Why do my hips pop and click in Pilates?

How To Prevent Hip Clicks and Leg Cramps in Pilates

Do you ever feel your hips clicking or popping during Pilates exercises? This is super common and most of the time, perfectly normal! If you’re not having sharp pain, these sounds usually mean that you’re warming up and certain exercises are revealing your weak spots. For example, when your abs aren’t fully connected during exercises like Leg Circles or Scissors, your pelvis wobbles…

This little bit of instability in your pelvis allows tight or loose muscles and tendons to rub in your joint and that’s why you hear funky sounds!

So how do you fix your weak spots?…

The fix is simple = stabilize your hips by connecting to your abs

In this video, learn exactly how to put the focus on your abs by making your leg movements smaller and more controlled.

You might need this fix more on some days than others because your body is different each day. Muscles might be tighter or you might find you’re less connected other days.

Don’t worry that you’re not as ‘advanced’ when you adjust your workout. It may take quite a bit of time for the sounds to go away. Tuning in and adjusting to your body’s needs is what brings results!✨

Alisa demonstrating Leg Circles and Single Leg Stretch
Click this image for a detailed demonstration

Here’s how to reduce hip clicking and popping:

1) Reduce Your Range of Motion

One of the quickest fixes is to make your leg movements smaller and more controlled so you can connect to your abs better. You’ll still get the benefits!

For example, if you’re doing Leg Circles, make your circles smaller to activate the right muscles in your core and take the focus off your hips.

2) Use Your Powerhouse To Keep Your Hips & Pelvis Stable

Find a deeper connection to your Powerhouse (abdominals) and pelvis to keep your hips stable. If your pelvis is moving around and unstable, that means your legs are taking over when you should be focused more on using your abs to keep your hips still.

Blossom demonstrating with a client Single Straight Leg Modified

3) Pre-Pilates to the rescue

Go back and take Pre-Pilates classes or begin your class with a Pre-Pilates workout to create stability in your body and wake up the muscles you need for these exercises.

Feeling cramping in your calves or feet in Pilates exercises?

You’re probably working muscles you haven’t worked in a long time or getting used to new exercises that work your muscles in new ways! By engaging muscles in a way they may not be used to, some muscles will be working harder than they have in a long time… which leads to cramps.

When you feel a cramp coming on, back off your effort by about 30% and see if you can prevent the cramp from happening. For example, if you’re pointing your foot super hard in exercises like Leg Circles or Single Leg Stretch, pull back the intensity by about 30%.

Check out this tips video below where we show you how to avoid hip clicking and popping and also dive into why you may feel cramping in your feet and legs during Pilates exercises:

Hip Clicks & Foot Cramps - How to Fix It
Alisa Wyatt sharing tips to avoid hip clicks & leg cramps in Pilates exercises

Tools For Your Practice

We have tons of classes on Pilatesology that are perfect additions to your workouts to warm up your hips. See some Pre-Pilates to Basic slow moving classes that will get all your joints lubricated and ready to move. 💪


“Why Do My Joints Make Noise ― Clicking and Popping?” Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/why-do-my-joints-make-noise-clicking-and-popping/

“Snapping Hip Syndrome” Physiopedia. Retrieved from https://www.physio-pedia.com/Snapping_Hip_Syndrome


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