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Question: Why does my sternum click? it also hurts when i do chest exercises.

Asked by aaronbryans

7 answers

Work out in the gym a lot lifting weights, my aim is to get more lean muscle but this is delaying my progress.

I never used to have this problem but i've had it now for about 6 months... every now and then i can feel pressure build up and i have to push my chest out and pull my shoulders back to make it click then the pain goes.

Chiropractic, Sports Massage, Osteopathy, Deep Tissue Massage, Physiotherapy

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Can you help out?

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Top Answer – As rated by the community


I would try the Bowen Technique to help release the fascia and restore balance to the body


Other answers (6)


It sounds very much like its excessive strain due to your weight training. If the sound is a type of popping this is usually associated with ligaments or tendons 'snapping' or sometimes gasses that build up from the fluid of the sternocostal joints (these are the small cartilage type joints that attach the rib to the sternum). When you stretch your chest you effectively release the gasses or snap the ligaments/tendons and this will ease the pain.

It's not usually a serious problem but if the joint becomes inflamed it may restrict your training. I would have a word with a qualified instructor at your gym who will advise you on the best course of action. They may advise you to vary your routine to avoid putting this particular area under too much strain. I assume you rest the muscles for at least twenty four hours after your workout as this is the time the muscle 'grows' - not when ou are actually working out!

Apart from that just eat the right foods and keep your fluid levels up.

Hope this helps

MMC Holistic Therapies



I would echo the responses of your earlier replies - it's definitely worth seeing an Osteopath, Chiropractor or Physiotherapist. Good luck!



do you stretch after your weight lifting?
have you been under pressure lately?
do you tend to bottle up emotions?


The sternum is the part of our body's bone structure which is most prone to drying out and deterioration in later years in life. There is little we can do about it, except to keep a healthy balanced lifestyle as much as possible and keep hydrated when exercising.
Yoga - with it's stretching and chest 'opening' postures might be a suggestion. If you have never done yoga before, try a gentle beginners classes such as Hatha yoga or Iyengar yoga. Stay away from power yoga or astanga or other forms of 'flow' or 'power' yogas unless you are familiar with yoga and know what you are doing. Yoga will also give you a more lean muscle build and use and tone your muscles naturally rather than stressfully pumping up at the gym. Also if you ask a yoga teacher, they can probably help to guide you through postures which are good for opening the chest, which sounds like what you need. Anyway, yoga is good for overall health and wellbeing. It seems to me that you wish to stay active, so maybe give it a try.............good luck!


Your sternum may be hurting for various reasons, this is dependent on
various things you may have:

1. A rib problem
2. muscular/ fascia tension
3. anxiety/stress related

It would be advisable to have someone have a look at it to avoid it
getting worse.

Best Wishes,

Health & Harmony


I would suggest your first port of call is a chiropractor.

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