What is that hip snapping noise?

You’re in a Pilates class, or dance class, or just working out on your own doing abdominal exercises and you hear a snap in your hip area. It will happen when you extend your leg whether you are on your back or standing.

What is it?

The snapping can be one of two things. It can be caused by a labral tear inside the hip joint. This can be painful.

The other circumstance can be caused by the tendon snapping over a bony protuberance. This may not be painful.

If either is left unresolved, it can turn into further complications, like tendonitis.


Hip snapping often is a result of muscle imbalance and using the incorrect muscles to do an exercise or movement. If it is repetitively done, this can result in tendonitis, or a tight and overworked muscle – mainly the iliopsoas.

The iliopsoas inserts into the lumbar spine and the front of the pelvis.

Every muscle has an agonist/antagonist relationship. If you are using the iliopsoas, you are not effectively engaging the lower abdominals or the gluteals (2 of your major core muscles).

Prevention and Treatment

If the snapping continues, try activating your pelvic floor muscles, the ones that stop your urine from leaking, and then try the exercise again. If it stops it, you know you are using the incorrect muscles to produce the snapping and your abdominals are not as strong as they should be for the exercise you are doing.

Avoid the exercises that create this snapping by starting a bit more basic to engage the core muscles.

Try these exercises:

HIP FLEXOR STRETCH – this will help in lengthening the iliopsoas if it has been overused

Wrap a sheet or strap around your ankle and grab the ends.

Lie flat on your bed on your stomach with one leg on the bed and the other foot on the floor.

1. Press your pelvis into the bed and bend your knee 5x.

2. Prop yourself up on your forearms and repeat bending your knee 5x.

3. Go onto your hands and bend your knee 5x.

4. Lie flat again onto your stomach and bend your knee to 90 degrees. Let the leg flop to the outside and back to the center 5x, then let it flop to the inside and back to the center 5x to create external and internal rotation of the leg.

When getting off the bed, swing your leg off by reaching out and lift your trunk at the same time, so it’s like a see saw. Do not bend at your hip and knee pulling the leg close to your body after you have already stretched it.

DEADLIFTS -this will strengthen your gluteals (buttocks)

Stand with your feet a hip distance apart. Bend from the hip joint as though you are getting ready to sit on a chair. Maintain your alignment in a straight line from head to buttocks. Reach out and down, assuming a position resembling a downhill skier. To stand up, push your buttocks forward. The trunk will follow to the upright position.


Not sure how the problem started and want to know the root cause of the problem and how to safely treat it, click here to schedule a Free 20 minute call to discuss your issues and how we can help so the problem does not make you immobile, but you continue to be independent and fully functional.

To Your Health,


Cynthia Weiss

We Help Women To Increase Their Confidence In Achieving Their Goals Of Having An Independent & Mobile Lifestyle Without The Use Of Pain Medications Or Surgery.