How To Avoid Hip Replacements By Activating Your “Forgotten” Deep Hip Muscles

How the "deep hip hammock" actually makes more space in your hip!" (video below)

How the “deep hip hammock” actually makes more space in your hip!” (video below)

I’ve got a question for you…

What’s the #1 most common joint that degenerates to the point of needing a full replacement?

You got it!

It’s your HIPS!

Let’s try to avoid that, shall we?

To help you out…today on Core Wellness TV I show you how to activate your “inner spiral” that starts from the 3 pillars of your feet and organically activates your “deep hip hammock” to actually create more space in your hip joints!

And that’s a real good thing 🙂

In the below “Whiteboard” episode (please excuse the artwork!), I also share:

  • My simple “come back long” test for finding problems with hip rotation that you can do at home, too.
  • One trick I use in the office and with CWI students to “re-activate” your important deep hip rotators.
  • When “glute squeezing” can be detrimental (especially during walking).
  • How to use your deep hip muscles to actually propel you along with a vibrant and youthful walking pattern. (and avoid the “nursing home shuffle” where you end up “pulling yourself along”

This is full on critically important training for you.

Watch, learn, implement, and of course…share!

Your hips and the hips of everyone you know will thank you.

Have an awesome weekend!

Dr. Steve

P.S.  If you would like me to help you personally, I am currently still including 90 days of direct access to my premium coaching program when you enroll in the Core Wellness Institute training course! 

Complete the form below to learn more.



  1. I can feel those little muscles. How does one make them stronger.
    additionally, my patellar on the left knee is pulled to the inside. I have been trying to strengthen the outside quad to pull it over. Have any suggestions? Thanks.

    • Just keep pushing away, Stephanie! One leg balance without glute squeezing will help, too.

      The patella question unfortunately is too difficult to answer without lots more information and conversation beyond the scope of a blog comment. Hope you understand.

      Could be coming from foot dysfunction or hip dysfunction. Not just quad weakness.

      Seek out a good chiro or pt who knows biomechanics.

      • Help I am to the point of a wheelchair. no joke. 4 years ago i injured my back. pt 4 times got worse started to limp. rt leg. i do have 2 bulging discs 4-5 l and s1 then last mri have 2 annular tears too. but my right hip started hurting really bad waiting for this mri now. but i cant walk just a little then severe pain comes. if they dont do something im afraid i will over dose trying to kill the pain. so bad. it s really scarry cause my upper body is shot so wheel chair it is. i have done pt alittle at home. with little results. i am going to try what you said now. ill see.

  2. Very timely Dr. Steve! I’ve been nursing a hurt hip or glute for weeks! I don’t know if this is the fix but I’m going to try! But not too hard.

  3. one comment about the possible affect of conventional shoe that re position our bodies unnaturally. i have found that by spending more time barefoot and in shoes with a flexible flat sole I have been able to grow stronger and more balanced. could our footwear be creating some of our physical imbalances? you always recomend taking your shoe off to find our balance point, I imagine that the three pillars would be hard to find in a pair of two inch heels!!!!



    • Absolutely Nancy…shoes have a LOT to do with all our dysfunction. You have to be able to feel the contact of your feet and move the 24 bones freely.

      That way they can give your brain much needed information about which muscles should fire when to give you good balance and easy, efficient movement.

      • Sorry for my longer earlier post. I’m now working with a personal trainer at my gym. Very helpful. Problem: I had lumbar spine surgery in ’08 – removed an entire disc – fixed the sciatica but I woke up with numb hurting feet.

        We are working on balance exercises – great timing. My right foot especially has virtually zero feeling or sense of its own movement. We are trying to rewrite my brain to my foot just by DOING IT, finding spots that let me balance. I’m also trying to add your stabilizing core breathing just when I let go of whatever I use to keep me stable before letting go. Any further thoughts. Wondering if getting a weekly massage of the foot/feet/legsight help? Thanks so much – you’re terrific


  4. Dear Dr. Steve, I can feel the spiral effect of the hip, but at the same time my legs are rotating and turning outwards (the knees now pointing sideways about 45 degree), while my feet are still grounded and straight. This doesnt look functional …

    • Hi Daniel, you’re working way to hard. Your knee may naturally shift laterally a bit but I should not be dramatic.

