Why do my elbows crack so much when I do push-ups?

Bodyweight exercises, like push-ups, are great for building strength and improving your overall fitness. However, if you’ve noticed that your elbows crack or pop a lot when you do push-ups, you may be wondering if there’s something wrong. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at why elbows crack during push-ups and what you can do about it.

The Anatomy of Your Elbows:

To understand why your elbows crack during push-ups, it’s important to know a little bit about the anatomy of your elbows. Your elbows are hinge joints that are made up of three bones: the humerus, the ulna, and the radius. These bones are held together by ligaments, tendons, and muscles, all of which work together to allow your elbow to bend and straighten.

What Causes Elbow Cracking:

There are a few reasons why your elbows might crack or pop during push-ups. One of the most common is simply that the joint is moving in a way that it doesn’t normally do. When you do push-ups, you’re placing a lot of stress on your elbows, and this can cause the ligaments and tendons to move slightly out of position, creating that popping or cracking sensation.

Is Elbow Cracking a Cause for Concern:

In most cases, elbow cracking during push-ups is not a cause for concern. As long as there is no pain or discomfort associated with the cracking, it’s probably just a normal part of the way your body moves. However, if you are experiencing pain or discomfort, or if the cracking is accompanied by other symptoms like swelling or redness, you should see a doctor.

How to Prevent Elbow Cracking:

If you want to avoid elbow cracking during push-ups, there are a few things you can try. First, make sure you warm up properly before you start your workout. This can help to loosen up your joints and reduce the likelihood of cracking or popping. You can also try adjusting your hand position during push-ups to see if that makes a difference.

The Benefits of Bodyweight Exercises:

Despite the potential for elbow cracking, there are many benefits to incorporating bodyweight exercises like push-ups into your workout routine. These exercises are great for building strength, improving your cardiovascular health, and burning calories. They can also be done anywhere, without any equipment, making them a convenient option for people who are short on time or don’t have access to a gym.


In conclusion, elbow cracking during push-ups is a common experience that is generally nothing to worry about. However, if you are experiencing pain or discomfort, or if the cracking is accompanied by other symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention. With the right warm-up and hand positioning, you may be able to reduce the amount of elbow cracking you experience during push-ups, allowing you to reap the many benefits of bodyweight exercises.