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Hip dip exercises are a set of physical activities aimed at targeting the muscles around the hips and thighs. They can help improve the hip and thigh muscle tone.
The exercises can help reduce the appearance of the natural indentation between the hip bone and the thigh, known as the “hip dip.”
Hip dip exercises are often sought after by those looking to enhance the shape and definition of their lower body.
What are the causes of hip dips?
Hip dips, also known as violin hips or trochanteric depressions, are a natural anatomical feature and not a result of a medical condition or a problem that needs fixing. Instead, they result from the shape and structure of your pelvic bone, muscles, and fat distribution.
Below are some factors contributing to hip dips.
- Bone Structure
The shape of your pelvis and the arrangement of your hip bones contribute to the appearance of hip dips.
Some people naturally have a wider or narrower pelvic structure, which can create variations in hip dips.
- Muscle Development
The development and strength of your hip muscles, particularly the hip abductors and adductors, can affect the appearance of hip dips.
Insufficient muscle development in these areas may lead to a more pronounced dip.
- Fat Distribution
The distribution of subcutaneous (under the skin) fat around the hips and thighs can influence the prominence of hip dips.
Genetics and individual body composition determine where your body stores fat.
Genetic factors help determine your body shape and where you store fat.
Your genetics can influence the natural contours of your hips and thighs, including the appearance of hip dips.
- Ligament Attachments
The attachment points of ligaments and tendons around the hips can also contribute to the appearance of hip dips.
The attachments can create natural curves and contours in the hip area.
It’s essential to understand that hip dips are a common and entirely normal aspect of body variation. They are not a flaw or something that needs correction. Embracing your natural body shape and focusing on general health and fitness is more important than attempting to eliminate hip dips.
Toning or strengthening the muscles around your hips and engaging in targeted exercises can help you achieve a more defined look, but it won’t change your underlying bone structure.
Can Hip Dip Exercises Help Get Rid of Hip Dips?
You cannot completely eliminate hip dips. That is because they are influenced by your bone structure and genetics.
But you can reduce their appearance and improve the muscle tone in the hip dip area through targeted exercises.
Hip dip exercises can help build and strengthen the muscles around the hips and thighs, creating a smoother and more defined look.
- Muscle Development
You can increase muscle size and tone in the hip dip area with exercises that target the hip abductors, adductors, and glutes.
That can make the indentation less noticeable as the muscles become more prominent.
- Fat Loss
Regular exercise, combined with a balanced diet, can help reduce body fat.
As you lose fat, the contours of your hips may appear smoother, making hip dips less noticeable.
- Improved Posture
Exercises that strengthen the core and lower back muscles can improve posture.
That can positively affect the appearance of hip dips.
What are the Best Hip Dip Exercises
Addressing the appearance of the natural indentation known as the “hip dip” typically involves a combination of exercises.
Hip dip exercises should include a variety of movements that target the hip abductors, adductors, and glutes, along with lower body strength and toning workouts.
A well-rounded lower-body workout routine that engages multiple muscle groups around the hips and thighs is often the most effective approach to reducing the prominence of hip dips.
Below are some exercises that can help improve muscle tone in the hip dip area.
Leg Raises with Band
Side Leg Raises are a lower body exercise that targets the hip abductors, particularly the muscles on the outer side of the hip. They are hip dip exercises that can help tone and strengthen the hip area.
Including side leg raise in your lower body workout can help target the hip abductors, helping to create a smoother look in the hip area.
- Loop the resistance band around your ankles.
- Lie on your side with your legs extended and stacked on each other.
- Support your head with your bottom arm, or rest it on your hand.
- Keep your top leg straight and lift it as high as possible without straining.
- Lower your leg back down without letting it touch the bottom one.
- Perform the desired number of repetitions and switch sides.
Standing Side Leg Raises
- Stand tall with your feet together and your hands on your hips or by your sides.
- Shift your weight onto one leg while slightly lifting the opposite foot off the floor.
