Preventing and Alleviating Snapping Hip in Ballet

Ever lifted your leg during a routine only to hear a startling snap or pop? If you've experienced this, it's what's known as Snapping Hip Syndrome. While it might sound alarming, don't worry—you’re definitely not alone. This condition is particularly common among dancers.

What's Causing That Snap? 

Snapping Hip (or coxa saltans), occurs when a muscle or tendon slides over a bony prominence in your hip joint. Often, it's not painful, but without proper management, it could lead to discomfort or more serious issues like bursitis or labral tears. This condition is frequently seen in activities requiring repetitive and intense hip movements, with ballet being a prime example. In dancers, the external snapping hip type is most common, where the IT band or gluteus maximus snaps over the greater trochanter of the femur. 

Adopting the principles of Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) can be invaluable in safeguarding against snapping hip and other dance-related injuries. Embracing the philosophy that "the body is forever, and dance isn't," dancers can find a balance between pushing their limits and preserving their physical well-being. Some tips to help include:

Activity Modification 

Being mindful of your movements can go a long way. Try to avoid repetitive actions or extreme ranges of motion that put undue stress on your hip joint. If you notice the snapping increases with certain techniques or positions, take a break and give your body time to recover. 

Muscle Strengthening 

Strengthening the muscles around your hip can provide better support and stability. Concentrate on exercises that enhance your core, gluteal muscles, and hip flexors. Stronger muscles will help maintain proper alignment and reduce the risk of tendons catching over bony structures. 


Stretching is paramount in managing and preventing snapping hip. Incorporate stretches that focus on lengthening the tendons and muscles around your hip, particularly the IT band and hip flexors. This can alleviate the tension that contributes to the snapping sensation. By understanding the mechanics behind snapping hip and integrating these preventative measures into your dance routines, you're setting yourself up for a long and healthy dance career.

Remember, the philosophy of PBT is not just about pushing your limits—it's about dancing smart, respecting your body, and enjoying every step of your dance journey without fear of injury. So, keep dancing, keep smiling, and let's keep those hips happy and healthy!


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