I just wanted to say that I've found this thread very helpful! As someone who is learning myself at home, I'm always on the lookout for instructions on how to do moves properly.

I was using my leg muscles to push my hip up. After reading this thread, I tried something new:
I put 100% of my weight on my standing leg and lifted my "working " leg off the floor completely! I kept it in the correct position for a hip lift, but my foot was actually about 2 cms off the floor. THEN I did the hip lift. I had NO CHOICE but to not use my leg, and to use my hip/torso muscles instead! It feels completely different!

Now that I know what it feels like, I can use the correct muscles!

Thanks for this thread!