Why Do My Legs Shake When I Workout?

Why Do My Legs Shake When I Workout?

The answer may be more complicated than you think. It could be a sign of something more serious, or it could be something as simple as a lack of electrolytes.


Have you ever noticed your legs shaking while you are performing an intense leg workout? Whether you are doing squats, lunges, or any other strength training exercise, sometimes your legs start to twitch, shake, or even quiver. Many people feel embarrassed by the shaking and stop their workout because of it. But don’t worry – leg shaking during a workout is actually quite common and can be explained by a variety of factors. Understanding why your legs shake when working out can give you the confidence to keep pushing your limits during exercise and reach your goals. This article will explain various reasons that could cause your legs to shake while working out and provide tips to reduce the intensity of the shaking if necessary.

Causes of Leg Shaking During Workouts

Legs shaking during workouts can be caused by a number of different factors. In some cases, the trembling is caused by a build up of lactic acid in the muscles, which can lead to muscle fatigue. Other potential causes could include an electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, or even a lack of coordination or balance. In this article, we’ll explore the various causes of leg shaking during workouts and how to fix them.

Muscle fatigue

One possible cause of leg shaking during a workout is muscle fatigue. Muscle fatigue occurs when you exercise your muscles too much and for too long. During this process, your muscles use up all the available energy stored in the muscles, resulting in an inability to maintain the same level of movement. This leads to a sensation of shaking or trembling as your body attempts to use what little energy it has left in order to keep going. Muscle fatigue can also be caused by not allowing enough time for your muscles to rest and recover between workouts. It is important to give yourself enough recovery time so that your body can adequately replenish its energy stores and prepare for the next workout session.

Low blood sugar

Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia is a common cause of leg shaking during workouts. When the body lacks glucose and electrolytes, muscles will tremble or shake uncontrollably as a result of an overload of metabolic processes. This can often be seen in people who do intense exercise for long periods of time without proper hydration and fueling up beforehand. To prevent this from happening, it is important to stay well-hydrated throughout your workout, eat adequate amounts of carbohydrates before and after exercise, and if necessary, refuel with snacks between activities to keep your blood sugar levels stable. Additionally, doing shorter but more frequent workouts may also help prevent low-blood sugar related leg shaking.

Electrolyte imbalance

When your body is lacking the right balance of electrolytes, it can result in involuntary leg shaking during workouts. Electrolytes are minerals found in our body that conduct electricity when dissolved in fluids and are extremely important for muscle function. Common electrolyte imbalances include sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. When any of these are out of balance, it can lead to muscle fatigue, cramps and spasms in various parts of the body including the legs. This type of leg shaking is typically a temporary issue that will stop when the electrolyte imbalance has been corrected through diet or supplementation. Additionally, certain medications can cause electrolyte imbalances which can lead to leg shaking — so it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider if you’re experiencing any form of leg shaking during exercise.


Dehydration can cause leg shaking during workouts and is especially likely in hot climates or if you are pushing yourself too hard. When your body is experiencing extreme dehydration, your leg muscles can begin to shake due to the lack of essential nutrients and electrolytes needed to keep them functioning properly. Additionally, during intense workouts muscles produce lactic acid which causes a decrease in the pH levels of your body’s muscle cells leading to fatigue, muscle cramps and shaky legs.

To avoid dehydration-induced leg shaking you should be sure to replenish lost fluids before, during and after strenuous physical activity by drinking plenty of water or sports drinks. If exercising outdoors in hot climates it is important to take frequent breaks in a shaded area in order to cool down and rehydrate. Additionally, eating natural foods that are high in essential minerals like potassium may also help prevent the feeling of shaky legs while exercising.

Poor technique

Poor technique is one of the most common causes of leg shaking during workouts. When you are doing exercises that require a great deal of balance and stability, poor form can result in an unstable movement pattern. This can make your legs shake as they attempt to adjust to the movement and compensate for your uncoordinated technique. To ensure that your leg shaking does not result from poor technique, be sure to practice with proper form and watch for signs of fatigue in each exercise — this can help you avoid overexertion and mistimed movements.

Prevention Strategies

While trembling or shaking of your legs during exercise can be annoying and discouraging, it is a common occurrence. If you have experienced this, you may be wondering what the cause of it is and how to prevent it from happening. There are several strategies which can be used to reduce the amount of shaking that occurs. Let’s take a look at some of these and how they can help you get the most out of your workouts.

Warm up before exercising

Engaging in general physical activity before exercising is an important part of a warm-up routine. This activity should be at a lower intensity than the exercise you plan to do and should focus on your body’s overall movement. Examples include walking up and down stairs, jogging, riding a stationary bike or simply moving around. A warm-up is important for preparing your body for intense physical activity and helps reduce the risk of injury due to sudden loading on your muscles or joints. Warming up can also help reduce muscle fatigue, making it easier for you to exercise for longer periods of time without feeling sore afterwards. Stretching can also be done as part of your warm-up routine as it increases blood flow to the muscle and improves flexibility. It is important that stretching be done slowly and gently in order to prevent any injuries while stretching.

Eat a balanced diet

Eating a balanced diet is a key component to help prevent muscle fatigue and improving your overall health. To ensure that you are maintaining a balanced diet, it is essential to understand how the macro and micronutrients can be beneficial for your muscles when working out.

Macro-nutrients, such as proteins, carbohydrates, and fats provide energy for your body during physical activity and help you in achieving optimal performance through the balance of protein within your diet. Furthermore, proteins support muscle recovery and helps to prevent muscle damage due to exercise and fatigue. Additionally, carbohydrates provide energy throughout vigorous activities while fats play a role in providing calories to fuel the energy you need during exercising.

On the other hand, micro-nutrients such as vitamins and minerals are essential for the overall health of muscles and help repair muscle tissues that have been worn down due to exercise. Therefore, consuming high quality sources of both macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients such as lean meats, whole grains, vegetables and fruits will be beneficial before engaging in any form of physical activity.

Stay hydrated

When you exercise, you are actively working your muscles and creating stress on your body. The intensity of the exercise and how long you workout will determine the severity of this stress. In order to keep your body functioning properly, adequate hydration is essential. Staying hydrated can help prevent leg shakes from occurring when exercising; make sure that you’re drinking enough water before, during and after workouts to maintain electrolyte balance in your body. When possible, fuel up with electrolytes before strenuous activity to stay hydrated and support muscle function throughout the exercise. If leg shakes occur during lower-intensity exercise such as walking or light jogging, try adding energy gels or other sources of quick energy to provide fuel for the muscles.

Use proper form

Proper form is essential for preventing muscle shakes. Taking the time to practice each movement with proper form can help you to hone your technique, as well as reduce the risk for many common injuries such as sprains and strains. Make sure that you bring your movements from a full range of motion, without locking your joints or leaning excessively forward or backward. When squatting and lunging, track your knees over your feet so that they don’t collapse inwards towards the center of your body – this will help you to stabilize and strengthen the muscles around these delicate joints. Maintaining correct posture throughout each exercise will also help to activate more muscle fibers and recruit larger motor units.


In conclusion, there is no definite answer as to why your legs shake when you workout. It could be any one of the factors discussed above, or more than one interacting together. If it persists and becomes bothersome, consult a doctor who can accurately diagnose the cause and recommend the appropriate course of action. Proper nutrition and hydration as well as proper training techniques should help you increase workout performance without worrying about leg trembling. When in doubt, always check with a medical professional before engaging in any physical activity that may be new or strenuous for your body. With correct knowledge about this subject, you can enjoy exercise and reap its many health benefits without feeling uneasy about mysterious leg shaking during workouts.

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