      The most important thing to discover is how your pelvis lifts slightly and the energy of the spiral should continue through your upper body as well.

  5. you just sent a 2nd email/video follow up to the above this morning and I mistakenly hit DELETE. Could you please send that one to me again? Thanks so much,

    PS I just hired a personal trainer at the gym for 5 sessions – to help me regain strength and “find my core” under the 60 pounds of blubber I’ve put on since my mom died – though a bunch of it might very well be lymph and/or water weight from the Lyrica I take (numb painful feet, not diabetic, it began after I had lower spine surgery to remove whatever was lying atop my sciatic nerve – successful as to that, but then created the numb hurting feet problem).

    My mother and hers before her also had lymph-y feet, ankles, legs – hereditary? My mom used one of those pumps for a while, a year or more, which helped. Then she began to lose weight and that improved things.

    Any thoughts, suggestions? None of my drs take responsibility for the lymph. The GP says I have to ask the pain dr who prescribes the Lyrica what its from and what to do (the pain dr says if it bothers me, they have no answers except I should stop taking it – lately I’ve been weaning off of it and using Neurontin instead, at a 1/2 and 1/2 point now). The pain dr says to ask the PCP. The PCP says she has no answers. HUH? Don’t you get this because something in your body isn’t pumping out the lymph or liquids adequately, like either your heart or your kidney? Shouldn’t they be able to run a test or tests to indicate what’s going wrong leading to liquid or lymph build up?

    I know you’re not an MD (all the better, I often think) but would massage once a week (I know they call it lymphatic drainage) help? Couldn’t hurt, right?

    Meanwhile, I await video #2 – or is it #3 – thanks so much



    • That’s a bit too complex to touch in a blog reply, Diane.

      What pumps the lymph is diaphragmatic breathing and exercise. Opening up the chest helps a lot as well.

      Do a search for “institute for functional medicine” and do a practitioner search there for someone who can evaluate you considering all systems together.

      Good luck to you.


  6. Hey Dr. Steve, this video helped to understand another piece of my hip problem puzzle. Do you know of anyone in the Treasure Coast area of Florida who is as enthusiastic and knowledgeable in this functional approach as you are? I’ve been thru 6 chiropractors with the same problem, but none have the approach u take, which I think is what I need. And the worse part is when they say “well that’s how u are and what u have to deal with, everyone deals with something”… but I can’t seem to buy that… thank u for listening!

    • search “rehab 2 performance” for a practitioner

      search “ for a practitioner

      search “active release technique”

      search “selective functional movement assessement” for practitioners

      pick the overlaps or the one that feels right when you visit their site or call them.

      hope that helps.

      • Yes I found someone who seems to have great reviews. Thank u for telling me how to search. I will call tomorrow for an appointment! I am excited since it seems to be what I need! Thank u again!!!😊

          • Yes, he is great! Just through a functional test he was able to detect all my symptoms. So it turns out my left psoas and QL muscles formed adhesions together and I was moving from my back instead of my hip. So we are working on it with exercises and muscle release techniques. He seems very hopeful, knowledgeable, and very confident (not cocky) about his approach and the solution to my hip problem! Thank u for pointing the way!

  7. Thanks for your video on the deep hip muscles and hip flexibility.
    How effective is your best hip exercise for folk whose hips have been replaced?
    I notice those folk have difficulty in standing erect.


    • If the surgery was done with a “Posterior” approach, where they cut these deep rotator muscles, it will be a bit more difficult to access their best function after surgery. But some surgeons are taking more care to tag them and re-attach them individually which will likely create a better chance at rehabbing them to get the “lift” back.

