Do you have hip dips and want to know how to get rid of them?
You are in the right place.
After reading this post, you’ll learn:
- What are hip dips,
- What causes them, and
- 9 effective exercises to help you get rounder hips
Alright, let’s get started.
Although I am a doctor, I am not your doctor. This information is for informational purposes only and should not substitute the advice from your healthcare professional. All kinds of exercise and dietary changes are potentially dangerous, and those who do not seek counsel from the appropriate health care authority assume the liability of any injury which may occur. Please read my full Disclaimer for more information. Also, this post may contain affiliate links: meaning I may receive a commission if you use them.
Ok, moving on.
What Are Hip Dips?
Hip dips are indentations that are seen along the side of your body, right underneath your hip bone.
Basically, they are inward curves on the side of your hips that can be seen from the front.
Some have even called them hip dents, or “violin hips” as the indentations resemble the shape of a violin.
They are also responsible for giving the appearance of curvier hips.
As you can see, I also have them.
Are Hip Dips Bad?
Hip dips aren’t good or bad. They are simply a reflection of your anatomy.
Everyone’s body shape is unique. Your bones and pelvis are shaped differently than mine and mine are different from my sisters.
We are often fed propaganda that women need to have a perfectly symmetrical “hourglass figure.” This is nonsense, and most of us simply don’t look like that.
We are all beautiful, with or without hip dips.
So please, do not worry!
What Causes Them?
There is no one specific thing that causes hip dips. They are primarily due to your body type, your anatomic makeup, and your body fat distribution.
As I said before, your pelvis, your hip muscles, and your body structure are unique to you. Therefore, you may or may not have prominent hip dips.
With that said, women with “high hips” are more likely to have more noticeable hip dips.
That’s because the distance between your hip bone and your thigh bone is longer – creating more opportunity for a crease to form in the hip area.
Is It Truly Possible To Get Rid Of Hip Dips?
Unfortunately, you may not be able to get rid of hip dips completely. You cannot significantly change your anatomy.
With that said, there are two things you can do to minimize their prominence.
- Perform exercises to develop and strengthen the muscle groups around your hips.
- Lower your body weight/body fat level if you are overweight. Weight loss may or may not help – but maintaining a normal body fat level is always a good thing.
As simple as this sounds, diet and exercise is usually the best answer to most things :).
Now, what exercises should you do?
I’m glad you asked.
The Best Hip Dip Exercises You Can Do From Home
Okay now let’s get to the exercises.
Remember, these exercises will help develop and strengthen the muscles in your lower body. As a result, they will likely change the way your hips look but may not completely eliminate hip dips.
With that said, developing your lower body can help create an appealing look to the muscles around your hips.
- The Glutes (which includes the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius),
- The Outer thighs, and
- The Inner thighs.
The effectiveness of all these exercises can be increased with the use of Hip Resistance bands (which you can get here).
Squats are one of the best exercises of all time. They train a functional movement pattern and are the best way to develop your thighs and your glutes. They strengthen the quadriceps and the adductors (inner thighs).
You can do squats with:
- your bodyweight
- using external resistance (dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells)
- with hip resistance bands
- both external resistance and a hip resistance band
Here is how to do it:
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Point your toes out, approximately 15-30 degrees.
- Brace your core and squeeze your glutes before starting.
- Begin the squat by bending at the hips and the knees at the same time.
- Push your butt slightly back as if you are sitting on a chair that’s behind you.
- As you descend, keep your back flat, and your heels completely flat on the floor.
- Also, make sure that you don’t let your knees collapse inward.
- After you reach a depth that brings your upper thighs parallel to the floor, reverse the movement by keeping your core tight and your back flat.
- As you reach the top, squeeze your butt muscles to finish the movement.
The next exercise is the curtsy lunge. This exercise adds a twist to the normal lunge by making you cross your leg behind your body.
This angle will help target the gluteus medius muscles more, as well as your inner thighs.
You can hold onto a dumbbell to make this movement harder.
Here’s how to do it:
- Stand with your feet together and hands by your waist or up to your chest. (To make it even more challenging, you can hold a dumbbell up by your chest).
- From here, begin stepping back with your left leg.
- Before placing your foot down, begin crossing it back behind your right leg.
- Keep your toes pointing forward.
- When you plant your foot, begin bending down with both knees.
- You do not have to let your knee touch the floor to make this movement effective.
- Hold the bottom position for a 1 count, and then reverse the movement back to the starting position.
Curtsy Step Downs
The curtsy step down is similar to the curtsy lunge, but it increases the range of motion- making your glutes and thighs work harder.
You can hold onto a dumbbell to make this movement harder.
Here’s how to do it.
- Stand on top of a bench or a sturdy platform that can support your full weight.
- From here brace your core and keep your glutes squeezed.
- Begin stepping down your left leg off the platform so that it crosses behind your right leg.
- Do this in a controlled manner, bending your front knee slowly (the one that is still on the bench).
- Once the bottom foot touches the ground, reverse the movement and bring both feet back up on the platform.
- Do all the repetitions on one side before moving on to the other side.
Banded Lateral Walks
This next exercise is one of my favorites. The banded lateral walk is one of the best ways to activate the gluteus medius muscle. This muscle group is important for abducting (lifting away from the body), and externally rotating (rotating away from the body) your legs.
To do it, you will need a hip/glute resistance band.
- Place a medium strength hip resistance band around your legs, at the level of your knees.
- Next, assume a comfortable stance with your knees bent, your feet shoulder width apart, and toes pointing forward.
- Be sure to keep your core engaged and your chest up.
- From here, begin stepping out laterally without changing the orientation of your feet.
