How To Get Rid Of Hip Dips (Ultimate Guide 2018)


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

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…


Let’s just get one thing clear:
so now that we’ve got that cleared up. Let’s move along shall we?

What Is A 'Hip Dip' And Why Do You Have One?

First off, I want to just clarify something - all lower body exercises will grow your leg muscles to some extent. Some more than others. Your lower body is made up of these 4 muscle groups: quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves. Even the almighty exercise of the booty gods, the trusted hip thrust will activate your quads to some degree.

The problem is… you may be quad dominant.

If you’ve been squatting, lunging and leg pressing like a beast, (which means you’ve become strong through these movements), then you’re probably quad dominant. And that has an effect on your glutes ability to be activated and used in these exercises instead.

Like I tell all my clients, the glutes are the largest muscle in the body but also notoriously, the laziest. Meaning, if they can let any other muscle do the work for them, then by-golly, they will.

The result… a pancake butt with quadzilla thighs.

Ok, I exaggerate, but seriously, that’s how you feel. right?

**Disclaimer: I’m not saying squats are the devil. They are a great compound movement that work a whole heap of muscles and as a beginner lifter, it’s one of the most important basic moves that you should absolutely master.

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

So how do you grow glutes without growing thighs?

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.

Bulgarian split squats
Step ups
Leg press
Leg extension
Hack squat
Trap bar deadlift

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

TIP #1 Lightweight glute activation

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.

Keep it light at first. If you go too heavy off the bat, you can bet your bottom dollar that those killer quads will take over. So grab a band (this is my favourite brand) and start focussing on your mind-muscle connection. This is key to start developing those buns! Remember how I said the glutes are lazy sons-a-bitches? Well, you’ve got to coax them into firing up.

There are a ton of activation exercises you can do like butt squeezes, lying leg abductions, seated abductions, butt planks and clams. Start with a 10 minute drill and don’t forget to squeeeeeeze the bejesus out of those buns! Click here to see my favourite go-to glute activation circuit. And that leads me onto the next tip…

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!

#4 You Lose Out On ‘Me’ Time
#3 You Lose The Benefit Of A Targeted Program
Men Don’t Know What We Want
Don’t underestimate this one. It’s last in the list for very good reason.

Because part of lifting weights is that it’s a time to ‘zone out & zen out’. You have to be laser focused to get the best results. Solo training and focused mind-muscle connection will take your progress to new heights. It requires you to become really in-tune with your own body, which is hard to do when you’re partnered up during your workout - especially with the one you love.

Plus, it’s empowering af to truly become the master of your body and start owning the weights room like a boss. I encourage every single one of you to adopt this mantra when you step into the gym, ready to smash your workout:

“Who run the world? GIRLS”. Yes, Queen Bey. YES!

But aside from the physical gains of lifting weights solo, the real benefit is how it affects your mental wellbeing. It’s a form of meditation and a chance to let go of any negativity you may have been holding onto. Nothing cures a bad day like popping the headphones in, whacking a bit of Beyonce on and sweating it out with a solid glute session.
To get real results and those Coke bottle curves, you need to be on a targeted program with goal specific exercises that suits your unique needs. Doing the same workouts as your partner, will be doing you no favours.

I bet he missed the memo on ‘operation grow-a-booty’ and had you doing bench press like a bro.

Eek! I don’t know about you, but defined pecs is NOT something I aspire to have (to each their own, of course - whatever floats your boat). But I’d like to keep every little bit of womanly bosom I can #hellofitnessbyebyeboobies which is why I NEVER specifically train my chest - watch this video to learn more.

You see, building a fit hourglass figure isn’t as simple as just throwing some iron around. We respond to different training stimulus compared to our male counterparts. So let’s put this myth to rest once and for all, because…

Lifting weights doesn’t make you manly, training like a man makes you manly.
Men and women have very different body goals when it comes to sculpting our limbs in the gym.

You want to look like a fit Lara Croft. He wants to emulate Arnie circa 1974. See the problem?

I’m a big advocate of whole body strength training (yes, that means training your back, too ladies) but as a female, we want to hone in on our womanly assets and target our problem areas.

I’m talking booty, abs & thighs. Am I right?

Chances are hubby has a big hulk-like back and bulging biceps. But does he know the best way to get booty gains without bulking up your thighs? I think not.

