Muscle Cramps Working Out (WHAT REALLY CAUSES THEM!)

Muscle Cramps Working Out (WHAT REALLY CAUSES THEM!)


‘Hey Jeff. This is Chris from Arkansas. I’m
34 and I’ve been a member of ATHLEANX for the last 8-10 months. My AX JEFF Question
is What’s the difference between a cramp and
a contraction? During certain moves like Cable Crossovers, I’ll get a bad cramp here under
my armpit. When I do things like Bicep Curls, I get a
big cramp right here at the front of my arm, and when I try to do things like Barbell Hip
Thrusts, I get Charley Horse cramps in my hamstrings. Now, keep in mind, I do an 8-12 minute Dynamic
Warm-up prior to working out as well as a Static Stretch Routine nightly. Thanks for all your information, and keep
up the GREAT work.’ Thanks Chris. It’s actually a really good
question. You see, when people tighten up or cramp up during an exercise, the first
thing they think is going on is that they’re tight. So they’ll start stretching their muscles
out. So if you’re getting them in your chest, you’ll start to stretch your chest out even
the way I showed you a couple weeks ago. They’ll stretch their bicep out, or they’ll
stretch their hamstring out. The problem a lot of times is that the cramping is really
a substitution for stability where you’re lacking strength. So, if you think about it this way, if you
get cramping in your bicep, it might be that your actual bicep isn’t able to handle the
load that you’re subjecting it to, so it cramps to provide stability to the joint,
to the elbow, so that you can actually get through the movement without damaging it. But, a cramp isn’t a good way to form stability
because a cramp will hurt, as you well know. So, what we want to do is, we want to try
to strengthen the muscles that are cramping more. And we do this not in a contracted position.
So, if you’re trying to strengthen the bicep, you would not do it in an exercise that places
peak tension at peak contraction. So, like with a Spider Curl where I’m leaning
over, I’m getting peak contraction and peak tension at the same point. That’s likely going
to lead to a lot of cramping. The same thing happens with a bridge, as you
describe, bridging up at peak contraction of the gluts and maybe into the hamstrings.you’re
getting a cramp. So what you do is, for the bicep, you try
to get an exercise that places peak tension in the middle of the strength curve. So, for a Barbell Curl, we get it somewhere
around here, but as I get to the very top where I’m fully contracted, I actually don’t
have as much tension there. So, you try to increase your strength in all
of the exercises that don’t place that tension at its highest in the peak contraction state. Once you do that, you’ll notice that when
you build up your strength in those exercises, you go back to doing the exercises that were
causing the problem, and you should have no problems any more.
At least you should find it to be dramatically reduced. Of course, make sure you’re drinking
enough and hydrating because a muscle can easily cramp at a lot
higher rate and frequency when it’s not hydrated, and it’s in a dehydrated state, ok. So I hope you found this helpful, and remember
guys, if you want your AX JEFF Question answered here, all you’ve got to do is make sure you
send me one. Record a video of you asking the question
that’s been most on your mind, and I will do my best to answer it here in a future AX
Jeff segment. In the meantime, guys, if you found this video
helpful, make sure you leave a comment and a thumb’s up below. And I’ll see you guys over at ATHLEANX.COM.
See ya.

100 Replies to “Muscle Cramps Working Out (WHAT REALLY CAUSES THEM!)”

  1. Can you make a video on how to train while having a leg cast . I recently broke my right leg and the doctor told me that i have to put the cast for 4-5 weeks . I don't want to lose the gains 😁

  2. Hey Jeff I've got an important question that would help my performance as an athelete. Im a tennis player and I just wanted to hear your thoughts about what supplents should I take. Like creatine or whey protine? Im not really sure. This would be a great help thanks!

  3. please upload a training routine on body weight exercise at home 
    or how a basic training routine for beginners at gym

  4. Cramps are the result of muscle active insufficiency and electrolyte deficiencies. You can prevent active insufficiency in some exercises, such as leg curls (by keeping your toes pointed up – dorsiflexion – throughout the movement), but ensuring adequate intake of calcium, potassium and sodium should solve most of one's cramping.

  5. Can anyone give exercises for abs that don't give maximum resistance at peak contraction? All I can think of is planks. For years now I've had problems directly working my abs because after one or two sets they cramp and knot up. I tried building up my endurance on planks but even after two sets of planks my abs cramp up when I bend or for instance sit down in my car to leave the gym lol I have to be very cautious that I'm sitting as tall as I can and lengthening my abs or they'll cramp. Any advise would be helpful.
    P.S I'm only 18, very in shape, I just have a problem with training abs, yet naturally, I have and always have had amazing abs

  6. Does anyone knows his opinion on Creatine? Haven't found a video about it but it certainly is not included in his supplements.

