What Are Hip Dips?


Hip dips are an inward curve on each side, just below the hip bone. On some people they are more prominent/noticeable than on others.

Also known as..

  • Hip dents
  • Violin Hips
  • Trochanteric Depression
  • High hips
  • Shelf hips
  • Figure 8/spoon body shape


What Causes Hip Dips?

The indentation which we call hip dents actually is known as the ‘trochanteric depression’ in anatomical terminology.

Hip dips come about because of the shape of your pelvis. If you have very visible violin hips, you’re not a freak, and it’s not a deformity.

This shape usually is caused by having ‘high hips’, for example if your pelvis sits up high and is quite wide, it can mean there is a bit of a dip between your hip bones and where your thigh bone (femur) starts.

Hip dips are caused by the positioning of your pelvis and thigh bones.


As I dug deeper through the bowels of the internet, more research uncovered more names – violin hips is a common way to describe hip dips. It’s a common feature that plastic surgeons sometimes deal with (the solution is to graft fat into the area of the dent to try and round out the shape).

One thing that I did find funny was that a few people mentioned that they always thought this affliction could have been from wearing their underwear in the ‘dip’ location.

I actually thought this might have been a contributing factor as well and to this day, I often adjust my underwear waistband to sit on the offending muffintop that seems to insist on highlighting my hip dips. Just in case the position of the waistband can wear down that annoying bit of fat!!!

How Saddlebags Can Contribute

“Saddlebags”, also known as “muffin top” or “love handles”, refers to those pesky rolls of fat that love to develop on our hip bones.

Photo Credit: Colin Rose via Wikimedia Commons cc (Cropped)
Photo Credit: Colin Rose via Wikimedia Commons cc (Cropped)

Unfortunately this can make the whole hip-dip shape look more noticeable, because you can tend to get this lumpy bit right at the top of the hip dents, which makes them look stand out more.


We’ll look at some tips for how to dress to downplay this feature a little later on.

Does Everyone Have Hip Dips?

It’s hard to say if EVERYONE has hip dips. That’s a pretty big generalization! I’ve read some posts that claim that you will basically have a hip dip if you have a skeleton, which, yeah, is pretty much every human on the planet.

I’m not sure if I agree fully though. I know for a fact that some people don’t have this feature – I’ve got lots of friends who have a nice rounded shape around their hips without any hint of an indent. Plus, I’ve spent years secretly scoping out other females to try and see if their hips looked the same weird way mine did, and found that very few (if any) had the same amount of hip dip that I do.

Don’t forget though, that clothing can hide a lot, so in reality these people probably do have a small hip dip that is not very noticeable.

Not a hip dent in sight.

Realistically though, most people do have some degree of hip dip, so I guess it’s fair to say that having hip dips is very ‘normal’!

I think it’s fully dependent on the individual. I think it’s fair to assume that this trait follows a normal distribution graph (couldn’t help myself, I used to tutor math!) meaning that the majority of people have a slight hip dip, somewhere in between these two extremes.

The number of people having no hip dip, or very prominent hip dip, is probably going to be the minority.

hip dip in a normal population
My nerdy take on how many people are affected by hip dip. This graph is representative only, and just a theory of mine!

Why Hip Dips Get Such A Bad Rap

A lot of people hate on hip dips, but why?

As a personal sufferer of deep hip dips myself, I feel that I’m pretty qualified to answer this question! For me, the reason why I don’t like my own hip dips is the way they look.

We’ve all grown up with the perception of feminine beauty, and it’s the traditional curvy, hourglass figure. A narrow waist that curves out to a nice butt and hips looks awesome, in my opinion.

Photo Credit: Stu Willis via Compfight cc
Nice curves! Photo Credit: Stu Willis via Compfight cc

My violin hips are one of my most disliked body features. That’s not to say that I constantly am hating on myself or anyone else that has hip dips, but it definitely is one of the features I would rather not have. Not many people I know has them as prominently as I do, which always made me feel a bit like a freak and very unattractive. I know (and fully advocate) that we shouldn’t fuss about such small and ultimately insignificant things, but I also know how much these little things can sometimes chip away at your self esteem and make you unhappy if you focus on them.

Here’s what violin hips/hip dips look like:

violin hips
Hip dips, hip dents, violin hips, whatever you want to call them. It means your hips/butt don’t quite look smooth and round when viewed directly from the front or back.

Compare this to someone with not much hip dip and more of an hourglass shape:

woman hourglass
A more rounded figure. Barely any hip dip here, though there is a hint of it. I think most women have this kind of shape to their hips.

