Why Do My Bones Make Noise When I Workout?

If you’re working out regularly, you may have noticed that your bones make noise when you move around. This is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about! In fact, it’s a sign that your bones are healthy and strong.

There are a few reasons why your bones might make noise when you workout. First, when you move your bones, they rub against each other and produce a sound. This is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. Second, as you age, your


Working out is one of the best ways to maintain overall health and fitness. However, it is not uncommon for some people to experience loud cracking or popping noises from their bones during physical activity, especially when stretching or performing high-impact exercises. If you’ve ever been concerned about why you might be hearing these noises, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we will discuss why your bones make noise when you are working out and how these noises can be prevented or minimized. We will also cover what might indicate a more serious underlying medical condition. With this knowledge, you can exercise confidently knowing that your body is in good health!

Causes of Bone-on-Bone Grinding

When you move your joints, the cartilage that cushions them wears down over time. As it does, you may experience bone-on-bone grinding or popping. This is something that many people experience during workouts. It’s important to understand the underlying cause of this grinding or popping, so let’s take a look at what might be causing it.

Poor Form and Technique

Poor form and technique can be the primary cause of a grinding sound in your joints, often referred to as ‘bone-on-bone’ grinding. This usually occurs when trying heavier exercises, such as the squat or bench press, but is also possible when doing lighter exercises like bicep curls. When you use improper form, it puts an undue amount of stress onto your joint, resulting not only in pain during the exercise but also excessive strain on the joint itself.

Often times poor form is caused by complacency — when you become comfortable with an exercise and slack off in terms of concentration and proper technique. Other times poor form can be caused by lack of knowledge or experience on how to execute a specific movement correctly.

Briefly going over your form prior to beginning each workout is important to ensure proper execution and avoid putting unnecessary strain on your joints. Improper execution of lifts can damage ligaments, tendons and even bones which leads to bone-on-bone grinding and serious injury if left unchecked. A qualified coach or gym instructor can help improve your form if you have any concerns with lifting techniques or safety protocols.

Weak Muscles

Muscle weakness can be one of the primary causes of bone-on-bone grinding. Weak muscles may not be able to stabilize joints, leaving them vulnerable to grinding when exercising or putting pressure on the joint. When muscles weaken, the joints become unstable and are more likely to make noise from friction between the bones when pressure is applied. Depending on the severity, weak muscles may also reduce range of motion and cause difficulty in everyday movement.

If your bones make noise when you exercise or you think muscle weakness might be a cause, it’s important to take steps to improve your muscular strength and stability. Proper exercise that focuses on strengthening your joint stabilizing muscles can help reduce grinding and improve mobility. Additionally, starting with lighter resistance or low-impact exercises before increasing intensity can help prevent further damage caused by sudden strain on weakened stabilizing muscles. Finally, focusing on alignment and form during workouts can help ensure that you are engaging the correct stabilizing muscles for each movement.


Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of bone-on-bone grinding. Osteoarthritis occurs when degenerative changes — such as cartilage wear and tear — deplete the protective cushion between bones and joints. This can be exacerbated by obesity, past injuries, and repeated overuse of a joint.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is another type of inflammatory disorder that causes bones to grind against each other as RA attacks the tissue that lines the joints in your body. In addition to arthritis, other conditions such as gout, lupus, and other cartilage-related diseases can lead to bone-on-bone grinding due to rapid degeneration of the transition tissue between the bones.

You may also experience bone-on-bone grinding when you work out if certain muscle groups are tight or weakened. For example, tightness in your calves can lead to instability in your ankles which can cause bone on bone rubbing as you walk or run. Strengthening muscle groups that are tight or weak helps support joints better which can reduce friction between bones. Addressing any physical imbalances will help prevent unnecessary stress on joints.

Bone Spurs

Bone spurs, also known as osteophytes, are bony outgrowths that develop along the edge of the joint in response to wear and tear from arthritis or other joint conditions. They can affect any joint in your body, including elbows, shoulders, knees and hips. While they may not cause pain on their own, bone spurs can put pressure on the surrounding tissues and create a grinding sensation when you move your joint. Bone spurs can form with age even without an underlying condition and do not usually require treatment unless they are causing pain or other symptoms. If this is the case for you, nonsurgical treatments such as exercise, physical therapy and lifestyle modifications may be recommended to reduce your discomfort.

