Dancer’s Hip

We use several hip muscles to lift our leg, but the one dancers need to focus on the most is called the psoas. This muscle attaches to the front of our low back bones and passes through your pelvis to attach onto the top of your thigh bone in front of the hip joint. If the muscle is too tight, its tendon may rub making a clicking sound. Repeated rubbing through overuse, lack of proper technique, or stretching the wrong muscles causes inflammation and pain that can radiate to the front of your hip or thigh. Long-standing problems can trigger weakness or even limping. We refer to this as psoas tendinopathy, snapping hip, or dancer’s hip. While it is often overlooked, we diagnose and treat it all the time at our office.

Moves to Avoid

  • Anything that causes your hip to click
  • Anything that causes pain
  • Prolonged sitting
  • Boat pose or ab exercises on your back that lift your legs up

Exercises to Try

  • Psoas stretch
  • Planks and side bridges
  • Crunches with low back on the ground
  • Bum walk

Prevention of Dancer’s Hip

Warm-up your hips- Dynamically warm up your hips by moving them is multiple directions with your knee bent


Hip flexors- Kneel on one knee, with the front leg forward at a 90-degree angle. With your back neutral, tuck under your pelvis. You should feel the stretch on the front of your hip. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times daily

Quadriceps- While standing at the bar, keeping your feet parallel, bend your outside knee into  your outside hand while keeping your knees together. You should feel the stretch on the front of your quad. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times daily

Piriformis- Lying on your back with your knees bent, place one foot flat on the ground while turning out the other and resting that ankle on the knee of the other leg. That hold of the parallel thigh and raise it toward your chest until you feel a stress in the glute of the turned out leg. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times daily

Iliotibial Band- Foam rolling the side of your leg between your hip and your knee is a great way to relax the ITB. You can also roll on the front of your thigh to get your quads and the back to get your hamstrings. 3 times per week

Rest- Be sure to have rest days in your dance schedule so your body has time to repair itself

What Now?

  • Always let your teacher know if you are experiencing pain so they can watch your technique and give you alternative exercises
  • Schedule an appointment with us if your hip pain is worsening, not getting better, hurting even when you are not dancing, or if you are concerned about upcoming performances. We will need to rule out other conditions that could be more serious.

Dancer's Hip