That being said, I need to point out that some people actually like hip dips, and the majority of people don’t even care about them! This article is for all the others out there (and trust me, there are plenty of us) who have prominent hip dips, and always felt like there was something wrong with them. I’m here to tell you emphatically – there’s not.

I still feel insecure about mine occasionally though. In the past I have let it dictate what I wear because some outfits tend to accentuate it more than others. I can remember many a time where I’ve tried on a tight fitting dress, and looked great from the sides, but if I turn front-on directly it looks like I’m missing two massive chunks out of the sides where my hip dips are.

I also can’t wear any high waisted bottoms without looking a bit weird (only my personal opinion), so I really just avoid them altogether *sad face*.

Photo Credit: Idhren via Compfight cc
High waisted jeans look great on a person without hip dips in my opinion! Photo Credit: Idhren via Compfight cc

How To Reduce The Look Of Hip Dips or Hip Dents

Unfortunately for those who have violin hips and don’t like them, there’s not a lot you can do about them.

Depending on what causes your hip dips (for most people, it’s a combination of their bone structure and fat distribution on the hips) it can be either impossible or very difficult to make changes in this area. If your hip dips stem from your skeleton/pelvis, then just start learning to love yourself. If you find that you have a bit of extra fat in the love handles area, you may be able to make some slight improvements by focusing on diet and exercise, but some people can be of a healthy weight (or even underweight) and still store fat in this area!

One thing you can do that’s immediate is to select clothing that will help you down-play your hip dips. Here are some practical tips you can take:

Tips on how to play down deep hip dips and smooth out your shape

  • Don’t wear tight fitting low waistbands that ‘cut you off’
  • Wear longer or more flowing tops
  • Try looser fitting clothes, A-line skirts/dresses, ruffled dresses etc.
  • Avoid high-waisted/tight bottoms, unless you have a comparatively skinny waist to help show off your curves
  • Try compression underwear (which can sometimes help smooth out love handles to reduce the size of the ‘dent’)
  • Try padded underwear (hip padding can fill in the dips!)

This video below shows some great examples of how the wrong choice of clothing can emphasize your love handles. Avoid tight waisted jeans (ill fitting) and underwear which has a tight waistband that can ‘cut you off’!


Padded Underwear For Hip Dents

Another clothing choice that is immediate is hip padding in butt enhancing underwear. You can already get butt padded underwear which is excellent for giving a nice little boost to your assets, but did you know that you can get specific hip padding that can literally help fill out those dents?

Check out these hip pads I found from Bubbles® Bodywear:

hip pads for hip dip
Sticky Hips from Bubbles® Bodywear, an excellent option for filling in those hip dents.

I like these because they are so simple, they have a reusable adhesive backing and simply stick to the inside of your underwear (alternatively Bubbles® Bodywear also sell purpose made hip padded panties with pockets to hold hip padding).

Check them out in the video below and you’ll see that they can make a significant difference to your front-on profile. As soon as I saw these, I was like yes – that’s exactly what I need to fill in those gaping hip dents on my sides, lol!!

Exercises to Reduce the Look of Hip Dents

If you’re not completely sold on the padded panties idea, and want to work on getting rid of those hip dents in a more permanent manner, I do think that there may be certain exercises which could potentially help round out your shape.

This may not work for everyone, as everyone’s hip dip can be due to slightly different features. I always wondered to myself if you could work out the muscles which are located at the main part of the hip dent and if they were to bulk up, they could fill out the dent.

The only catch with this logic is that (a) there may not be a muscle located directly where your hip dents are; and (b) it may not be possible to bulk up this muscle to the point where it would fill out the dent. That being said, it can’t hurt to try, right?

Firstly I went to check out the actual anatomy of the butt to see if there are any muscles under the hip dent area. It seems to me like the Gluteus Medius  and Gluteus Minimus muscles are in the vicinity of my hip dents, so I figured that exercises which target these muscles may help to fill out the dents. I am not sure if these muscles can definitely be ‘bulked up’ in the way that bigger muscles like the Gluteus Maximus can, but I feel like there’s nothing lost in trying.

Gluteal muscles anatomy
Gluteus Maximus (Yellow), Gluteus Medius (Blue) and Gluteus Minimus (Red) are the main muscles that contribute to the shape of the buttocks. image credit: CFCF via Wikimedia Commons cc

Recommended Exercises for Hip Dents

I’m not saying that these exercises will be able to definitely fill out hip dents, but I feel like there’s no harm in trying them.