And how about the best activation exercises to build a fuller, rounder & perkier butt? Hmm…

Or, does he know how to get a toned, flat tummy without thickening your waist?

Which is why #3 is so important…
Ok, Captain Obvious. While this might be a no-brainer, it’s worth mentioning as the #1 reason why couples workouts don’t work.

Put simply, men might know how to train themselves, but they have ZERO clue how to sculpt a female body… especially when it comes to growing those glutes (unless you’re Bret Contreras - read his ‘Best Glute Exercises’ post here).

Even if your other half is a personal trainer by trade, you still shouldn’t train with him. Because while he might know his text book stuff, being in tune with the female body, is something that only a fellow female can relate to.

Yes, our bodies are different anatomically, but we also have to contend with hormone fluctuations and menstrual cycles… and when you throw that into the mix, things can get a little tricky for our male counterparts.

Which leads me onto the next point:
#1: Men Don’t Have The Anatomy Of A Female

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!

Get fancy with glute isolation variations that hit the booty from all angles for that 3D round effect. But if you feel it in the quads, ditch it!
Of course, we still love our men to bits and impromptu couples workouts can be fun, but if you’re looking for real results and finally achieving the confidence and body that you deserve, then it’s time you checked out the no BS approach with the Strong By Shelley Program
before you get all giddy and start planning some crazy booty workouts, just remember… there’s no point in doing these fancy isolation variations unless you master the first 3 steps beforehand. Some of these moves require a certain level of mind-muscle connection and training maturity. So if you feel these exercises anywhere but the butt, make stick to band or bodyweight only or hold off entirely until you feel the glutes doing the work rather than the quads. Baby steps. Get the basics right first and your tush will reap the rewards later down the track.

​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


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Did you enjoy this post?

Enter your details to sign up for my newsletter and recieve exclusive content!

Leave me a comment:

  • Lauren says:

    This was VERY helpful to me! I have been hyper-focused on my gluteus medius because of this. I have been hip thrusting, but worried about hypertrophy because I just found out I have an anterior pelvic tilt, inactive glutes/quad compensation, & my left glute especially won’t turn on and is underdeveloped. So I feel like I’m starting from day one…but I reallty want to shapen up my booty and make some gains!!!

    • Hey Lauren! I’m so glad this helped you 🙂 The key to glute strength and growth is first and foremost learning to active the gluteus muscles with activation exercises. Even before you get to weighted hip thrusts! Because if they are weak and inactive, no matter what ‘glute focused’ exercises you do, other muscles like your quads will inevitably take over and do all the work instead!

      Anterior tilt is very common and if only slight then it’s nothing to worry about (most people are anterior tilted). You may have very tight & shortened hip flexors & psoas muscles so I highly recommend that you start some sort of mobility/flexibility practice like yoga. Poses such as hero, camel, dragon and pigeon are great to release this area and will give you the mobility that you need in order to get full range of motion in exercises like the hip thrust so that you can fully contract the glutes without stressing the quads further. Also avoid over doing any exercises that further stress the lower back, which will also be shortened and tight if you have anterior tilt. Working on core strength is also important for this.

      One of the first steps of really learning to activate the glutes is to master the posterior pelvic tilt (PPT) – basically the opposite of an anterior tilt – so that you can get maximum contraction of the glutes i.e. pushing the hips forward, squeezing your cheeks together as hard as possible and bracing your abdominal muscles.

      So grab yourself a booty band (or bodyweight too is fine) and focus on exercises like hip abductions, clamshells, bent over kickbacks, lying hip abduction, butt plank, fire hydrant, single leg hip thrusts and glute bridge. Keep the reps high, focus on squeezing the glutes hard and feel the burn! A few weeks of practicing this daily and you should definitely see good results!

      Hope that helps x

  • Alona says:

    Thank you for this article it was incredibly helpful. Till now – for the whole my life I was pretty sure that something is wrong with my hips and I desperately wanted to get rid of hip dips. Thanks to you I understand that it’s normal. Now I can do some exercises just to improve my overall appearance!
    Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Alona, So happy this article has helped you! Yes, hip dips are completely natural and nothing to be ashamed of! Just work on building strength and feeling good in your body. Every shape is beautiful 🙂

  • Mariela says:

    Hi Shelley!
    I am trying your workouts and creating a hip routine at the gym. This has been BEYOND helpful. I will share with you updates on how your routine goes! Thanks girl, keep rockin!

