What Are Hip Dips? Understanding Your Natural Body Shape and Learning Exercises

There’s no shortage of flaws for corporations to point out to make you feel insecure about your body. It seems that hip dips have become the latest social media trend to hate on, following other fabricated phenomenons like the thigh gap that consumed the 2010s.

But what are hip dips? Are they even a bad thing? How do they occur? And are there workouts out there to get rid of them?

Let’s talk about all things hip dips.

What Are Hip Dips?

If you want to get technical, here’s the official definition of hip dips from Dr. Rekha Tailor, the medical director and founder of Health and Aesthetics: ”hip dips” is simply a “colloquial term that is given to the inward depression—or curve—along the side of your body, just below the hip bone.” People who don’t use the scientific term “trochanteric depressions” call them violin hips or hip dips.

Where Do Hip Dips Come From?

Like almost every other body feature we’re taught to hate, hip dips come from genetics. It’s all about your bone placement. If your hip bone sits higher than your femur, the surrounding fat and muscle cave inward. The skeletal structure of your pelvis in relation to the width of your hips will determine just how prominent these hip dips are.

It isn’t a sign that you’re overweight or out of shape.

In fact, it could be a sign that you’re extremely strong and fit. Depending on your workout and glute strength, your muscle in that area could create a more pronounced hip dip. In fact, some of the greatest athletes in the world have prominent hip dips.

So why exactly are you letting some internet trend dictate how you feel about a naturally occurring body part?

Hip Dips vs Love Handles

Hip dips are different from love handles: another part of our body we’re forced to focus on. Love handles are situated higher than hip dips at the abdomen level, right at your waist line. While love handles can become larger due to fat deposits, genetics also play a role in their development. Some people are just genetically predisposed to carry body fat in that area, even if they aren’t overweight.

How to Get Rid of Hip Dips

There’s no reason to feel self-conscious about a naturally-occuring part of your body. However, if you decide that’s a part of your body you’d like to focus on, there are certain workouts you could try to reduce their size a bit.

Regardless of how much they work out, some people will never be able to get rid of them. That’s just the way their body is built. Sometimes, exercising will increase their prominence, depending on the type of strength you’re working to achieve. Dancers can have some really beautiful hip dips based on all the exercises they do to strengthen their legs. An incredible amount of skill and fitness is required to become a professional dancer, so hip dips are clearly not a sign of weakness.

If you’d like to try to diminish your hip dips, here are a few exercises you could try.

But remember: the only person you should change for is you.

Hip Dip Workout

If you want to incorporate some exercises into your workout routine that could minimize the appearance of hip hips, here are a few you could try that don’t require a personal trainer.

1. Squats

Want to get some strong legs (and a great butt at the same time)? Squats are the way to go.

To properly perform a squat:

  1. Stand with your feet apart, each foot directly under your hips.
  2. Slowly pretend you’re sitting in a chair, inhaling and holding your core tight as you lower your butt towards the ground.
  3. Make sure you keep your weight in your heels (not your toes!) and keep that core engaged.
  4. Exhale as you stand, pressing your feet into the floor.

2. Clam Lifts

If you love exercises that require laying down, this one’s for you. You’ll focus on your hip area, your glutes, and your pelvic muscles. This will improve your hip abduction, along with exercises like fire hydrants.

  1. Lie down on the ground on your side. Have your knees bent at a 90 degree angle, stacked on top of each other.
  2. Lift your top knee 45 degrees while pressing your feet together.
  3. Use your core as you lift that leg and bring it back down.
  4. Switch sides to get both legs equally after around 10 reps.

If you want to add an additional challenge for yourself, consider using a resistance strap (like in the photo above).

3. Lunges

If you want to work on toning glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves while building muscle, it’s time to lunge.

  1. Stand up straight.
  2. Lift your right foot in front of you, stepping down, keeping your left leg in place.
  3. Then, lower your left knee to the floor.
  4. Keep your right foot flat on the floor, and have your heel lifted on the left foot.
  5. Push down on the front heel and squeeze those glutes as you return to standing.
  6. Make sure you do equal reps on both sides after returning to the starting position.

If you want an alternative, try out curtsy lunges.

Hip Dips Aren’t a Bad Thing

For some people, no amount of exercise will get rid of hip dips. In some cases, building muscle mass could increase them.

At the end of the day, all that matters is that you’re happy and healthy. If you personally do not like the appearance of hip dips, then by all means, try out exercises that work to reduce them. But if you’re doing it to please someone else? Reflect on why you think you need to change for them. Don’t decide what your body should look like based on what you see on social media. Be your own kind of beautiful, and if that involves hip dips, strut them with pride.

Published in Featured Articles, Health
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Author, Artist, Photographer.

Sarah Margaret is an artist who expresses her love for feminism, equality, and justice through a variety of mediums: photography, filmmaking, poetry, illustration, song, acting, and of course, writing.

She owns Still Poetry Photography, a company that showcases her passion for capturing poetic moments in time. Instead of poetry in motion, she captures visual poetry in fractions of a second, making cherished keepsakes of unforgettable moments.

She is the artist behind the Still Poetry Etsy shop, which houses her illustrations and bespoke, handmade items. She is the author of intricacies are just cracks in the wall, a narrative poetry anthology that follows a young woman discovering herself as she emerges from an abusive relationship.