10 Best Exercises to Reduce the Appearance of Hip Dips – Achieve a Smoother Silhouette

Back when I was beginning my journey as a fitness instructor, I remember observing an unusual pattern. Many of my clients, regardless of their fitness level, shared a common concern – the appearance of “hip dips.” While some considered them an aesthetic feature, others wanted to enhance the curvature of their hips. From celebrities to everyday fitness enthusiasts, this became a hot topic. Drawing from my experience and the latest research, I’ve compiled the 7 best exercises to help reduce the appearance of hip dips. Let’s dive in!

Hip Dips Explained

Hip dips, also known as ‘violin hips,’ are inward curves that appear just below the hip bones. They are completely natural and are a result of the shape of your pelvis combined with the distribution of fat and muscle in the body. Some individuals have more noticeable dips, while others might not even realize they have them.

Why Focus on Reducing Their Appearance?

To be clear, having hip dips is neither a fitness concern nor a sign of poor health. The pursuit of reducing their appearance is largely cosmetic. However, working on the muscles around the hip area can lead to a more toned look and improved strength. By targeting the gluteus medius and the oblique muscles, you can potentially reduce the prominence of hip dips.

Benefits of Targeting the Hip Area

Hip Dips squat

Enhanced Aesthetics

For those desiring an hourglass figure, working on the muscles surrounding the hips can make a significant difference. By firming up and building muscles in this area, you can achieve a fuller and rounder appearance, which may decrease the visibility of hip dips.

Improved Functional Strength

This isn’t just about looks. Strengthening the muscles around your hips can improve your overall balance, stability, and functional strength. It aids in daily activities and reduces the risk of injuries, especially in sports or exercises that require quick lateral movements.

1. Warm-up: Importance and Techniques

Hip Dips fire hydrant

Why Warm-Up?

Warming up is essential before diving into any workout. It preps your muscles, increases blood flow, and helps prevent injuries. Especially when focusing on the hip area, a good warm-up can make exercises more effective.

Recommended Warm-Up Exercises

For hip-specific workouts, consider starting with leg swings, hip circles, and some light cardio like brisk walking or jogging. Aim for at least 5-10 minutes to ensure your muscles are ready for the main exercises.

2. Fire Hydrants

Hip Dips workout

How to Perform

Begin on all fours in a tabletop position. Keeping your knee bent, lift your right leg out to the side, then bring it back to the starting position. Ensure you engage your core and keep your back straight throughout the exercise. Repeat for the desired number of reps and then switch legs.


Fire hydrants target the gluteus medius, which is one of the key muscles around the hip area. Regularly performing this exercise can lead to a stronger and more toned appearance, reducing the prominence of hip dips.

3. Standing Side Leg Lifts

Hip Dips stand

How to Perform

Stand straight with your feet together. Slowly raise your right leg to the side as high as comfortably possible, ensuring you’re not leaning to the left. Lower it back down with control. Repeat for a set number of reps before switching to the other leg.


This exercise is effective in working both the gluteus medius and the oblique muscles. As these muscles grow stronger and more toned, the appearance of hip dips may become less noticeable.

4. Side Plank with Leg Lift

Hip Dips side plank

How to Perform

Start in a side plank position with your left elbow directly beneath your shoulder. With your right hand on your hip and your legs extended, lift your right leg as high as possible. Lower it with control. Repeat for a set number of reps and switch sides.


Combining the intensity of a side plank with a leg lift engages your obliques and the gluteus medius simultaneously. This double-duty exercise can offer faster results in reducing the appearance of hip dips.

5. Glute Bridges

Hip Dips bridge

How to Perform

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Push through your heels, lifting your hips off the ground while squeezing your glutes. Lower down slowly. Repeat.


While glute bridges primarily target the gluteus maximus, they also engage the surrounding hip muscles. Consistent practice can lead to a fuller hip appearance.

6. Clamshells

Hip Dips clamshells

How to Perform

Lie on your side with legs bent at a 90-degree angle and feet together. Keeping your feet touching, lift your top knee as high as possible without moving the lower leg. Lower the knee down with control. Repeat for a set number of reps and switch sides.


Clamshells are another excellent exercise for the gluteus medius. They focus on isolating this muscle, leading to improved strength and toning in the hip area.

7. Squats

How to Perform

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body by bending the knees, ensuring they don’t go past your toes. Keep your back straight and chest up. Push through the heels to return to the starting position.


Squats are a compound exercise that targets multiple muscles, including those around the hips. They can contribute to an overall toned appearance, which may diminish the visibility of hip dips.

8. Hip Dips with Resistance Bands

Hip Dips band

How to Perform

Wrap a resistance band around your ankles. Stand straight and step to the side with one foot, creating tension in the band. Return to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of reps. Switch sides.


Adding resistance to hip exercises amplifies the challenge. This exercise, in particular, zeroes in on the gluteus medius and obliques, making it a top choice for reducing the appearance of hip dips.


Are hip dips a sign of being unhealthy?

No, they are not. They are a result of your natural anatomy, specifically the positioning of the hip bones in relation to the femur.

Can exercises completely eliminate hip dips?

While exercises can help reduce the appearance of hip dips, they cannot completely eliminate them. This is because hip dips are influenced by bone structure and genetics.

Are there variations to the basic lunge that can be more effective?

Yes, there are various lunge variations like walking lunges, side lunges, and curtsy lunges that can target different muscles and potentially help in reducing the appearance of hip dips.

What muscles do side leg lifts target?

Side leg lifts target the tensor fasciae latae (TFL), gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus, which are muscles around the hip area.

Why are hip dips considered normal?

They are a natural part of human anatomy and are influenced by the positioning of the hip bones and femur. They are common and are not an indicator of health or fitness.

Is it essential to get rid of hip dips?

No, it’s not essential to get rid of them. They don’t impact mobility or overall health. It’s more important to focus on the functional aspects of the hips rather than the aesthetic.

Final Thoughts

While these exercises can aid in reducing the appearance of hip dips, it’s vital to remember that everyone’s body is unique. Celebrate your progress, love your body at every stage, and focus on your overall well-being. Fitness is a journey, not a destination. Stay motivated and enjoy the process!