put, a completely insane plan. A much more realistic strategy is: add 5 kg whenever you are able to make 5x5 with your current weight. Jun 15, 2014 at 19:35
  • You are absolutely right, i mistakenly put my marathon running plan increment here. Ill try to edit it. Thanks Jun 15, 2014 at 19:37

This all depends on what you consider lifting for a "while". Now every human being is built differently. I have some friends who i have trained and they had these neuro-responses from the get go, others not so much. The common denominator between the two where that it went away after consistent time and training. I don't think diet has much to do with it unless you are going EXTREMELY heavy in respects to your own strength, or are starving yourself.

Either way keep at it and best of luck


Ask Healthy Living calls this muscle quaking and lists three causes:

  • dehydration
  • insufficient recovery time since last workout
  • the brain not being able to control the muscles via the nervous system:

    "If you are not controlling your activation of your muscles with the proper nerve recruitment and there still is a load on those muscles then control will be compromised," Goldfarb, a professor at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, told HuffPost Healthy Living.

As a solution for the last problem, have someone massage the muscles for you or do it yourself. Providing the brain with feedback from the nerves that innervate the skin can make it easier for it to send nerve signals to the muscles there, instead of signalling other ones it has a stronger connection to and has come to rely on. Source: Muscle Activation Techniques therapy. When it works, it only takes one try for you to go from shaky motion (due to stabilizing with incorrect muscles) to smooth motion (like flexing a bicep). It may work better with a therapist testing exactly which muscles are not being recruited correctly.

The massage also helps get blood flowing through the muscles, like a warmup set would if you were actually using those muscles when you did the lift.

Finally, if you are quaking on the negative portion of the rep, try actively controlling the motion with your antagonist muscles rather than letting the weight push your limbs down.


Usually it happens when muscles are used without warming up with too high weight or are too tired after heavy exercise and are screaming for glucose.

Warm them up prior workout - with low weight / high rep approach to pump some blood in them.

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