Prevention and Treatment

If you hear a popping, cracking, or grinding sensation when you move your joints during a workout, it could be your bones making noise. While this noise is usually harmless, it can be uncomfortable and even painful in some cases. In this article, we will discuss the causes, prevention, and treatment of this condition.

Strengthen Muscles

Exercising your muscles is the most important way to protect your bones from injury and build greater strength. Targeting active muscles with strengthening exercises can help improve your ability to perform everyday activities and support the joints in your body. Some examples of strengthening exercises include: low-impact aerobics, yoga, Pilates, swimming, balance exercises, sit-ups, squats and push-ups. Additionally, adding weights or resistance training to an exercise program can help strengthen muscles in a more specific way. Before starting any kind of exercise program it is always best to check with your doctor or physical therapist to be sure that the exercises you plan on doing are safe and beneficial for you.

Improve Form and Technique

Poor form and technique can increase pressure on the bones, ligaments and joints which may cause the bones to make noises. Working with a qualified trainer or coach can help ensure proper form. A trainer can observe and provide feedback on your movements, spotting any potential issues with form that may be contributing to noise in the bones.

It’s also important to understand the basics of each lift and why you are doing each exercise. When performing an exercise, focus on controlling your body as it moves through both the concentric and eccentric portions of a movement. Make sure that you initiate each repetition and move slowly through the range of motion, taking time to hit every muscle contraction point and breathing evenly throughout the exercise.

If an exercise is beyond your current ability level take out any components that require excessive loading or strain on joints (such as dynamic flexibility or power moves). Movements should always be within your physical abilities so listen closely to how your body is responding at all times—you don’t want to overwork yourself or cause injury!

Use Proper Equipment

Using proper exercise equipment can help reduce the risk of injury and improve your overall workout experience. When engaging in resistance exercise, it is important to choose a weight that is appropriate for the exercise you are doing. It should be neither too light nor too heavy; using weights that are too light will not provide sufficient stimulation for improvement or adaptation, while using weights that are too heavy may result in injury. Additionally, make sure to use appropriately-sized barbells, dumbbells, ankle weights and any other equipment you might be using. Selecting the right size can help prevent issues like straining joints or twisting due to incorrect alignment which could result in noise being produced during your workout. Using a spotter when performing exercises with free weights that require a large amount of stabilization can also minimize noise production by helping you maintain proper form and technique.

Seek Professional Help

If you are experiencing any pain or instability in your bones or joints during exercise, it is important to seek professional help. It is also recommended that people with a known osteoporosis risk factor should inform their physician and request regular screening for early detection.

Also, consulting a physical therapist, who can create an exercise program that will benefit the health of the joints while not putting undue stress on them, is often recommended. This can prevent further damage to the joint and cause it to make less noise. The physical therapist will also be able to offer advice on appropriate stretches and exercises targeting specific regions of your body and related impairments.

Additionally, if a person feels discomfort after an exercise session that involves bone noise, especially if this is accompanied by soreness in the areas of bone contact (such as joints), they should immediately stop exercising and talk to their doctor in order to ascertain the cause of these symptoms. Moreover, modifications may be necessary such as decreasing resistance training or limiting repetitive motions involving those painful areas until symptoms are eliminated or reduced. Finally, talking to one’s doctor may provide relief from medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which could alleviate pain associated with bone noises. Furthermore, if needed your physician may refer you for a composition scan for further assessment or alternatively referring you for specialist evaluation by an orthopedic surgeon due to any suspicious imaging findings from MRI scans observed from back support problems contributing towards bone noise when exercising as well as biomechanical issues contributing towards hip use physical therapy/occupational therapy interventions may also offer further underpinning support for resolving longstanding issues resulting from postural imbalances with activity maintenance essential following specialist referral requests made.


Overall, it is not uncommon for your bones to make noise when you workout, and these noises are a sign that your muscles are being used properly. While the occasional pop or crack can also come with age, some noises can be indicative of medical issues such as Osteoarthritis. If you experience pain along with any of the sounds that were described in this article, you should make an appointment with a medical professional to receive a proper diagnosis. It’s important to remember that cracking and popping doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong; however, if it persists and causes discomfort, it’s best to consult with a doctor first.

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