  7. I gota messed up lower ab cramp the other day I know is cause I don't train them ab workout so boring mind u I have visible abs still from just my eating habits

  8. My mother is a doctor and when I was a kid I used get a lot of cramping in my foot (the under side of it idk what it's called) and she told me that happened because of lack of salt in the blood. What salt essentially does is it increases ones blood pressure and if you don't have good blood flow then you might experience cramps.

    Also, I think that might be why pwo's taste salty, so they provide a better blood flow aka pump. But Jeff made a good point as well.

  9. In addition to what @ATHLEAN-X™ has said, some people regularly get cramp in parts of their body, such as their hands or feet, just after they start their routine. This can be simply caused by that part of the body being cold. To help avoid this, wear appropriately-warm clothes before you start working out.

  10. Is it just me who thinks that this is a great counter-argument against doing the tricep kickbacks he was suggesting during an older video?

  11. I was always told it is an electrolyte depletion, especially of Mg2+. Could this also be the case or is it only dehydration and not enough strength?

  12. and I was wondering why cramps in my calves stopped 😀 (they were pretty rare, but they happened usually at night) when I decided to work on my calves from then on I don't think I ever had a cramp in the calve 😀 although, I do have cramps sometimes in my foot if I bend it a lil, which annoys me :/ although it's greatly reduced I can say…

  13. my biceps cramp up every time i flex as if i "flex too hard" its like a 2 stage flex best way to explain it, i weigh only 102 but i surprise people when they ask me to make a muscle but ill flex my arm normally and once i "peak" i get a slight pain in the muscle and about a tangerine sized muscle but i can take it a bit more and push really making the bicep pop out giving me a decent baseball sized muscle but then ill cramp up soon as i let out. am i just "over flexing" or straining it?

  14. A friend of a friend told my friend and then he told me that his friend sometimes has cramps in his genitals after intense squat session, is this normal Jeff?

  15. thanks great video. I always get abdominal cramps when i do sit ups. actually its been this way for a few years and i haven't properly diagnosed the problem till now. Thanks

  16. Hi Jeff. Thanks for the Video. Excellent work. Just had a quick question. Are there any fluids we can take during the workout to prevent cramps. I read about coconut water containing electrolytes which can help. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks again! All the best.

  17. @athlean-x Hey Jeff, just a quick question, not sure if you've ever covered this and i know this is an older video but I'm starting to get cramping in my forearms with my underhand lat pull-downs it really hinders my workout as my forearms want to give out way quicker than my lats do, I started to use straps and they have worked for me a little as i notice a few more reps but the issue still ultimately remains… its more prominent in my left arm and that causes me to think that maybe it has something to do with the position of my hands and being i had a labrum repair in January i can't help but think that may have something to do with it … any ideas or suggestions are greatly appreciated!!!!

  18. eat little bit salt before workout and after workout…maybe its because of u dont have enough sodium in your body..and if you sweating to much…you lose more sodium.

  19. my leg always get cramped up for 5 minuts while sleeping. well my leg is too weak for sleeping, guess gotta work hard and sleep harder

  20. Another video i've watched said that drinking water while having electrolytes aka salt before working out or during the workout, helps with eliminating cramps. worked for me

  21. I get cramps but two hours after 3 hours from my workout I'm the beginning of my bicep like when I pulled my arm it will like to lock up as if dehydrated like Cavs do

  22. I am not a native English speaker, can anyone please explain what jeff said during 2:18 – 2:50 in simple terms ..thankyou

  23. still have no idea what he said. So if i get biceps cramps should i train the muscle iso to get it stronger?

  24. My abs always cramp LIKE ALWAYS …. maybe I should work them out …. I thought it was enough with compound exercises

  25. i dnt know man. I have had bicep cramps at peak contraction for over 2 yrs now. i ve always assumed it was maybe micro tears. I can imagine its my biceps being weak. i ve been training for yrs and i d say i m fairly strong. maybe weakness somewhere else making bicep over work. its depressing because i think i ve lost a gd half inch on biceps due to this and there is really very little talk about this chronic cramping anywhere on internet. i eat 4 to 8 bananas a wk so its not potassium, maybe other electrolytes are unbalanced, maybe dehydration. get some foot cramps as well.

  26. How about you remember how a muscle contracts and relaxes.

    Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium.

    If you're cramping/charley horse it could also be because of the above being deficient.