      If the surgery was an anterior approach, there’s no reason why you can’t re-access the muscular “hammock” to create the lift during rehab and beyond.

  8. When you take a forward step with your hand on the ball of the hip, should you feel the hip joint rotate slightly outward? My left hip (the one that does not hurt) rotates a little. My right hip seems to rotate out laterally to the right when I step with my right foot forward. What’s going on?

  9. On the video ‘ how to activate your deep hip muscles, I don’t quite understand. Are you basically saying to engage your core, basically all the time, with all your movements?

  10. Dr. Steve-

    As a result of osteoarthritis in the right hip, my ability to hike without pain has been reduced from 8 hours to less than 2 hours. I cannot do the warrior poses well any more where my inner right groin area is involved. have been informed that I am a legitimate candidate for hip replacement [i.e. UCLA can get insurance to pay for the operation]. I am not at ease with the idea of the operation for fear of losing mobility permanently because although I am 70, I have the capacity of someone much younger.

    I joined Core Wellness when I broke my pubic bones; and as a result over the last several years I have improved my posture exponentially.

    Now I would like your help to assess the need for a hip replacement and the likelihood of stem cell therapy to take care of the problem. What is the cost for that assessment and advisement and how do we go about it.

    Thanks so much- Jackie Levy 310-490-6075

    • There’s different kinds but fixing lower crossed syndrome is first and getting proper activity of hip extension while calming down psoas and rectus femoris overactivity.

      glute bridge plus proper push away lunge (as found in fundamental series when you sign up here on the blog) are the basics of doing that….but you have to also have good intra abdominal pressure / core awareness for anything to stick.

      Lots of causes, though. Do searches with those terms here on the blog and consider the full training and coaching program when it reopens.

  11. I am recommended a right hip replacement due to arthritis. Can your deep muscle rotation help? For how long it should be practiced?

  12. Hi,

    I used to run for my county (that would be equivalent of representing a state in USA) before I joined the British Army, I ran with weight, over time my back hurt, no one listened, it became worse now I need spinal fusion, I’m 37 and have L5/S1 facet joint deterioration. i’m still very active (because I do alot of functional movement exercises) and exercise regularly while still serving in the British Army but my hips ‘niggle’ and I’m unable to run as a result. I’ve been doing your kind of exercise for some time but am unable to sustain it therefore fall back into my ‘old posture’. I’ve seen so many physios, chiropractors etc no one can help. I am a keen, enthusiastic learner/listener whom is at her wits end. I feel like my glute medius and minimus do not active but no physio will listen to me, they know best apparently and no patient can tell them. I’m not a difficult person but after 16 years of pain and not being able to run without pain, its extremely frustrating and disheartening. Do you have a clinic in England/Ireland?

    I need help, please!

  13. Steve,

    I went from a life time runner to a walker. Not by choice:{ Therapists tell me my right hip is all jacked up, but no one has been able to fix me. When I run my hips rotate to the left and I have a hard time extending my left leg. Also get calf strains Right leg. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Do you know anyone close to Tucson, AZ that is Good at working on this. Thanks for your time.


  14. I liked your video very much. What if we have hip dysplasia what would be the excercise neccesary to avoid eventually hip replacemnet ?

  15. My question is I have my right hip is lower than my left and over the years the cartilage has worn out and hurts when I step wrong and has arthritis. What can I do to even my hip joints back out ??


  16. Hi,

    I watched your youtube video and really liked it.

    I have almost lost 80% of my mobility and balance slowly over last 10 years. My big toe in the left left doesn’t support me anymore and I can’t push on it. Until 2 years ago, I could stand on my left toe but not any more. My left hip is extremely unstable. My left thigh trembles when I walk and my left knee also gives in sometime. I am scared of putting weight on this leg and can’t walk stably anymore. How can I get some strength in my big toe again to help me push forward when I walk?

    Thanks. Anita

  17. Hi my nam is Mihai(Michael), i was wondering if and how can i use some of these exercises in water? Like in a hydrotherapy?

Leave a Reply