This study investigated the association between non-invasive measurements of bone mass and markers of dynamic and static hip joint loads in subjects expected to be at peak bone mass. The bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC) of three proximal femoral sites (neck, greater trochanter, and total) were measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, and the peak external joint moments at the hip during walking and jogging were calculated from gait analyses of 31 normal human subjects ranging in age from 30 to 49 years (18 females, 13 males). Various multiple regression analyses were performed to determine how much of the variance in BMD and BMC was explained by height, body mass, and the peak hip joint moments. In total, the models explained up to 40% of the variance in BMD and 58% of the variance in BMC. Inclusion of height or body mass did not increase the explanatory power of the models for BMD and explained no more than 8% of the total variance in BMC once the joint moments from walking were allowed to enter the models. These data support the hypothesis that variance in peak bone mass is associated with variance in dynamic hip loads largely independent of the effect of static factors such as height and body mass. © 2003 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.