- Slowly, step your other leg back to the center to get back to the starting position.
- Continue walking laterally for the desired number of repetitions.
- Finish all the reps on one side before moving on to the next side.
The next exercise is the banded clamshell. This exercise also strengthens the gluteus medius (and minimus) by training external rotation.
This exercise works great with a light resistance band.
- Lie on your side with a light resistance band around your legs at the level of your knees.
- Then, bend your knees and stack your feet on top of each other.
- From here, all you are going to do is rotate your top knee up toward the sky while keeping your heels together.
- You should feel a nice burn on your buttock muscles.
- Pause for 1 second and then repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Side Lying Banded Leg Lifts
The side lying banded leg lift is similar to the previous two exercises. It focuses on strengthening the glute muscles via hip abduction.
Again, having a glute resistance band will make this exercise more beneficial.
- Lie on your side with a light resistance band around your legs just above your knees, or lower, around your ankles to make the exercise more difficult.
- Keep your legs straight and your feet stacked on top of each other.
- Next, all you have to do is lift your top leg straight up toward the sky.
- Make sure to keep your feet pointing straight throughout the exercise.
- Pause for 1 second and then repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
- Repeat on your other leg.
Fire hydrants are another great exercise to strengthen the glutes as well as improve you hip mobility and core stability.
*Adding ankle weights to this exercise will increase the benefits of this movement.*
- Get into a quadruped position, (on your hands and knees with your back flat).
- Next, brace your core and try to maintain a flat back throughout the entire movement.
- Lift one leg off the ground, and rotate that hip out directly to your side while keeping your knee bent.
- From here, draw a big circle with your knee, keeping your core engaged and your back flat.
- Draw a big circle going forward for the desired number of repetitions, and then again going backward.
- Be sure to train both sides evenly.
I have saved the best exercise for last. The glute bridge is single handedly one of the best exercises for strengthening the butt as well as the core.
Plus, this exercise can be modified to much harder progressions. That way, you can find a variation that works for your skill level.
In this picture below, I’m using the hip resistance band to bias the lateral hip muscles more.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
- From here, posteriorly tilt your pelvis so that your lower back is completely flat against the floor.
- Next, squeeze your glutes hard so that your hips extend.
- Don’t extend too far – you don’t want your lower back to arch.
- Hold the top position for 3-5 seconds, and then slowly release.
- To make this exercise challenging, you can do one leg at a time and/or elevate your feet on a chair.
Another variation of the glute bridge is the hip thrust. Some experts say this is the best glute exercise ever!
You will need a bench or a couch to do it.
This is what it looks like.
Add a hip resistance band around your knees to get the best results.
A Simple Hip Dip Workout Routine
I am a big proponent of strength training. When you train for strength, you get all the benefits exercise has to offer which includes
- lean muscle mass development,
- increased basal metabolic rate,
- stronger bones and joints, and
- improved confidence!
Here is a simple 20-minute workout routine you can do twice per week to begin strengthening and developing your hips and glutes.
|Banded Clamshell||3||12-15 each|
|Fire Hydrants||3||10-12 each|
|Curtsy Lunge||3||10-12 each|
|Side Lying Leg Lifts||3||10-12 each|
And if you want to see a complete glute and lower body workout designed for postpartum women, check out my 6 Week Leg & Booty Guide!
Can You Lose Hip Dips Without Exercise?
Some women choose to “hide” hip dips, simply by wearing looser clothing.
This includes, skirts, high waisted pants, and dresses.
Hip Dip Surgery
If your hip dips are causing you a lot of distress – you can consider hip dip surgery.
This is a procedure where fat Is taken from another part of your body and re-located near your outer thighs – in an area known as the trochanter.
There have been reports that your body could ultimately redistribute that fat, making the surgery temporary.
I generally don’t recommend this, as hip dips are natural, and you are still beautiful with or without them!
Are Hip Dips Attractive?
Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. Some people find them attractive, while others find them unappealing.
I personally don’t mind mine!
I don’t care if you have wider hips, curvier, hips, or rounder hips – you are still beautiful!
Hip Dips Vs Love Handles – What’s The Difference?
Love handles refers to excess fat that is located on the sides of your abdomen. They are much higher than hip dips.
Unlike hip dips, love handles are not due to your anatomy. They are often due to excess body fat.
I have an entire post on what love handles are, and strategies on how to get rid of them!
Are Hip Dips and Saddle Bags The Same?
Hip dips and saddle bags are not the same. Saddlebags refer to excess fat deposits located on your outer thighs, below the area where hip dips are located.
Saddlebags are also caused by excess body fat, and exercise can potentially help you get rid of them.
I also have an entire post on everything you need to know about saddlebags.
Final Words On Getting Rounder Hips
So beautiful momma, which camp are you in?
What kind of hip bone structure do you have?
Did this article make you like your hip dips more?
Or do you want to do whatever it takes to get rid of them?
Leave me a comment and let me know!
Related Posts On Hip Exercises
- The Best Inner Thigh Exercises For Pregnancy [& Postpartum]
- The Best Exercise To Get Rid of SaddleBags Postpartum [The Truth]
- The Best Underbutt Isolation Exercises (Target The Bum Crease)
Get Started With A Free Postpartum Workout Plan To Rebuild Your Pelvic Floor, Heal Your Mommy Tummy, & Tone Your Arms & Legs!
Brittany N Robles, MD, MPH, CPT
Brittany N Robles is a full-time OBGYN, a NASM certified personal trainer, and health & fitness expert. She holds a Masters of Public Health degree in maternal health with a special interest in exercise and nutrition. She is also the co-author of The White Coat Trainer. Learn more about her here.
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