My personal approach has two angles:

  1. Aim to work the Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus to help bulk them up and fill out the hip dent area
  2. Aim to work the Gluteus Maximus to add extra volume to the butt as a whole – this should draw the eye more to the fuller areas of your butt and hopefully help to give an overall rounder and more lifted shape as well!

Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus Butt Exercises:

Butt Exercises to Bulk up Your Gluteus Maximus:

Seriously, you can almost pick any of the butt exercises on this list, but my favorite all-rounders and staple butt exercises are (take your pick):

Fill Up Your Fat (Naturally)?

Another option which I have come across recently seems a bit like wishful thinking but there is some science that seems to support it! I have not tried this myself yet but I did a bit of research into it and it seems like it could be something.

It’s called “Volufiline” and it’s basically a topical (cream) agent that is derived from a Chinese herb. But here comes the cool part… studies have shown that if you apply this active ingredient, it can encourage the growth of fat cells naturally in the spots you apply it.  So lather that on to your hip dents to try and fill them out by growing your own fat!

You can check out my full post on Volufiline here.

You’re Not Alone

Okay, so now you have a name for this ‘condition’ that you’ve been afflicted with all your life. So what? You don’t like it? (Hey, me neither).

Chances are not many of your friends will understand your pain. You may feel like a bit of a freak.  I know it may not help much, but knowing that you are not alone kind of can boost your morale, as silly as it sounds.

Other people with hip dip
I stumbled upon this post which made me realize I’m not the only one with hip dip, and funnily enough, it kind of did help me feel a little less freakish. Source: Reddit (You can see the full post and comments here)


I found the above thread on reddit, and also a hip dip appreciation blog! So if you’re feeling down about your hip dents, travel over to these few sites to hopefully feel a little bit more love towards you body shape.


Okay, so I must admit that when I started this blog post, I didn’t think I’d be able to write so much on the topic of hip dips, but the topic is certainly close to me!

As a woman with prominent hip dip, I am still working on accepting my body shape, but learning how to dress to flatter your curves can really help. Surprisingly, so can knowing that you are not the only one with this condition.

I hope this has been helpful to anyone who has hip dents and is wondering if they are normal or not. As always, drop me a comment! I’d love to hear (again) that I’m not the only one out there with hip dip…

What Is Hip Dip? And Why Having This Feature Doesn’t Mean You’re A Freak

25 thoughts on “What Is Hip Dip? And Why Having This Feature Doesn’t Mean You’re A Freak

  • July 4, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    This was the first time I’ve stumbled across a post on this subject -I just never thought to look up what those dents are. I have them quite prominently myself and have always been a tiny bit insecure about it when I look at myself in the mirror (or go to work on cam!). But over the years of working as a camgirl I’ve learned that no one actually seems to notice or care about this feature. Not once has it come up and they are often displayed prominently in my line of work. So nice to see that there’s not only a name for it, but a totally reasonable explanation and I don’t feel so weird about my shape after reading this! Thanks Jolie!

    • July 4, 2016 at 10:30 pm

      Glad to hear Cat! It is kind of strange how just learning that I’m not the only one with these makes me feel less insecure about mine as well, and that’s funny that no one cares or really notices them, especially in your line of work – all the more reason to not let this little feature bother one too much (that’s what I can keep telling myself til I believe it!).

  • July 12, 2016 at 3:35 am

    I’ve HATED this aspect of my body my entire life. Family when you ask, doesn’t this look weird (in a new dress or something) and of course no one is honest. Noo you look great!! It is my biggest insecurity. I’d love those hip pads, but I’m a really blunt real girl, and I’d feel like a fake a little. Just personally. I envy those who can rock em. I’d get the surgery for sure If and or when I can afford it. I definitely feel like the majority of us who have this issue, if that one thing wasn’t different, our bodies are usually those tiny ribbed, then curved hips bodies. So close to an almost perfect body. But that’s reality and I am trying to overcome it and accept it. Funny this is the first time I’ve ever looked up what it could be. You were the second page I read, and I loved every word. Thank you for putting this out there. I seriously thought I was the only one. I feel a bit less self conscious because of your article. If I’m not the only one, then it’s not that bad or weird. And we do notice more about ourselves than others do. Most people probably couldn’t care less about our dips. But its major to us. Thanks again for making me feel less alone. Much love

    . 💋 👑 👑 Lala

    • July 12, 2016 at 11:02 am

      Hey Lala, thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment, it means a lot! I identified with nearly every word you wrote (I also think the hip pads are a great invention, but have yet to bring myself to bust out a pair in public). Even though intellectually I know heaps of people have these, it really does make me feel better to know that I’m not the only one that feels insecure about mine, and that there are real people out there (like you for instance!) who feel just the same as I do. I have found that wearing the right kind of clothing really helps as well, sometimes with the right outfit the dips are nearly unnoticeable!
      xoxo Jolie

  • July 22, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    I also have very prominent hip dips: http://i.imgur.com/nrcUyB4.jpg

    I have been very self conscious about it for my whole life! The low-waisted trend of the early 2000s really made me feel even worse about myself. I now wear a lot of A-line dresses and flowy high waisted skirts which makes me feel a lot more confident.

