Got hip dips?
Don’t like them, or want to reduce the look of them?
(I’m assuming the answer to this question is a yes, otherwise why are you reading this post? 😛 )
As a female with some pretty prominent hip dips (that I’m still struggling to like the look of), the goal of reducing my hip dips is only a natural thought for me.
That’s why I’m covering the best exercises you can do for reducing hip dips in this post.
Hip Dips = Love Your Body!
I was pretty glad to find out that since I wrote this post explaining what hip dips are that the awareness around this ‘body feature’ had seemed to go through the roof (apparently thanks to it going viral on instagram!).
Cue a bunch of people becoming more aware of the shape of their hips and bum area, and even a lot of support for hip-dips.
I’m really glad about the body-positive movement this spiked. And I hope it’s obvious by now that I don’t in any way think that having hip dips is a bad thing.
But I Still Want to Get Rid of My Hip Dips!!
Personally, though? Despite all of the above hip dip love, I still don’t like my hip dips!
Yeah, I’ll begrudgingly accept them as ‘normal’, and I don’t hate my body or self because of them anymore, but that doesn’t mean that I personally like the look of them on my body.
I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to get rid of or fix my hip dips, so this post is for anyone like me who doesn’t want to accept their hip dips fully without a fight!
I ‘m not advocating any hate or judgement towards hip dips or people who have them. I’m simply saying that I don’t like the way they look on me, which is why I choose to try and ‘fix’ or improve mine.
In my opinion there’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve something you don’t like, but please don’t hate your body because of something as unimportant as hip dips!
You are worth so much more than your physical appearance, so please keep that in mind all the time.
If you need a refresher on hip dips, then check out this video (or my previous post on hip dips) which explains things quite nicely:
Can you actually get rid of hip dips through exercise?
My opinion on this is that you probably can’t get rid of your hip dips completely because they’re caused by your natural body shape/skeleton/fat distribution.
But, I do believe that you can definitely improve the way they look with exercise and/or diet changes.
And I don’t know about you, but I’ll take anything I can get when it comes to reducing the severity of my hip dips…
Here’s the problem with targeting hip dips with exercise though:
There’s not really much muscle in the ‘dip’ part to work out. Which means you can’t really fill in the dips with anything.
Before your dreams of having a nice rounded hip and butt shape disappear though, let’s look at some of the things you can do:
Main Strategy: Work out that “Side Butt”
Check out this post on glute anatomy.
My main focus when trying to reduce the look of the dreaded hip dips is to bulk out my butt (ideally with muscle, but I’ll take fat too!).
To do so… I’m targeting the muscles on the sides of the butt – the gluteus minimus and gluteus medius.
Abduction exercises (where you move your leg/limb away from the centreline of your body) are your friend here!
With all that said, here are some excellent exercises that I do to try and cure/improve my hip dips:
Best Exercises For Reducing Hip Dips
For each of the exercises recommended below, you can click on the link of the exercise’s name to view more detailed instructions on how to do that exercise with the proper form, as well as a recommended number of sets and repetitions to perform.
1. Hip Thrusts/Glute bridge
While at first glance this exercise doesn’t appear to specifically work out the sides of your butt, these are my all-time favorite butt-building exercise and hailed by many many people as the best exercise you can do to build your glutes.
To alter this exercise for hip dips, do the below:
If you do this exercise with a mini resistance band loop around your knees and focus on keeping tension on the band the entire time during this exercise, you will get the sides of your butt working (exactly the muscles we’re looking to target!).
Why do them first? Because they get the glutes firing, and that means more success for the rest of the exercises to follow.
Check out the glute bridge instructions here for more details on how to make sure you are using your butt correctly for the glute bridges.
2. Band Walks
Lateral band walks are another personal favorite for getting the sides of your booty burning.
You’ll need a resistance band again for this exercise (it’s simply not effective without one).
Use the band around your ankles or knees – whichever allows you to target the sides of your hips more.
Despite the picture above and the images shown in the instructions for the monster band walks here, I would recommend having the band around your knees for this one – personally I find that really helps me to target the hip dip area more effectively!
Play around with the depth of your crouch as well for optimal results from this exercise – settle on a depth which gets the sides of your butt burning the most.
3. Seated Abductors
If you can get to a gym then you’ll want to hit up the abductor machine to do some seated abductors. This exercise specifically targets the sides of the hips and upper glutes, which will help to fill out that hip dip area.
For those working out at home or without gym equipment, try the band version of a seated hip abductor instead. Usually this can be done in a seated position sitting on a chair or exercise ball to begin with.
To take it up another notch, you can even do these just hovering in the air as shown in the image above.