  • Rupa.Palla says:

    I thought that my hip dips r annoying me so much….but today I got inspired by u….thank u a lot…

    • Shelley Darlington says:

      That’s so great to hear! Hip dips are beautiful. Embrace your body – it’s the only one you’ve got 🙂

  • Laura says:

    Fantastic article and video, thank you! How many time per week do you recommend doing this particular workout? I typically workout 5-6 days (varied HIIT) week and plan to add this in as my lower body routine. 🙂

  • Alex says:

    The way you suggested working the outer gluteus maximus got me thinking.

    The inner gluteus maximus head connects to the femur but the outer glute connects to the Iliotibial tract, as does the tensor fascia latae. The TFL not only works as a hip flexor but also an abductor in concert with the outer gluteus.

    When you do a diamond hip thrust your femur is externally rotated making the hip thrust target the outer glute preferentially…. but this also makes the hip thrust movement more of a “abduction” exercise. However in this position I don’t think the gluteus medius works efficiently as an abductor. So it should be quite effective at hitting the TFL without overgrowing the gluteus medius.

    I think this is why targetting the outer glute works for minimising the appearance of the hip dip as you suggested. After all you didn’t say that targetting the TFL wouldn’t work, just that it was hard to hit.

    • Shelley Darlington says:

      Very interesting observation Alex! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Although I agree with you, (external rotation of the femur, abduction in diamond hip thrust and the interplay between TFL or gluteus medius), for the advanced lifter who already has a good level of conditioning and mind muscle connection, these small nuances can absolutely make a difference and sharpen results. However, for the average woman who doesn’t have the training maturity or posterior chain development (majority of my readership), this is probably too complex and advanced for their level. Mastering the (albeit boring) basics first is always key – that’s my main point with all my content. Also, my main hesitation for targeting the TFL directly with isolation exercises while neglecting the more functional compound movements like a hip thrust, is that it is not a muscle that is meant for hypertrophic isolation, meaning; it is primarily a stabilising muscle to allow movement of the hip joint. The danger in overdeveloping this muscle with isolation exercises is that it can lead to muscle imbalances and dysfunctions within the joint – I see it often with ladies who go HAM on the TFL in a bid to rid themselves of their hip dips!

  • Marielle says:

    I loved this article! Both empowering and informative. I had no idea what hip dips were until now, even though they’ve haunted me for what feels like my entire life. Thank you for sharing and also normalizing hip dips!

  • Stina V says:

    This was a well layed out article. The photos really helped to explain the logic. As a physio, I like to see that there is talk about the function of each muscle, rather than just it’s location and appearance. The facts about “spot reduction” for fat loss are so important as people tend to forget that your body functions as a unit and we are all designed in different ways. Well done!

    • Shelley Darlington says:

      Thank you Stina! Nice to have a health professional share their knowledge on here. And I totally agree, the overall health and function of a muscle and therefore our bodies as a whole should dictate the way we view exercise – not just the way we want to look! Appreciate your view point, thank you 🙂

  • Monica says:

    Hi thank you for the article I have question. I run marathons and it’s really hard to reduce my quads. Is there anything you recommend

    • Shelley Darlington says:

      Hi Monica, I hear you but unfortunately reducing any muscle in size is a much more difficult task than building it. The only way to not develop a muscle further is to stop training it – not very feasible in your case as a marathon runner. I’m sorry if this is not what you want to hear! But the best option – albeit the hardest one – is to accept the size and shape of your legs as they are and continue to move in ways that you enjoy. Focusing on glute development will create the illusion of leaner legs but also will help tremendously with your marathon performance too 🙂

  • brooke says:

    everyone always teases my about my hip dips and its hard for me to wear bakinis and not feel ashamed but i want to change that! this artical helped ALOT cuz now i know what not to do and i know that hip dips are normal and lots of woman have them😊

  • J. says:

    HI 🙂 I have lost some weight recently, and I have always had large butt and hips. As I have been losing weight, my hip dips have become more prominent. If I do more weight training for my lower body, would it appear as more toned and rounded? Right now I am doing more HIIT and want to soon transition towards weight training and muscle building. Do you have any recommendations? Thank you 🙂

    • Shelley Darlington says:

