T Nation

Legs and Hips Make Popping Sounds


I gotta figure this one out before i hurt myself

okay this has been going on for too long. i've been trying to ignore it. my legs like pop out at my hips all the time. it doesnt hurt really, but its annoying as hell and its kinda starting to worry me. when i squat really low, sometimes one of my hips will like bust outta place, this is making me hate squats because im getting nervous with heavy squats now.

also, when i do high kicks they pop out and crack really loud WTF. what is this? what is the deal here? like honestly im about to quit doing squats if i cant figure this out. it happens way more the wider my stance is, but normal feet width stance will do it too.
any ideas?


Switch to single leg stuff for a bit and give sumo and romanian deadlifts a try. My guess is you have super tight psoas and tensor fascia late muscles(the hip flexors) causing a hip cracking sound.

Give the squats a rest for a couple months. I encountered the same thing, and it requires a lot of glute and hamstring exercises, with a ton of stretching for the hip flexors and quadriceps!!!


Oh, and btw, make sure your squat depth is the same without weight. Sometimes we tend to relax at the bottom by not keeping tight enough, something I do not advise.


thanks for the response, thought id never get one on this. ill definetly give switching just a lot of single leg stuff a try. im open to anything at this point. everyone should have their picture a vid of their squat form also, so you can see if you should take their advice or not haha. as for deadlifts, thats by far my strongest lift. my PR is 405 at 170. ill keep digging into hamstring work tho, never enough in my opinion


While doing the single leg work and stretches, make sure your back stays in proper alignment otherwise those movements won't be effective. Keep your abs, glutes, and low back braced, head up, and shoulders back.


I had the same thing its not a problem especially if without pain. Stretch your hips all around meaning hip flexors, glutes, do hip mobility (front and side split squats) and foam rolling the it band, adductors and abductors will produce great results. The popping is the muscles around the hip sliding over the joints because they are tight.


okay that makes sense, god what a relief. i thought i was going to need a new hip by 30 haha. thanks for the good advice guys


What stretches would you guys recomend the most for this?


Check out Defranco's agile 8:

I also like the Samson Stretch w/o the post and I usually put my arms OH:


Also, Magnificent Mobility DVD might be worth the money -- and there's several problems like this addressed in the discussion here:



Sounds like it may be your Iliotibial band. Simple stretches can work wonders. Likewise, you may want to invest in a foam roller. These help to loosen a tight IT band. Hope this helps.


The condition everyone is referring to is called a snapping hip which can be caused by things such as a tight iliopsoas or loose bodies within the hip joint. Like mentioned the most common cause is muscle tightness and can usually be resolved with stretches as well as myofascial release.

what worries me though is that you mention you're hip "busting out of place"..This is not a symptom of a snapping hip. Sounds like you might have some instability or laxity in the ligaments surrounding the hip..

Are the symptoms bilateral?
Have you had any trauma in the past? Dislocations?


I've started to get that, gradually more so with age. I'm a recreational contortionist so flexibility should not be an issue, although never have too much. This may sound stupid but high kicks+decent musculature as a grown male just sounds like it calls for some popping sooner or later. A man's hips are narrower by design and some amount of chafing is to be expected with movements like that. Actually don't go quoting on me that. I'm just speculating so if someone knows better, go ahead and correct.