    It’s still frustrating to have to explain to people sometimes that my ‘muffin top’ is actually my hip bones…

    • July 23, 2016 at 10:06 am

      Hey Shan, your pic here is a classic example of high hip bones creating a hip dip! Mine (and from all the comments here, a lot of other ladies too) are similar. Oh yeah, I remember the low-waist trend and it really didn’t do any favors for us hip-dippers. I find in my case that there is a sweet spot for the waist line of jeans/pants/skirts that can help down-play the look of my higher hip bones. Definitely agree with the A-line cut and flowy fabrics, thanks for sharing what’s worked for you!

  • July 24, 2016 at 2:21 am

    I think I kinda have something like this. I actually noticed something weird looking in the mirror around my hips when I was shadow boxing in the mirror that gave this affect (I think from over developed muscle in that area from punching all these years.) I never knew there was a name for this, though I have noticed it in women.

    Ladies, it’s definitely not a turn off or anything to be concerned about.

    (Hi Jolie, it’s been a while!)

    • July 26, 2016 at 1:02 pm

      Hey again Vince, glad to see you around again! Actually most guys do tend to have a bit of a hip indent, but I think it’s less noticeable because you guys don’t have to necessarily live up to the social expectation of ‘having curves’. Could be muscular in some people though. Thanks for sharing your perspective on hip dips, it’s great to hear a guy’s take on the issue! Definitely reassuring that it’s not a turn off, as sometimes we can feel like it might be.

  • July 24, 2016 at 5:04 am

    This has been very helpful, and I always thought that it was just a muffin top, or that it was an effect of too tight underwear, even though I seem to be an average weight. I have done more research of my own, and I noticed that many of my female relatives also have this trait, so it is possibly hereditary. This article in particular has made me less insecure about my prominent hip dip.

    • July 24, 2016 at 7:58 am

      For years I seriously thought my hip dips were mostly from wearing tight-waisted underwear too low down during the crucial development years Stella! I think after puberty when you do start to get some curves can make it worse if your body tends to store fat above the hip bones (I know that’s the case for me – I don’t remember having these kind of dents as a kid). I’d say there’s most likely some genetic part to it, probably more to do with bone structure and fat storage areas which is why you might have noticed the hereditary nature of it. I’m glad that you are feeling less insecure about your dips though, that’s the main reason I decided to write this post :)

  • August 11, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    I have always had this condition. Mine is very pronounced. When taking my “measurements”, the third measurement, hips, is RIGHT under my navel!.. just one inch. I have always looked 10 pounds heavier than I actually am. For me, the only solution that worked was liposuction! This removed the horrible bump and made me appear balanced in clothes.

    • August 13, 2016 at 1:01 am

      That’s awesome to hear that liposuction has given you great results! I’m not gonna lie, I’ve often thought about getting lipo just to get rid of that annoying bump right on the hip bone that seems to make the hip dips worse… but I’m a bit of a chicken when it comes to getting some of those invasive procedures! So glad to hear you are happier with your shape now :)
      Jolie xo

      • August 28, 2016 at 9:42 am

        Hey Jolie I love all ur helpful articles and I’d like to ask u a question. All my life I thought I had a H shaped butt but now that I know I have hip dips I do if it’s just the hip dip that makes my butt look like that . I do have pictures but idk where it’s safe to send or if you even want to see. I just really need some advice because I hate my back side so much 😔

  • September 7, 2016 at 1:50 am

    Another natural and all round benefitting thing to do is thigh and glute exercises, as your booty gets higher and rounder, it will show from the front as a decrease in size of hip indents, I have noticed this on myself and on insta famous Tammy Hembrow (although she had very small hip indents to begin with, but now they are non-existent on her). I wish I could post her before and after photos here. :)

    • September 7, 2016 at 4:29 am

      That’s awesome news, I will definitely go check out her instagram!