      Hi J, I think lifting weights and focusing on glute development will help you! HIIT really won’t do much to shape and sculpt your body. Of course, depending on your own body type, shape and size as well as where you tend to store most of your body fat will determine the appearance of your hip dips – and in truth, you will never be able to totally get rid of them. They are normal, simply the shape of your skeleton! So learning to accept them is your best bet – and of course, lifting weights will help 🙂

  • Abbigayl Smith says:

    This arrival was very helpful but I am very new to all of this stuff so I need as much guidance and advise as I can get! My shape has more of an “athletic build”/not curvy and my hip dips are extremely noticeable. I have also been considered under weight almost my entire life. Is their any other advise you could give me on how to gain weight while filling in the hip dips. Also what foods to eat to gain weight?

    • Shelley Darlington says:

      If you have more of an ectomorph or athletic body that does not gain weight easily, then as well as lifting weights, diet is really key for you. It’s impossible for me to give you detailed and personalised advice here – it would take all day and I would have to get to know you and your history to best advise you! But this is something that I will be covering extensively in my STRONG Curves Guide that will be released very soon.

  • Nina says:

    Hi Shelley, I was inspired by your article and YouTube video but I have a question: my upperleg muscles are big and easily grow without much effort. Even if I do cardio and that is why I avoid lunges and squads. How can I excercise my glutes without training my upper legs? And I love to cycle on my mountainbike, is that also a good excercise?


    • Shelley Darlington says:

      Hi Nina, have you watched my video, ‘Why Your Glutes Won’t Grow (And 3 Ways To Fix It)’? It goes into detail about dominant thighs and underactive glutes.It’ll probably answer most of your questions regarding this topic. Squats and lunges are compound moves that will use all the muscles of your core and lower body and if your thighs are already dominant, they will take over during these exercises. You have to stop doing them and focus on isolating your glutes as much as possible until they become strong enough to take over from your quads. It takes time! Be patient and consistent. Any exercise that you feel mostly in your thighs, you will have to stop for the short term until you work on fixing this imbalance. Cycling and most forms of running will only put more emphasis on your quads – it’ll be hard to fix this if you continue to do cardio. It doesn’t have to be forever, but at least in the short term while you focus on glute development.

  • May says:

    I have hip dips but my hips are very narrow… I’m guessing it’s because they’re very high and I’m very thin? I’m guilty of wishing I had nice sexy rounded hips sometimes, but most of the time I actually like them, I think they’re kinda cute!

    • Shelley Darlington says:

      Loving your body exactly as it is without needing to change it any way is really the key! I’m happy you love your cute hip dips 🙂 every body shape is beautiful!

  • Kitty says:

    Interesting post, informative too. But next time, please provide references from where you got your information 🙂

  • NK says:

    Hi Shelly,
    I’m taking Human Anatomy & Physiology this semester, and the pictures and the video explain the differences between Gluteus Minimus and Gluteus Medius very well. (I have two muscle tests this thursday. this post is really helpful!! haha) Thank you!!

  • Emma says:

    Thank you. This is the most helpful article I’ve found on this subject.

  • Tasneem Turash says:

    You did not talk much about gluteus minimus !

    • Shelley Darlington says:

      Yes, you are right! Mainly because the minimus is such a small muscle that works in synergy with the medius and is more of a stabilising muscle of the hip. The bigger medius that sits on top is more of a culprit when it comes to the issue of the hip dip. Hope that clarifies!

  • Tasneem Turash says:

    Brilliantly written!

  • Deborah says:

    For the first time, I truely understand my hip dips! Your post was absolutely interesting, intuitive and encouraging. Thank you for shedding some light on my forever battles with HD. Excited to try your exercise.. Again TY, and you are strikingly beautiful, inside and out.

    • Shelley Darlington says:

      So happy you enjoyed the article and thank you for the wonderful feedback 🙂

      P.S. give up the battle! Embrace your hip dips whilst striving to better yourself – that’s where the magic happens!

      Much love to you.

  • jas says:

    This article and video really helped me a lot. Thank you so much! I just wanted to know that would these exercises help with reducing muffin tops.

    • Shelley Darlington says:

      Hey Jasmin,

      Glad you like the article. Of course any of these exercises that focus on strong compound movements and particularly lower body can help a little with body composition. But like I stated in the video, fat loss has very little to do with exercise. So stop focusing on it, thinking its the driving factor – it’s not! Focus more on your lifestyle, diet and stress levels. There are people who cannot exercise due to injury and still manage to lose weight by changing ONLY their diet! So does that give you your answer? 😉


      Weights will sculpt and build muscle i.e. give you the shape you want – curves in all the right places.