- Keep the lifted leg straight and raise it to the side as high as possible.
- Lower your leg back down without touching the floor.
- Perform the desired number of repetitions and switch sides.
Monster Walks are a lower body exercise that can help strengthen the muscles in the hips, thighs, and glutes.
Monster Walks can help activate and strengthen the hip abductors and improve hip stability, making them a valuable addition to leg workouts. They are often used in rehabilitation and strength training programs to enhance hip and thigh muscle engagement.
Steps to follow
- Place a resistance band around your legs, just above your knees.
- Stand with your feet at hip-width and maintain a slight bend in your knees.
- Take a step to the side with your right foot, ensuring that your feet remain parallel to each other and hip-width apart.
- Follow with your left foot, taking a step to the right, maintaining tension in the band throughout the movement.
- Continue walking sideways in one direction for 10-15 steps, keeping your knees slightly bent and your posture upright.
- Reverse the movement and walk in the opposite direction after completing the desired number of steps in one direction.
- Perform the exercise for 2-3 sets of 10-15 steps in each direction.
- Monster Walks help activate and strengthen the hip abductors and improve hip stability, making them a valuable addition to leg workouts. They are often used in rehabilitation and strength training programs to enhance hip and thigh muscle engagement.
Resistance Band Sumo Squats
Sumo squats are effective exercises for targeting and strengthening the muscles in the inner thighs, quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
They are excellent hip dip exercises that can contribute to strength and toning in the lower body.
Stand on the resistance band with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart.
Hold the band at shoulder height.
Perform squats while maintaining tension on the band.
Lateral lunges are excellent exercises for targeting and strengthening the muscles in the inner thighs, quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
They can help improve lower body strength, balance, and flexibility, making them a valuable addition to leg-focused workouts.
They target both the inner and outer thighs, helping to engage the muscles in the hip dip area and promoting lower body toning.
Steps to follow
- Stand tall with your feet at hip-width and your hands on your hips or in front of your chest.
- Take a wide step to the side with your right foot, keeping your toes pointed forward or slightly turned out.
- Shift your body weight toward your right foot as you step to the side, bending your right knee while keeping your left leg straight.
- Lower your body into a lunge position on your right side, ensuring your right knee and ankle are aligned and your back straight.
- Push through your right heel to return to your starting position, engaging your inner thigh and glute muscles.
- Repeat the same movement on the left side by stepping out with your left foot and bending your left knee.
- Continue alternating between right and left lateral lunges for 10-15 reps on each side for a set, and aim for 2-3 sets in a session.
Resistance Band Clamshells
Resistance band clamshells are effective exercises for strengthening the hip abductors. They can help improve muscle tone in the hip dip area and reduce the prominence of hip dips, making them good hip dip exercises.
- Place the resistance band around your thighs just above your knees.
- Lie on your side with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your feet together.
- With your feet touching, open your knees against the resistance, then close them back together.
Deadlifts are compound exercises that target the muscles in the posterior chain, including the lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and to some extent, the quads. They are excellent for lower body and posterior chain strength and can help strengthen the muscles on the hips.
Use weights or a loaded barbell to perform the deadlifts, helping to engage the glutes as you lift the weight from the floor.
Bridges are hip dip exercises that target and strengthen the glutes and lower back muscles.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Lift your hips off the floor by squeezing your glutes.
Barbell Hip Thrusts
Barbell Hip Thrusts target and strengthen the glutes and the hip extensors, including the lower back muscles, making them hip dip exercises that can significantly contribute to lower body strength and toning.
To perform the barbell hip thrust, sit on the floor with your upper back against a bench, place a barbell across your hips, and lift your hips by squeezing your glutes.
Inner Thigh Leg Lifts
Inner Thigh Leg Lifts are effective exercises for targeting and strengthening the inner thigh muscles. They can contribute to lower body strength and muscle tone.
Steps to follow
- Lie on your side on a mat or a comfortable surface.
- Extend your bottom arm out in front of you, using it to support your head.
