The stability of joint endoprostheses depends on the loading conditions to which the implant-bone complex is exposed. Due to a lack of appropriate muscle force data, less complex loading conditions tend to be considered in vitro. The goal of this study was to develop a load profile that better simulates the in vivo loading conditions of a "typical" total hip replacement patient and considers the interdependence of muscle and joint forces. The development of the load profile was based on a computer model of the lower extremities that has been validated against in vivo data. This model was simplified by grouping functionally similar hip muscles. Muscle and joint contact forces were computed for an average data set of up to four patients throughout walking and stair climbing. The calculated hip contact forces were compared to the average of the in vivo measured forces. The final derived load profile included the forces of up to four muscles at the instances of maximum in vivo hip joint loading during both walking and stair climbing. The hip contact forces differed by less than 10% from the peak in vivo value for a "typical" patient. The derived load profile presented here is the first that is based on validated musculoskeletal analyses and seems achievable in an in vitro test set-up. It should therefore form the basis for further standardisation of pre-clinical testing by providing a more realistic approximation of physiological loading conditions.