      Diet, lifestyle, stress management and proper sleep to optimise your hormones will burn body fat.

      Hope that helps and good luck! You are on the right track so keep going 🙂

  • jas says:

    This article and video really helped me a lot. Thank you so much! I just wanted to know that would these exercises help with reducing muffin tops

  • Jasmin says:

    Hi Shelley, I absolutely love that you always tell the truth about these exercises and expose everything that these other fitness influencers tend to lie about. I just wanted to ask you, would exercises such as the glute bridges and hip thrusts work for reducing the muffin top? I know that it also comes down to your cortisol levels, diet and whether or not if your stressed. But if I were to do exercises at home without equipment or bands to reduce my muffin top/love handles, would those exercises be effective? Thank you 🙂

    • Shelley Darlington says:

      Hi Jasmin,

      I think I have answered you on another blog article so please see that reply to your question!

      These exercises will sculpt and strengthen the muscles of your core and lower body. BUT, exercise does NOT directly burn fat. You cannot spot reduce fat. The only way to effectively manage your body fat levels is to clean up your diet, reduce your stress and fix your sleep in order to optimise your hormones. Only then will your body switch on the fat-burning mode.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  • Grace says:

    Good evening Shelly I actually didn’t have dip dips before but when I started doing excercises to make my butt bigger I started having them in one side of my hip then as I started doing excercises to make them less prominent it actually worse now and I am beginning to have it on my other hip pleaseeee what should I do it’s so embarrassing

  • Grace says:

    Heyyy Shelley I didn’t have hip dips before but I when I started doing excercises to make butt bigger I started noticing them on one side of my hip so I went online did a little research and started to doing excercises to make the less prominent but i noticed it worked a little bit but now it’s actually worse am even having it in my other hip it’s so frustrating and annoying please what should I do can my hips go back to normal or it’s gonna be stuck like that

    • Shelley Darlington says:

      Hi Grace,

      Thank you for sharing and I hear you! Its frustrating when you try so hard and don’t get the results that you thought you would.

      But I do want to remind you that firstly, hip dips are absolutely nothing to be ashamed of! They are totally normal and just the unique shape of your hip and leg bones. Like I said in the article and video, you can do things to help a little but at the end of the day you can never completely get rid of them… and that’s ok! I have been training for over a decade and I still have little hip dips. Who on earth made us think that as women, our hip dips are ugly?! Probably comparing ourselves to Kardashians and their clones on instagram who get butt implants and fat injections does not help. But we are REAL women!! Embrace your beautiful body whatever its natural shape or size because there is nothing to be embarrassed about.

      Secondly, as your body composition changes with a healthy lifestyle and exercise, you will lose body fat in certain areas and gain muscle in others – your body will change and fluctuate A LOT until you become a master of your body and come to a place of maintaining what you have built. Be patient. Focusing on the bits of your body that you do not like and forcing, efforting and trying too hard to eradicate them will only make things worse and you’ll end up miserable. You cannot build a body that you love by paying attention to what you hate. Period. You must learn to let go of your self-criticism and work on yourself in a more lovingly productive way. Focus on your strengths. Focus on building strong glutes. Put your niggles aside and keep your eye on the prize. Sing your praises and focus ONLY on what you DO LOVE about yourself. The gym is to better yourself, not to pick fault with yourself.

      On a practical level, if you’ve been doing a lot of abduction exercises that focus on the gluteus medius and/or the TFL – STOP. Just focus on strong compound movements for now – hip thrusts, bridges, lunge variations, dead lift variations and hyperextensions to build up your gluteus max. Your body will always be a work in progress so stop chasing perfection – it really doesn’t exist!

      I hope that helps you and that I wasn’t too blunt with you (tough love is my only way!).

  • Mindy says:

    Thank you for going in about the physiology & anatomy of the human body. & for emphasizing to accept oneself. This was truly inspiring & I can’t wait to try those workouts.

  • Ja says:

    Hi Shelley, I wanted to ask, is it possible to distribute your muffin top fat to fill your hips and if so what are the exercises.

  • Ash says:

    Do fire hydrants and donkey kicks help?

