If you listen closely during a Pilates class you might hear a faint ‘pop’ or ‘click’ every now and again. This noise is most likely coming from someone’s hip.

It’s very common to find that one of your hips clicks or pops with certain movements, particularly when you are lowering your leg from a raised position.

The medical term for this problem is ‘snapping hip syndrome’ and although it can be disconcerting, there’s usually nothing to worry about. Your hip isn’t dislocating and you’re not causing any immediate damage.  That said, it’s not a good idea to repeatedly cause your hip to click as this might cause irritation of the tendons around your hip and some soreness.

What causes clicking or popping hips?

There are a number of reasons why people experience this problem. For some people the shape of the ball and socket of their hip joint on one side is slightly different to the other. For others there might be some normal, age-related change within one or both of their hips, affecting the way the joints move. People with excessive flexibility (hypermobility) experience clicking in their joints due to a lack of muscle control around their hips.

In our experience, whatever the underlying cause, improving the strength of you buttock muscles (glutes) muscles will often help to reduce the click.

What exercises are best for snapping hip syndrome?

In the short term, if you attend a Pilates class, try to stop the leg movement just before your hip clicks instead of pushing through the full move.

Try these three moves to strengthen your glutes in the longer term:

Thigh Lift

Gluten strengthening exercise over a pillow

Lie on your front over 2 pillows with your knee bent. Lift your thigh off the floor a couple of centimetres, without arching your lower back. Hold for 10 seconds then lower. Repeat to fatigue.

Side leg lift against a wall

Gluten strengthening exercise against a wall

Kneeling on all fours, take your tailbone and feet to the left and look around. Hold to stretch the right side of your body for 3 breathes and repeat to the right.

Back massage

Back stretch

Lie on your side with your leg bent underneath. Straighten your top leg in line with your body. Lift your leg upwards, then return. Try not to move the leg forwards as you lift it, the leg must stay back in line with your body. If you are unsure you can try doing it against a wall. Repeat 8 – 10 times.


Clam exercise for gluten strengthening

Lie on your side with your knees bent to approximately 90 degrees, feet back in line with your bottom. Keeping your ankles together, lift your top knee up into the air then slowly lower back down and repeat. Only lift your knee as high as possible without rolling your pelvis backwards. Repeat 8 – 10 times.


Bridge exercise for glutes strengthening

Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet hip width apart and close to your bottom. Push down through your heels and lift your bottom up into the air. Hold for 5 seconds then lower again. Repeat 8 – 10 times.

Following these simple exercises regularly at home will strengthen your glutes and make it less likely theat you will pop and click during your pilates class!

Get in touch if you have any questions,

The Pilatesfit Team!

Call us on 01223 914415 to book a private class or book online for group classes.