Hip dips (violin hips) are the latest body image fad to storm the internet. But we’ve seen it all before with ‘thigh gaps’ & the equally insane ‘bikini bridge’ craze. So what exactly is a hip dip (violin hips) and how can you get rid of it? Read on…
What Is A 'Hip Dip' And Why Do You Have One?
Hip dips, violin hips, shelf hips, high hips, hip dents or in it’s anatomical terminology, ‘tronchanteric depression’, is the indentation on either side of your body between your hip and your thigh… and it’s completely normal! Millions of women have them & they are nothing to be ashamed of.
Having hip dips does not mean you are fat, ugly or deformed. Whether you have them or not comes down to…
Your Bone Structure
Ok, hip anatomy 101:
Your skeleton is a wonderful thing. It allows you to stand up tall, run, jump, squat and all those other fun things that humans like to do with their bodies. The shape of your bone structure is what determines whether you have hip dips or, not.
It all comes down to the size of your hip bone (pelvis) in relation to your thigh bone (femur).
If you have a wider and higher pelvis, then you will likely have more of an angle on your femur. This creates more ‘space’ in between the top of your pelvis (ilium) and your greater trochanter (head of the femur), resulting in a more pronounced hip dip - see image.
If you have a narrow and shorter pelvis, then you will likely have less of an angle on your femur, meaning less of a ‘space’ and therefore, less of a hip dip - see image. This is why girls with an athletic build or a straight up-and-down shape, tend to have very little to no indentation.
High vs Low Body Fat
Where you are pre-disposed to holding body fat will determine how pronounced your hip dips are. This is down to your genetics and can’t be changed… just like your bone structure.
Some women might have the bone structure of wider & higher hips but also have a higher amount of body fat around their glutes and thighs with an even distribution. These body types will look like they don’t have hip dips at all, because their body fat actually covers and ‘fills out’ their hip dip.
Think hourglass stunner, Kelly Brook; ‘thick’ Rihanna in 2018; and plus size model, Ashley Graham.
But, some women have lesser amounts of body fat, which aren’t as evenly distributed and instead, sits in more isolated areas like the ‘muffin top’ - a band just above the hips and below the belly or, the ‘saddle bags’ - a band of fat that sits at the top of the thighs and just under the glutes.
It’s completely normal and healthy to have body fat in these areas, but if you have wider & higher hips, it will make your hip dips look more pronounced - see image.
So, How Do You Get Rid Of Hip Dips?
First of all, let’s make something crystal clear: you cannot get rid of hip dips completely… and that’s ok!
No amount of exercise can train away your bone structure.
But there are some things you can do to minimise the appearance of indentations and accentuate rounder and fuller hips but, before we get into it…
**WARNING: There’s a ton of confusing mis-information out there from so-called ‘fitness gurus’ who will have you doing some very dubious exercises, that will do nothing for your hip dips and in some cases, will accentuate them even further!
What To Avoid
There are two opposing camps when it comes to hip dip targeting.
On one side, you’ll hear people saying you should do specific exercises to target the gluteus medius (one of the three butt muscles) and the quadriceps (thighs).
On the other side, some people say you need to target one of the main muscles of the hips, the tense fasciae latae or ‘TFL’ for short.
I say, they’re all WRONG.
The pelvis and all the intricate muscles of the hip area are complex. So before you go off in your pursuit of hip dip destruction, listen up!
Don't Target The Glute Medius!
I’m a huge advocate of glute training to build a fuller, rounder and stronger butt. So it may come as a shock when I say this… but targeting the gluteus medius will only make your hip dip look more pronounced!
That’s because it is the most upper and outer muscle of your butt and it sits just above your hip dip. So if you do exercises that target this muscle to make it develop and grow, it’ll only make the indentation below it look even bigger.
Same goes for your thigh muscles. If you concentrate on doing exercises that are only going to isolate and grow your quadriceps, then your hip dip will look deeper because of it.
Think of it like an optical illusion.
Don't Target The TFL!
This teeny weeny muscle of the hip sits right in the space of the hip dip. And that’s why people say that if you target this muscle with exercises that will make it grow, you’ll be able ‘fill out’ the hip dip and make your hips look smoother and rounder.
Sounds logical, right?
But there’s one little problem with this… the TFL is not a muscle that you can target and ‘grow’. Because it’s primary function is just to stabilise the hips so that you can do things like walk, squat and jump.
I mean, you never hear bodybuilders talk about a well-developed TFL, do you? Nope.
But, you do hear physiotherapists talk about it to clients in rehab due to injuries or dysfunction.
Trust me, if you just smash your TFL with all sorts of crazy isolation exercises during every gym session you will 1) be severely disappointed when you get ZERO results and 2) probably just irritate the muscle so much that you end up with hip pain or some sort of dysfunction from overuse.
So what’s the answer?
Go For Overall Glute Development
Targeting the glutes from ALL angles and developing the WHOLE hip area is going to give you a much better chance of growing rounder and fuller hips to minimise the appearance of hip dips.
And the king of all glute exercises that you absolutely must make a staple in your routine is the HIP THRUST. It has been proven time and time again to be the most superior exercise for glute strength and growth.
It primarily hits the gluteus maximus which is the largest of the three butt muscles. But in order to really minimise those hip dips, you need to target the OUTER part of the gluteus maximus… this is how you truly create the look of rounder and fuller hips.
And lucky for you, this hip dip workout is crammed full of exercises that do just that! Click here to watch it now.
Lifting weights will tone you up, make you strong and give you that awesome hourglass shape you want. But the truth is that it can only do so much… because here’s the real solution you’re looking for…
You Can't Out-Train A Bad Diet
Doing all the right exercises will only get you so far, if your diet is appalling! So if you want to give yourself the best chance at minimising the appearance of your hip dips, you’ve got to lose any excess body fat in those ‘trouble areas’ (‘muffin top’ and ‘saddlebags’)… and the only way to truly do that is by cleaning up your diet!
So ditch the processed & packaged foods, take-aways, alcohol and sugary snacks. Replace them with nutrient-dense whole foods and drink plenty of water.
But remember, you cannot spot reduce body fat. So wherever you’re genetically pre-dispositioned to hold most of it, will also, always, be the last place you see it go!
One Final Thought
There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to look your best and you should never feel bad about wanting to change something that you don’t like about yourself.
But please remember that having hip dips is completely normal. I have hip dips. So do millions of other women. It does not mean that you are fat, or ugly or deformed. It is merely the shape of your bones… your genetic make-up.
Instead of hating on them and wishing you didn’t have them, why not embrace them? They are what make you, YOU. Nit-picking at body parts will never make you happy, so try to look at them from a different perspective.
Did you know that wider hips is seen as a very attractive quality by many people? Celebrate that! I know that many narrow-hipped athletic build ladies out there would be very envious of your curvier shape. It’s a case of ‘the grass is greener’.
Embrace what you’ve got and see your hip dips as something to start loving, instead of a body part to be ashamed of. Focusing on what you like about yourself, rather than the things you don’t, will make you happier along your journey and it will help you get to your goals faster!
Remember… You are beautiful just the way you are!
If you found this article useful, please tell me so! I'd love to know what you struggle with most in your glute training. Let me know in the comments below 🙂
Happy glute training! x