    • Shelley Darlington says:

      Hi Ash,

      Fire hydrants can be tricky to master in terms of form, especially if you have poor mobility in the hips and tight adductors muscles – but if you feel it in the right places, then go ahead and do them, although they primarily work the gluteus medius. Same thing with donkey kicks but just make sure you do them banded – air kicks will do nothing, you really need some resistance to get the most out of donkey kicks. Hope that helps!

  • Jacky says:

    Hellow I saw your video please help me I have dip hips and my butt shape is v shape I am excersising for almost 1 year but I don’t know what are the right workout to make it round I really sad… I worked out 4 days a week but it’s like nothing work for me

    • Shelley Darlington says:

      Hi Jacky, I hear your frustration! Although it’s impossible for me to help you without knowing your exact circumstances and seeing in person exactly what you’re doing. One thing I will say is that results don’t happen overnight and one year is not long at all, although it might feel like a long time to you. There are so many factors that come in to play when trying to figure out what works best and how to truly master your body. I couldn’t possibly write it in one comment here on a blog post. That’s why I’m working on my Strong Curves Guide and membership app – so you have a reliable source of in depth information and guidance on how to train, eat and think for your own personal needs and body type.

      Hang tight and don’t give up. Rome wasn’t built in day. Working on your mindset FIRST is the key. You cannot think negatively about your body and expect to get positive results. Hard pill to swallow but let that sink in. Be easier on yourself. Look for the small wins. Appreciate what you DO like about yourself. Don’t argue for your limitations or take score of what ISN’T going right. You’ve got to be in it for the long haul. This is a journey and learning curve. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the end result is the holy grail. It’s not. You cannot be unhappy on your way to happiness. Self-acceptance is your kryptonite – the hardest thing to master but the ONLY thing that will get you to the body and the happiness that you want.

      Sending you love! 🙂

  • Ann Persaud says:

    Hi! I recently came across your article and I’m so glad I did. I think I’ve irritated my TFL muscle and I’m not sure what can be done to ease it. Since reading your article I’m going to stop focusing on targeting certain areas of my gluteus. I’m kind of back to square 1 any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!

    • Shelley Darlington says:

      Hi Ann,

      Indeed sounds like an overuse injury, however, just to be sure, I recommend that you go see a physio or sports therapist to figure out what exactly is going on. If it is overuse and the TFL is a little angry, the only thing you can do is REST. And I mean, no lower body workouts for at least 7-10 days. This might seem like a set back, but honestly it’s not that long in long run and if you don’t rest, you risk causing more dysfunction and you could potentially be out for months. So nip it in the bud now, is my advice!

      Avoid lower body exercises, banded glute activation and even cardio – stick to just upper body workouts for now. Give the TFL as much rest as possible so the inflammation can subside (if that indeed is the muscle that’s causing the issue). Epsom salt baths and infra red sauna are a great way to aid recovery and lower inflammation. Once the pain subsides after a few days to a week (judge off how the muscle feels) you can start foam rolling, trigger balling and massaging the area – it’ll hurt but it is necessary! Go easy, don’t push it. Do it one day and then leave it alone to recover from the massaging/rolling for the next day or two. The muscle will feel bruised like it’s taken a beating from the massage so you need to give it time for the swelling and inflammation to subside again before you go back in with a trigger ball or massage.

      Assess how you feel after a couple of weeks and return to lower body workouts slowly and gently – don’t go heavy! Stick to bodyweight squats/hip thrust but still no glute activation or isolation exercises! Just simple compound movements. Assess how you feel. If you have pain again, ease off and return to rest/recovery/massage for a few days. If you feel ok, try your next session with some single leg exercises like lunges, single leg squats etc. Assess, and repeat the process until you can slowly build more strength without the pain. When you do return to doing banded glute activation drills and more complex glute workouts, go easy on the abduction (medius muscle exercises) and isolation exercises and instead, focus on getting super strong in your squats, hip thrusts and dead lifts so you can build some decent muscle and strength in the gluteus maximus. Hopefully your TFL by then won’t be getting smashed or try to take over when doing your glute workouts.

      Like I said, please seek professional help first as I’m not able to assess you in person to make sure that this is actually the correct plan for you. This is just what I would do if I knew for sure I had a TFL overuse injury/strain. Good luck and I hope you heal fast!

  • >