Chen Xin (1849 – 1929)
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The Hip Joint and Tai Chi

The Hip Joint and Tai Chi

The purpose of this short article is to describe the normal hip joint (socket), how gravity stress affects it, and how the correct and regular practice of tai chi heals and prevents arthritis of this joint.

The Normal Hip Joint

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint (see photo above).  Within the joint capsule is a fluid (called synovial fluid) that maintains space between the bones and therefore prevents friction between them.  As long as there is a healthy supply of synovial fluid within the joint capsule, the joint remains healthy.

Gravity Effect on Hip Joint

Because the hip joint is a weight bearing joint, the so called “normal” process of aging can lead to a diminished amount of synovial fluid within the joint capsule (i.e.- squeezes the fluid out over a long period of time due to gravity stress).  This reduces the amount of space between the femur head and acetabulum of the pelvis, and causes friction in the joint (i.e.- heat, inflammation, arthritis).  The word arthritis means joint inflammation.  Add to this lack of healthy joint movement (see below) and exercises like running, weight lifting, and many sports which further squeeze the synovial fluid out, and the result can be serious debilitating pain, and eventually maybe looking at hip replacement surgery.

Hip Rotation Exercise

The Hip Rotation Exercise included here ( acts as a pump to restore fresh synovial fluid into the joint capsule.  Practiced regularly (say 10 reps each direction, 3 times a day – requires about one minute) to do… (unless of course you are too busy!)  This will reverse the negative effects of gravity stress and restore the normal hip joint integrity.

Tai Chi: The Good News!

The good news is, when you practice tai chi regularly and correctly, this hip socket rotation motion is happening continuously each time you shift weight and rotate the hip and SINK the chi (i.e.- move by relaxing).

Please try this exercise.  And then cultivate awareness to include this motion within your tai chi practice.

Happy to hear feedback.  Good luck with your training!


  1. […] Normal Hip Joint. Image courtesy of Bacher Tai Chi. […]

  2. […] Normal Hip Joint. Image courtesy of Bacher Tai Chi. […]

  3. Chad Bailey says:

    I just came across your article and when clicking on the YouTube link, a message pops up stating it is unavailable to view. Could you update the link or maybe send the link as a reply? Thank you.

  4. Mary Diamond says:

    I tried to get on to the site for hip rotation exercise but it is saying it’s not available I’m a75 yr old woman with terrible hip pain who approved to try this please help

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