  27. i work out 6-7 days a week and i have done that for the past 3 months. i have seen major changes on my body, so my work outs cant be wrong, in fact, i have never in my life had an injury and i have never had a muscle cramp. can someone tell me why i have not had a muscle cramp. (btw, i am a 16 year old boy, who have played a lot of football before i started fitness)

  28. Please also tell me that is it necessary to reduce weight in order to reduce fat? Or can I just consume similar calories with 2:1 Carb protein ratio to reduce body fat? as I am 64 KG Male with 25% Body Fat.

  29. Hey Jeff i am a guy in age 31 with some problem with biceps and have winged scapula on my both shoulders. Weight i try lift small amount kg with my arms and pull them up, the muscle start shacking. it doesn't shake until i get over half the way up and also it shakes on the way down . It don't shaking in the muscles when i lift up with the hands with the Wight down like when u holding a paddle, it doesn't shake a bit. If u or someone else read this i am sry for my bad English. Thanks in advance and keep up the good work, i gonna follow up some of the tip when my body is back on track.

  30. Today was the first time my bicep ever cramped on me, luckily it was at the beginning of my last set. But i dropped the barbells went over to my water came back picked up the weight and I couldnt curl my left arm in at all.

  31. So, anything that cramps, work it out in a half rep position?

    Also, what's the small muscle that feels lile it's inside the top of the leg l and used to lift the leg straight out sideways from the hip? Mine seems dangerously short, and cramps and locks up all the time when climbing through attics, as per my job as HVAC service tech

  32. My friend's fingers & whole hands are shaking & vibrating while he stretchs his hands . What kind of exercise is required for this kind of problem ??

  33. Hey Jeff I've got a question for you. Today was a pull day for me and I found my left hand starting to cramp up during lat pulldowns. It progressively got worse to the point where I didn't even finish my workout. I tried loosening my grip a bit but didn't seem to make a difference.. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

  34. hi bro how are you I need help I have also stomach cramping problem after excercise running and any hardwork I do coming crapping problem I'm too much worried about this problem how I solve this problem please help me brother I'm waiting your answer

  35. Sorry Jeff. This is simply a potassium or magnesium deficiency. Not a sign that the weight is too heavy. Love the channel but you're wrong on this.

  36. @ATHLEAN-X Hey, I know this is an old video, but I have a similar question about shaking. I have a tendency to shake a lot while I’m working out which can sometimes be dangerous for me with heavier weights. It would be awesome if you could do a video on that as well.

  37. HELP PLEASE!!!! Yesterday I did shrugs with a straight bar, today my hands were momentarily paralyzed. I got scared and called an ambulance and went to the ER. I thought I was having a stroke or something similar to that. Any info on that? Greatly appreciated!!!

  38. I cramp while I’m at work and sometimes it will be multiple places at once… I’ve looked all over YouTube and can’t seem to find a way to help me

  39. I'm thinking that the cramps this fellow is talking about are the result of muscles being used in an unfamiliar position or OVER-flexing. Not many people do hip thrusts so when you begin doing them it stresses a lot of stabilizing muscles that aren't used to being worked like the hamstrings, glutes or lower back muscles. Another cramping position is with your elbow over your head and curling your hand down to scratch your back. BICEPS CRAMP guaranteed. Or, doing cable biceps curls with your elbow over your head. Another cause seems to be when you give an extra flex at the completion of a biceps curl. Just that little EXTRA (maximum) squeeze on the muscle when it's fully flexed tends to send my biceps into a cramp.

  40. Hey Jeff,

    You gave an example of exercises for bicep cramps, but can you give an example of how to handle ab cramping? What ab exercise does not place peak force at peak contraction?

  41. Hey jeff I also know that u can get a cramp if u dont assinilate/aquire the needed minenerals quite good. Mg, Ca and Ka? I usually get all body cramps like leg hands. I also know that they come from the nerves(the back and the neck).

    Please excuse my english , your channel is great,nice job!

  42. What about cramps 1 hr after you workout? It happens to my biceps but seems to go away if I massage the muscle for a couple minutes . Only happens after I train my biceps .

  43. So what would the best calf strengthening exercise be to reduce cramps? Just a standing calf raise?

  44. I would get cramps at the gym doing stomach workouts – I’ve been to the doctor multiple times, and nothing is there. 🤦🏽‍♀️ It’s really a pain because I want to workout out on my core – any tips ?

  45. Hey Jeff. Great videos! Instead of discussing 1 muscle cramp, do you know why I would be cramping in almost every muscle after playing a couple tennis matches? I drink a ton of fluids, maintain electrolytes. The cramps start, and last a guelling hour. Every muscle pulls over and over, I fall to the ground in pain and have to find a position to not set them off. Meanwhile I can feel liquid pulsing through my body (lactic acid). Thanks!

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