Feel free to use a chair beneath you in case you have to drop out of the squat, but the idea here is to get your butt working even more to hold your body airborne in a static squat position.
4. Side Lunges
Side lunges are like a single legged squat off to one side.
These are perfect for hitting the sides of the glutes and will do this especially well is if you push off the working leg to return to an upright standing position between each rep.
Check out the detailed instructions on how to do side lunges for your butt for more details.
Clamshells are a classic exercise that almost exclusively target the abductor muscles of the hips, which means bulking up the butt in all the right places to combat annoying hip indentations and round out your tush.
You can do these with heels together or apart (as shown above), and either with a resistance band or without.
I’d recommend starting without a band until you can master the movement, but you’ll definitely want to add some resistance further down the track to get this exercise building muscle for you.
A perfect way to add resistance is with a really strong band like Booty Bands™ . These are the best bands I’ve come across so far for really turning the clamshell exercise into something that just annihilates the sides of your butt muscles and will build a round booty.
6. Standing Hip Abductors
For standing hip abductors you simply lift one leg out and to the side while balancing on the supporting leg.
The extra stabilizing that you need to do with your standing leg will automatically ensure that both sides of your butt get a good working out. Glorious.
Add a resistance band for best results, or you can also use the cable machine at the gym for even better results.
7. Curtsy Lunges
Curtsy lunges are a variation of your standard lunge, and the part that makes this variation particularly sweet is how it oh-so-perfectly targets the sides of your butt to help bulk up the hip area.
The image above shows a standard lunge, but for a curtsy lunge you’ll want to place the back foot behind and as far to the side as you can, so your lunge stance is kind of twisted.
See the detailed instructions and video demo at the curtsy lunge exercise page here.
8. Lying Side Leg Lifts
For the lying side abduction leg lifts exercise you lie on your side and raise the upper leg to the side in an abduction movement.
This is pretty much the same movement as the standing hip abductors listed earlier.
The beauty of this variation is that you don’t have to focus on balance, and some people find that this allows them to focus more on the exercise and even add more resistance.
To add resistance, hold a weight plate or dumbell on your upper thigh, or add a resistance band loop around legs above the knees.
9. Fire Hydrants
While fire hydrants used to mainly be recommended as a core and balance exercise, lately they’ve become more popular among those looking to build a rounder butt.
Start from a kneeling position as shown above, and lift one of your bent legs outwards like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant.
You can also do these exercises with a resistance band, but definitely focus on mastering the movement before you add any resistance.
Can I Do These Exercises At Home?
You most certainly can! You don’t necessarily need to go to a gym to get the benefits.
Let’s Talk Equipment
Hands down the best investment you can make in getting rid of your hip dips is in a resistance band (also called mini bands/booty bands).
It’s simply a stretchy resistance band loop that you use around your knees, ankles or feet, that can seriously help with glute activation and giving some resistance on some of the above-mentioned exercises.
If you want to take it to the next level, I’d recommend using Booty Bands on the clamshell and hip thrust exercises. This is a super strong band with a really high level of resistance (even on their beginner level 1 band), so it really increases the difficulty and challenges your muscles (more so with clamshells where you are working against the band). Click here to check out my full review of Booty Bands.
When Can I Expect To See Results?
If you want to build muscle (and we definitely do want to do this, in an effort to try and fill out those hip dips), then you’ll almost certainly need to train the areas by using a progressive overload mindset.
You won’t see results overnight. Everyone is different in how their body responds (and everyone’s hip dips are different too), so it’s practically impossible to give accurate advice here.
However, if you stick with a training program consistently, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect some noticable improvement within a few months.
Will This Work For Everyone?
While I’d like to, I can’t make any promises.
I can’t say if these exercises will work for you and your hip dips, because the reason why you have hip dips might be different to the reason why I have mine…
But one thing I can say is that I don’t think doing these exercises can hurt the situation! I think worst case, you do them and you should still improve your butt to some extent (even if your hip dips don’t improve).
And hey, you might get lucky and be one of the ones whose hip dips respond really well to exercise (I know I have seen some people claim that their hip dips practically disappeared once they started doing the right kind of exercises!)
Well now you know my top butt exercises that I think can help with reducing the look of hip dips.
The idea behind these are that they should target the sides of your butt more and hopefully help to round out your butt shape if you have hip dips in that area.
A lot of people say that they have been able to give a wider appearance to their hips and butt from doing exercises like these… so hopefully you and I can get the same results!
Let me know what you think, or if you have any awesome exercises that can help get rid of hip dips – I’d love to hear them!
And please, please, please comment if you’ve been able to reduce your hip dips by any means, be it exercise or something else. I’d love to hear any success stories and want to share them with everyone else with this issue!