T Nation

Cracking Muscle?

I did look around a bit before posting. I always feel a bit dumb when everybody tells me “go here.” So I couldnt find anything on T-Nation nor on google about it.

Its not really a bother of mine, but when I really flex my forearm muscles, I heard a cracking noise at the greatest contraction point. Its been that way for as long as I can recall, but I never wondered if it was odd. Can anyone explain to me what possibly could be going on?

I’ve made the same cracking noise when I flex my tri’s hardest. I can only do it about once or twice a day, its not like time after time.

Perhaps the good Doctor knows? (X?)

That is weird. I never heard of that, but your post did get me to flex my bicep close to my ear, lol.

Are you sure it isn’t at the joint, like knuckle cracking?

If it is, then it’s nothing to worry about. Just some fluid expanding to a gas, popping and re-forming to a liquid.

Or maybe it’s your skin stretching?

Bicep tendon impingement?

[quote]Watson2K5 wrote:
Bicep tendon impingement?[/quote]

Hmmm I dont know what that is.

No the sound is in the forearm muscle. You know when you make a fist and bend it downwards to make that upside down L shape. You know…to make the base ball fly out…

I just did it and it popped again. Put my fingers there first and could feel it somewhere around in the muscle or bone perhaps? It isn’t the joint, its a few inches above that.

Maybe I’ll be forever curious…

It doesnt hurt or anything. Stress fracture? Hmmm…I did use to have a lot of pain there a few years ago while doing preachers curls. That went away though…


I get the same sound in my right shoulder sometimes doing military presses (or when I raise my arm out to the side). It’s like a cracking sound, or almost sounds like the muscle is ripping. I don’t know what it is either, but it doesn’t happen all the time, and doesn’t hurt. I’m curious to see if anyone else might know.

Hey Tank I think I know what it is – at least the noise when you flex your tricep really hard. That is your elbow joint cracking much like a knuckle cracks when you either pull or compress it. I can do this with both of my arms, and like a knuckle, you have to wait awhile for it to happen again.

As for your forearms, perhaps it is in your wrist. I get this when I do wrist curls to build my forearms.

Bottom line: If nothing is hurting afterward and this does not impinge upon your workouts – don’t worry!


The sound is your tendon moving over a bony prominence. Unless there is pain, this usually isn’t something that should cause worry. You aren’t coming off of any injury to that area or have systemic hypermobility, do you? If those were the cases, I might throw in more. But, if you don’t, I wouldn’t worry about it for now.

Thanks for the insights. And no…no pain so I wont worry about it.

[quote]Tank53 wrote:

Its not really a bother of mine, but when I really flex my forearm muscles, I heard a cracking noise at the greatest contraction point. [/quote]

Does it sound like scrunching up piece of crinkly paper? If so, it could be “crepitus” (a particularly useless term when you read its definition: “A clinical sign in medicine characterized by a peculiar crackling, crinkly, or grating feeling or sound under the skin, around the lungs, or in the joints”).

As you can see from the definition, it’s a joint (not muscle) issue.

Typically, if it doesn’t hurt, you live with it and move on. If it starts to hurt, go see your Doctor - there are some things they can do to help (but not cure - to the best of my knowledge (and I have searched), there is no “cure”).

Crepitus is relatively common in knees (I have a scrunchy right knee - no pain). Here’s an informative web site on the subject, albeit knee-related:


Also, type Crepitus in your search engine and have at-it.

Regards and Happy New Year.