How does muscle tremors occur during strength training?
Anyone who does fitness and strength training regularly is probably familiar with the feeling. During an exercise or sequence of movements, the muscles suddenly start to tremble. This is a strange feeling and always an indication that the body has reached its limits. Here’s what you should know about muscle tremors during strength training.
Do I need to worry about muscle tremors?
To answer this important question right away: As a rule, muscle tremor during an athletic workout is nothing you need to worry about. However, the situation is somewhat different if the muscle tremor occurs without exertion. This is an excellent reason to seek medical treatment.
Fatigue is the main reason
Not surprisingly, fatigue is the main reason for muscle tremors. During any athletic exertion, many things take place inside the body and muscles. Every time the muscles contract, the nervous system sends chemical messengers to the target muscle via so-called motor neurons. For the latter, it is the signal to contract. Then what happens is this:
- Not all muscle fibers within a muscle or muscle group contract at the same time.
- Instead, they distribute the work. As a result, some fibers work, others rest, and sometimes they switch places.
- It’s an intelligent system because the body knows how many muscle fibers are needed for each job.
- The more strenuous the muscle work, the more muscle fibers come to tension.
- In the case of extreme tension, new muscle fibers are also needed.
- The longer you perform an exercise, the more tired your muscle fibers become, and the efficiency decreases. As a result, muscle tremors occur.
Trained muscles are more resistant to fatigue
The more trained and fit you are, the more fatigue-resistant your muscle fibers become. They will then also no longer start to tremble so quickly. In addition, there is improved intramuscular and intermuscular coordination. To put it simply, only the muscles that you really need for the exercise tense up.
Another cause is dehydration
Muscle tremors can also be caused by a lack of fluids. And dehydration can happen pretty quickly, as a study in the Journal of Athletic Training showed. The consequences: Blood flow slows, and so does the supply of nutrients, such as electrolytes. But you shouldn’t overdo it with drinking either. Read more here.
New exercises can also be to blame
The third reason for muscle tremors is new exercises. This is where the motor neurons come into play again. The body must first learn to tense the correct muscles and the muscles needed for a workout. If you do a new exercise, you initially tense more muscles than necessary, and this strain can then also lead to muscle tremors. After a few training sessions, however, this is usually no longer a problem.
Note: This article cannot replace a visit to the doctor.