violin hips also known as hip dips or hip and dips

Hip Dips: What Are They? 8 Best Exercises to Strengthen Your Hips

Do you have violin hips also known as hip dips? 

The internet is suddenly obsessed with the gentle inward curves below the hips—medically known as trochanteric depression.

It’s all over social media. But what does it mean? Is it sexy? Are they a flex? A deformity to the famous hourglass figure?

You’re not the only one searching for “hip dip exercises” or “how to get rid of hip dips” to try and fit the beauty standards.

So, before switching up your lower body exercise routine, or frantically looking for exercises to build a bigger butt, take a breather. 

You’re in the right place to get accurate advice right now.

What Are Hip Dips? What Causes Them?

Hip Dips

Hip dips are naturally occurring, inward curves or indents just below your hips, on the side of your body. Key word: naturally occurring. 

They’re genetic and caused by the shape of your pelvis (hip bone). Like abs, everyone has a hip dip, but they don’t show for everyone—some have a more prominent hip dip than others. 

But while abs don’t show because of belly fat, hip dips mostly won’t show because of genetic bone structure, and a little because of fat and muscle mass.

Are Hip Dips Bad or Normal?

violin hips or Hip and dips

Most people think that hip dips (or a lack of hip dips) demonstrate bad health—either you’re too fat or too skinny with a bone deformity. 

Neither is true. As we’ve already mentioned, the indentation on the side of your hip is nothing more than a product of your bone structure—something that cannot be changed, something completely normal.

Now, although hip dips are not a direct sign of being healthy or unhealthy, if they aren’t showing it could mean that you have a higher fat deposit—which is an indicator that you may not be in the best shape. 

Make sure not to confuse this with the bone structure, though.

Hip Dips vs Love Handles

hip dips vs love handles
hip dips vs love handle image credit: Shutterstock

Love handles are much higher on the body than hip dips. They refer to excess fat on the sides of your abdomen, sometimes called a muffin top.

As opposed to the indents on the side of your hips, love handles do not relate to your anatomy, but instead, they’re often due to excess body fat.

Is it Possible to Get Rid of Hip Dips?

Building muscle mass and losing body fat can help minimize their appearance, but it won’t make them completely disappear. It has to do with our genetics, we must come to terms with that and love our body image. 

Whenever possible, you should focus on exercises for the lower body that target multiple muscle groups (such as squats and lunges) as well as isolation exercises (such as fire hydrants or clams).

It’s important to ensure that you strengthen your entire lower body and not just your glutes. Fitness goes beyond hip dips, too—don’t revolve your life around that.

How to Get Rid of Hip Dips

You don’t need a personal trainer or go to a gym to change your body type. 

The best hip dip exercises that work your hips, thighs, abs, and glutes can be added to your home workout routine to improve your lower body strength and mitigate your hip dips. 

Just remember that no amount of exercise and muscle mass will completely get rid of the appearance of hip dips. 

8 Hip Dip Exercises

With that said, it may be worth trying these different exercises: 

1. Squats

Squats for hip dips

Squats are a great hip dip exercise to work the largest hips and glutes muscles including the gluteus medius. 

They’re great because as a compound exercise for muscle distribution, they target multiple areas like hip muscles, calves, hamstrings, and obliques.

  • As you stand with your feet hip-width apart, bend at the knees to come into a squat position, this time with your knees over your toes and not beyond them.
  • As you stand back up, squeeze your glutes as you push the weight off your heels.

2. Hip abduction

Hip abduction exercise for hip dips

In order for us to stand upright, walk comfortably, and rotate our legs, our hip abductors play a major role. 

Aside from getting a toned and tight backside, hip abduction exercises can also prevent and treat hip and knee pain.

  • Lie on your side and place your top arm in front of your chest to support your upper body.
  • Keep your core and upper body as still and engaged as you can and lift your top leg towards the heavens.
  • Lower back down thereafter – with control – and repeat.

3. Glute bridges

Glute bridges

Glute bridges are a great way to strengthen your core since it activates your stabilizer muscles and targets the buttock area—resulting in more stoned ness. 

It also helps with lower back and knee pain while building a stronger back. Explosive in nature, they can also help you train to sprint faster and jump higher.

  • While lying on your back, bring your heels up the mat so they are a few inches away from your bum, with your knees pointing up.
  • Spread your feet a little wider than shoulder-width, point your toes outward, and bend your knees so that you engage your abductors (side glutes).
  • Push your pelvis up towards the ceiling as you keep your upper back on the floor, and the driving force of your movement will only come from the waist down.
  • Squeeze your glutes once you reach the top and keep them engaged throughout the entire movement. Then lower and repeat.

