Skip Nav
Popsugar Interviews
Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Jenny Craig (Including If It Actually Works)
These Naked Yoga Photos Are Gorgeous and Totally #SFW
Celebrity Trainers
Sick of the Treadmill? This Machine Burns Way More Calories — and Won't Hurt Your Knees

Popping and Cracking Joints Doing Yoga

You Asked: Are Popping and Cracking Joints Harmful?

Hi FitSugar,

I got a yoga DVD recently and I like it a lot, but every time I do some of the workouts, my joints tend to crack and pop a lot! It doesn't hurt, it actually feels kind of good the same way cracking your knuckles feels, but I'm worried I might be hurting myself without even knowing it. I'm fairly flexible with a dance and martial arts background, but yoga is stretching me in new and interesting ways. Are the sounds my body is making just my body adjusting and will they go away as I do more yoga? I'm also almost 30 so is this just a part of getting older?


To find out what I think about popping and cracking while doing yoga


This happens to me too, and has been the entire eight years I've been practicing yoga. My lower back cracks when I do Seated Spinal Twist, my hip pops when I do Open Triangle, and my shoulder pops when I do Bound Wide Squat. I look forward to it because it makes my body feel more open.

The weird sound has to do with your joints. A joint is an area where two or more bones meet, and this area is surrounded by joint fluid that protects the bones from rubbing against each other. Nitrogen gas is dissolved in your joint fluid. When you move your body in new and interesting positions like when you're doing yoga, your bones move, which releases pressure from your joints. This makes the gas come out and form a bubble, and causes the cracking or popping sound you hear. That release of pressure allows a temporary increase in the joint's range of motion, which is why it feels so good.

Don't worry about all the noises your joints make while doing your yoga DVD. It won't cause arthritis or joint pain, just a temporary feeling of openness in your body. As long as you practice yoga, you can expect to hear popping and cracking.

Join The Conversation
missxvicious missxvicious 8 years
Thanks for clearing this up.I was thought maybe I should have been worried but I'm not any more.Thanks
lindssaurussss lindssaurussss 8 years
my jaw and ankles crack several times a day. i agree with hithatsmybike. gout and arthritis are not caused by cracking joints. i hate theses myths.
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 8 years
Gout is a metabolic disorder. You can't massage it away. It is not responsible popping/cracking sounds in joints. Almost everyone has cracks at one joint or another, and we don't all have gout. Also, how lazy you are personally doesn't change the scientific data, sorry. Laziness or lack of exercise is not responsible for gout -- it's always going to have something to do with diet. I don't know where you're getting your information, but you should check your sources or ask for clarification from you doctor, because you don't seem to understand the condition.
Allytta Allytta 8 years
hithatsmybike, yes it is. that salt residue disrupts balance in joints and prevents them from being flexible. just imagine not exercising for a few years - you'll fill the salt deposits everywhere. believe me, i know. i'm a lazy bitch and i suffer from it now. but if i work out it goes away. the massages that remove gout are awfully painful.
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
I crack all over the place! When I drive my shoulders crack every time I turn a corner!
sunshinepointe sunshinepointe 8 years
Has nothing to do with activity level. I'm highly active and I crack more than anyone I've ever known. And the gout thing is baloney too...
amandaaa amandaaa 8 years
my EVERYTHING cracks and pops. my back cracks when i breathe in deeply. when i sit in a straddle, my hips making a crunching popping sound. my elbows, shoulders, knees pop on occasion. but none of it hurts.
dustyrose dustyrose 8 years
My pilates instructor says the popping, particularly in the hip and shoulders is due to the joint being overly flexible and the muscles surrounding the joint are too weak to hold to bone in place. The sound is of the bone actually coming out of the joint or popping back in after being misaligned. The popping/cracking lessens when the muscles are stronger. Popping hips are very common for dancers. What you need to do when working those joints is to engage the tiny muscles around the joint and not pull the leg or arm out of the socket. It's hard to explain in written words, but a good pilates instructor would explain it better.
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 8 years
Interesting! I wonder why some people pop so much. My boss pops with like every step.
TheMissus TheMissus 8 years
So true, Fit! I think when your bones pop naturally as you move into and out of poses, it is completely normal. And it feels good!
Fitness Fitness 8 years
starangel82 — You're right. Cracking your knuckles won't lead to arthritis or joint pain either.
syako syako 8 years
Thanks for posting this. Good question. My ankles pop all the time. My mom always joked with me about how she always knew I was home because she could hear my ankles popping all over the house. :P
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 8 years
the popping is not due to gout, Alytta.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
Thanks for this! My joints pop many times a day (knees, ankles, hips, shoulders, back) when I do basic stretches or just move around and I was a little worried it was something not so good.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
Random, but cracking your knuckles is under the same principle and won't cause arthritis either. Or big knuckles (like my grandmother always told me).
manywaters manywaters 8 years
Nice to know!
Allytta Allytta 8 years
sorry, i meant active
Allytta Allytta 8 years
also the popping is due to gout. especially in people who haven't been very extive lately.
Chicken Nugget Yoga
Yoga Poses to Relieve Cramps
Best Tank Tops For Summer Workouts
David Kirsch Workout Tips
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds