The Pilates Reformer is the perfect full-body workout, designed to challenge you without putting you at the risk of injury – but maybe you’ve been in your Pilates class and felt your muscles shudder.
You might have also found this happening if you go for a long walk uphill and suddenly have to walk back down – with legs feeling like jelly, you need to concentrate to avoid tumbling!
But what does it mean when you’re in your Melbourne Pilates Reformer class and you start feeling that tremor in your arms in a plank, or your core started shaking uncontrollably? Is it a good sign, or a sign to pump the brakes and give your body a rest?
Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, the muscle shake can (and will) strike at some point. Here’s what you need to know.
Shaky Muscles Are Fatiguing Muscles
If you’ve reached the shaky point then your muscles are starting to throw in the towel – you’ve pushed them to their limit and they’re ready for a break! The shake isn’t necessarily a bad thing but there can be other contributing factors, like dehydration, that you should be aware of. It’s always best to know where your energy levels are, what you’ve consumed, and how much water you’ve had to drink, so you know how to respond to your body when it starts trembling!
You might be tempted to dig deeper and work through the shakes, or to continue with your workout. This isn’t a great idea – your muscles have reached fatigue, and this state makes them more prone to any injuries or strain. Think about your body and what you’re expecting of it before you decide to continue with your Reformer workout.
So your muscles are shaking and you know that you’re really making them work – but your body doesn’t need that kind of punishment for you to progress! Your body can progress while still working before the point of complete fatigue and Pilates is about taking care of yourself. Try to remain conscious of your body and what you’re demanding of it by keeping these questions in mind.
– Are you dehydrated?
Even if you don’t feel dehydrated, you should make an effort to be aware of your fluid intake. Sometimes dehydration doesn’t present itself with the expected dry mouth, or perhaps you’re too distracted to notice it, but especially during exercise you should be closely monitoring your fluids and keeping a big bottle of water handy! Water is a critical to your muscles recovery and can help you to stave off the shake for longer.
– Have you given your muscles enough recovery time since your last workout?
If you are working out multiple days in a row then you aren’t providing your muscles with the same amount of rest as if you’d taken a rest day. This means that your muscles won’t bounce back in time for your next Reformer class and they’ll be much closer to fatigue. Working out daily is a great way to stay fit and healthy, but you shouldn’t necessarily be pushing your body to exhaustion every day. If you do enjoy getting a good burn then rotate muscle groups and give each muscle group a day to recover – that way, they’ll be able to go to 100% when you work them out again so you’ll see even more dramatic results!
What Is The Shake?
If you are working out multiple days in a row then you aren’t providing your muscles with the same amount of rest as if you’d taken a rest day. This means To understand the shake we need to understand what our muscles are made of. Your muscles are made up of fibres, which connect to either bone or muscle through your ligaments and tendons. When you use your muscle, many of the fibres will contract to do the work while others may rest, depending on the workload. Usually your clever muscles can share the work between them evenly but as your muscle fatigues the changeover of exertion becomes less smooth. That’s when you start feeling the shudder of your muscles fibres trying to pass around the strain without lapsing!
Fatigued muscles mean that you’ve been pushing yourself, so we love your commitment! But we never recommend forcing yourself to the point of complete exhaustion where you’re risking straining your body and sustaining injury. Here at Kaya, our Reformer classes are perfect for Pilates-lovers of all abilities, and everyone will find a safe yet challenging workout that’s perfect for any body.