      If you’ve browsed around my site at all, I’m all about making positive changes with exercise, so it’s excellent to hear that here is some real-life evidence. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  • September 7, 2016 at 7:19 am

    I thought I was the only one with this and so I’ve never looked it up! WOW! I’m not alone! I’ve always thought, If I just lost weight/exercised more/wore looser underwear (seriously), it would go away but whatever my weight, the dips remain.

    This probably sounds silly but knowing I’m not alone, that this is just a normal part of my anatomy because of how I’m specially made, makes me feel better about it. So thanks so much for sharing your story.

    • September 8, 2016 at 2:04 am

      Thanks Wendy, your thoughts sound exactly like mine. It is really comforting to know that we’re not the only ones!!

  • September 21, 2016 at 10:02 am

    I have this too. It’s terrible from behind but okay from the front. I can’t wear swimmers without feeling down and out. Any suggestions for swimmers to flatter this shape?

    • September 23, 2016 at 9:12 am

      Hi Amanda, I can totally relate and I’m sure a whole heap of others can as well so try not to be too hard on yourself! You’d also be surprised that when you are moving around etc it’s not like it will be that common for anyone to be staring at you when you are standing from the behind at a perfectly straight angle. For me, my dips are noticeable from both front and behind when standing, but if I sit down they are usually well disguised :)

      That being said – yes I do have some tips for swimmers!

      In my opinion, you should stay away from anything too skimpy on the hips such as string bikinis (exception – if they have bows at each side this may help distract the eye away from the dips a little, but I haven’t tried this in practice). I think that because of the minimal cover in the hip area, it makes your hip dip look much more obvious.

      Anything high-cut is a definite no-no! This cut generally will sit above the hip bones, which makes hip dip look MUCH much worse!

      I personally find that for bikini bottoms, something with a bit of a thicker waistband seems to be optimal, and the position of it in relation to the hip dip is a factor as well. For me, the type of bikini bottoms which seem to down-play my hip dents most are ones with a side band about the same height/thickness or a little wider than the worst parts of the ‘dent’, and they kind of sit just in/around the dent. It’s best if they are not tight or cause any kind of compression (as this will make the dent appear worse or deeper). I find that by sitting in this position it kind of makes it look like the swimmers are causing the dent (even thought they’re not), which gives a bit of an excuse for the dent being there. I know that explanation sounds kind of weird and may not apply to everyone’s hip dips, but that’s the most flattering cut I can find for myself personally.

      Prints or ruffles or anything that draws more attention to the center of your butt can also help pull the eye away from hip dip.

      Alternatively a boy short kind of bikini bottom can also work. I find that the bottoms should sit just below my hip bones (if they sit higher on the hip, they seem to accentuate the hip dip for me) to look the best.

      For one-piece swimwear, I don’t have as much experience, but I think they would probably work best if they ‘end’ just below the bottom of the hip dent (as it starts to go out again).

      A lot of this is just what I have found through experimenting with different styles over the years – some may or may not work for you depending on how your hip dips are! Hope this helps though, and if you need more this post I wrote on bikini bottom styles may be helpful as well!

  • October 9, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Thank u so much for sharing this. I always thought I have those muffin tops but I’m actually not fat. So I always was wondering why I have to do so much sport just for getting this away. Now I know what’s going on with my body and I can work on it and I work on my own view of it – I just have to accept how I am!
    I still try to train hard to have it not to prominent but I still will work on my mind to love it how it is.
    Thank you so much to show that we are not alone!

    • October 10, 2016 at 9:45 am

      Totally Selena! Thank you for taking the time to comment, it does truly show that there are heaps of us out there – and we are not freaks lol!
      Acceptance is definitely something I’ve been working on too. It does really help to know we are not alone :)
      I think you’ve got the perfect mindset – wishing you heaps of luck!

  • October 13, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    It’s so nice to read that other people have this issue too! It really frustrates me. I like wearing tight tops because (imo) I have nice boobs and a small waist, but it makes my hip dip look really obvious. It sucks.. I do yoga every day and yoga pants will never look as pretty on me as they do on so many other women. If I use my hands to lift my butt up to the extreme, the fat of the butt kind of fills up the dips on the sides a bit. However, I don’t think there are any pants out there that can lift it this high. Plastic surgery is not an option. It’s not THAT bad. It just sucks..

    • October 13, 2016 at 10:40 pm

      I feel your pain Jade, you know butt lift panties could be an option, I know you said you need to lift it up to the extreme, but I’m sure every little bit will help! Also, it is possible to get a ‘lifting’ effect with exercise, as well as try and fill out those dents a little. For an example, check out this butt transformation – just goes to prove that it is possible!


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