Hip Snaps, crackles and pops


This week's question

My hip pops when I do certain exercises, what does this mean

My answer - As I start so many of these emails, the answer is "it depends" and if it is painful or concerning, you should probably get a personal assessment. However, speaking in general terms, this popping can often happen with ab or "core" exercises and typically is felt as a popping in the front of the hip especially with leg lift/lower type exercises.

In the majority of cases, this popping sound is coming from a tendon that is moving over a bony notch. It can happen because you are either lacking strength or possibly not activating all of your muscles that could help, and are instead relying too much on one muscle (namely the hip flexor or psoas) to do the work.

This is generally not a dangerous thing and will not lead to any harm, so it is ok to work through that. If you prefer not to, you can either scale back to an easier exercise, or limit the range of motion you are going through however much you need to in order to reduce the popping sound/sensation.

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