- Bend your bottom leg slightly and keep it in a comfortable position.
- Extend your top leg straight out, keeping it in line with your body.
- Engage your core for stability.
- While keeping your top leg straight and toes pointed forward, lift it as high as you comfortably can without straining.
- Hold the raised position briefly, focusing on squeezing the inner thigh muscles.
- Lower your leg back down under control, but do not let it touch the bottom leg.
- Repeat 10-15 reps on each side for a set and 2-3 sets to complete a session.
Benefits of Hip Dip Exercises
Hip dip exercises offer several potential benefits.
- Muscle Tone and Definition
Hip dip exercises can help target and strengthen the muscles around the hips and thighs.
That can enhance muscle tone and definition in those areas.
- Body Shaping
For some individuals, reducing the appearance of hip dips can create a smoother and more rounded contour along the hips, contributing to an aesthetically pleasing shape.
- Improved Posture and Stability
Many hip dip exercises engage the core and lower back muscles.
That can contribute to better posture and stability.
- Functional Strength
Strengthening the hip and thigh muscles can improve lower body strength, making daily activities like walking, climbing stairs, and lifting easier.
- Injury Prevention
Strong hip and thigh muscles can help stabilize the hip joint.
That can potentially reduce the risk of injuries and strains in the area.
Are Hip Dip Exercises Worth It?
Whether hip dip exercises are “worth it” depends on a person’s goals.
- Body Confidence
If you feel self-conscious about the appearance of hip dips and working on them will boost your self-confidence, then, you may find hip dip exercises worth it.
An improvement in a person’s lower body shape and strength can lead to increased confidence and body satisfaction.
- Strength and Function
Hip dip exercises can help strengthen the muscles around the hips and thighs, which can have functional benefits in terms of stability, balance, and overall lower body strength.
- Overall Fitness
Incorporating hip dip exercises into your fitness regimen can contribute to a well-rounded lower-body workout and help you achieve your fitness goals.
- Personal Goals
They may be worth including in your workout regimen if you have specific aesthetic goals related to your hip area and believe the exercises will help you achieve them.
Best Alternatives to Hip Dip Exercises?
The best alternatives to hip dip exercises are those that target the muscles around the hips, thighs, and glutes, as well as lower body strength and toning.
While these exercises may not specifically eliminate hip dips, they can help improve muscle definition in the hip area and create a smoother look.
Below are some effective alternatives.
Squats are excellent for building strength in the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. Variations like sumo squats can engage the inner thighs.
Lunges target the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and adductors. Side lunges can engage the inner thighs.
Deadlifts work the hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and core, contributing to lower body strength.
Bridges strengthen the glutes, lower back, and hamstrings. They can help improve the shape of the buttocks and hip area.
- Barbell Hip Thrusts
These exercises are excellent for targeting the glutes and hip extensors.
- Leg Press Machine
If you have access to a gym, the leg press machine can target various lower body muscles, including the glutes and thighs.
- Pilates and Yoga
Certain Pilates and yoga exercises focus on core strength, hip stability, and lower body flexibility, which can help improve the appearance of the hip area.
- Cardiovascular Exercise
Engaging in cardio workouts like running, cycling, or swimming can help reduce overall body fat, which can have a positive impact on the appearance of the hips.
Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet can contribute to general fat loss, which can help reveal more muscle definition in the hip area.
Final words from LiveLIfe
For many, the desire to enhance the contours of the hips and minimize the appearance of “hip dips” is a fitness goal worth pursuing.
While it is essential to remember the shape of your hips is largely influenced by your unique bone structure and genetics, incorporating hip dip exercises into your regimen can help strengthen and tone the muscles around your hip area, providing a smoother and more defined look.
- Plisky P., Schwartkopf-Phifer K., 2021. Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Y-Balance Test Lower Quarter: Reliability, Discriminant Validity, and Predictive Validity. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2021 Oct 1;16(5):1190-1209. doi: 10.26603/001c.27634. eCollection 2021.