4. Banded clamshell

Banded clamshell

This kind of exercise (requiring a looped light resistance band) is particularly effective at strengthening the gluteus medius, a muscle positioned on the bottom edge of the buttocks, which is responsible for stabilizing your pelvis—where hip dents occur.

By using clamshell exercises, you will be able to balance the muscular effort in both your inner and outer thighs and pelvic floor.

  • Lay on your side on the ground. Place your head on the arm that is on the ground. As you begin the exercise, slowly move your hips to a 45-degree angle and your knees to a 90-degree angle.
  • Keep your feet together while pushing your top knee away from your bottom knee.
  • When you reach the top of the move, clench your glutes and abs and return to the ground. Then repeat.

5. Fire hydrants

Fire hydrants

The next exercise is Fire hydrants, which involve all three movements, so it’s a good glute exercise. 

It can give your glutes a more toned and sculpted appearance as well as improve your posture, making you less prone to injury, and reducing back and knee pain.

  • Start on all-fours in a tabletop position, ensure your core is engaged and your back stays straight.
  • Keeping your legs at a 90-degree angle, raise one leg until it is in line with your hip. Drive the leg up with the knee, and ensure the foot and the knee are in line throughout the whole movement.
  • Engage both glute muscles to ensure the hips stay square and centered.
  • If you feel too much movement through your upper body, bring your hands slightly to one side (the side of the planted leg) for more stability. Repeat.

6. Leg kickbacks with band or ankle weights

Leg kickbacks with ankle weights/ resistance band

Strengthen your glutes, hamstrings, and hips with glute kickback lunges. 

Exercises like these are great for improving your range of motion, strengthening your core and lower back, and toning your glutes—especially with weights that will increase intensity and explosiveness.

  • On your mat, get down on all fours. Extend your left leg behind you straight.
  • As you swing your right leg behind and across your left leg, you should move in an arc motion. 
  • Afterward, sweep it backwards into a lateral position with your left hip. Return to the center and repeat with the other leg. 

7. Side lunges

Side lunges for hip dips

By performing lateral lunges, you develop balance, stability, and strength. Inner and outer thighs are worked and they may even reduce the appearance of cellulite (subcutaneous fat causing dimpling of the skin). 

In contrast to your body’s normal forward or twisting motions, the side leg lifts train your body to move side-to-side. 

You can also hold a dumbbell in your hands for added resistance. 

  • Engage your core when you’re standing at the top of your mat. Then, lunge laterally while keeping your back flat and your bum out behind you.
  • Repeat by pushing through the heel of your lunging foot.

8. Side curtsy lunges

Side curtsy lunges

The next exercise is curtsy lunges. They are perfect for building strength and stability in the lower body. 

As a stabilizing muscle, the gluteus medius is an essential stabilizer during movements and workouts. Sadly, it’s not targeted in many squats or lunges, so its strengthening is often overlooked.

  • When you’re standing with your feet hip-width apart, lunge backward, crossing the leg you’re lunging over to the opposite side. You’ll be in the deep curtsy position.
  • As you return to your starting position, drive through the heel of your front foot. Keep doing this again.

Putting It All Together: Simple Hip Dip Workout Routines

For those who prefer to have their lower body workout created for them (we do too!), here are two easy hip dip area routines to do at home to help your body shape. 

For best results, you should strengthen your glutes and legs twice a week.

By engaging some of the biggest muscles in your lower body, you can develop some lean muscles that change your hip shape and total body structure over time.

Hip Dip Workout

Perform this hip dip workout 2-3 times a week.

Workout Routine 1:

  • Banded Clamshell: 2-3 sets and 10-12 reps/side
  • Glute bridges: 2-3 sets and 10-12 reps
  • Squats: 2-3 sets and 10-12 reps
  • Side curtsy lunges: 2-3 sets and 10-12 reps/side

Workout Routine 2:

  • Fire hydrants: 3 sets and 15 reps/side
  • Side lunges: 3 sets and 10-15 reps/side
  • Leg kickbacks with ankle weights: 3 sets and 15 reps/side
  • Side lunges: 3 sets and 12 reps/side

Parting Words

All-in-all, hip dips aren’t a health concern. You don’t need to fret about changing them since they’re just as much a part of you like your nose. 

However, if you have noticeable hip dips and they’re really a bother, then you can try the exercises listed in this article to build muscle mass and mitigate the shape, as well as lead a healthy lifestyle—the most important goal, for anyone.

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