The Truth and Myths About Hip Dips

Published October 26th, 2021 by Chris Riley
Fact Checked by
Erik Rivera
Medically Reviewed:
Dr. Angel Rivera

What are Hip Dips | Causes | Are Hip Dips Natural | Exercises for Hip Dips | Fitness Marketplace

In this article, we will discuss hip dips. Hip dips, also called violin hips, are the indentation that happens when the hip bone protrudes from the hip socket and is not covered by muscle or body fat. They are totally natural but there are many myths surrounding hip dips and their effects on your body. Let's take a look at what hip dips are and whether you should be worried about them.

What are hip dips?

Hip dips are a natural part of our human body structure, but for some, it may be uncomfortable or even something they wish wasn’t there. The hip area has many bones and muscles that makeup what we call “the hip region." One bone, in particular, is called the hip bone or the innominate. This hip bone sticks out on either side of the hip joint and creates a natural dip that is very common in both men and women. With hip dips, the top of your hips dips down in between two bones that make up your pelvis called posterior superior iliac spines (PSIS). The hip dipping is visible when standing with a neutral posture and weight balanced equally on each foot. The depth of these dips vary from person to person, but they are typically more prominent for those with a leaner body type because there isn’t as much fat covering the hip area. The hip bone and the muscles that surround it are not usually a cause for concern unless they start to protrude from your body or make you feel uncomfortable about yourself.

The indentation of hip dips can be somewhat changed by a variety of factors including genetics and lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise. If you have hip dips it may not necessarily mean your hips will always have such a large or small indentation as diets and exercise can help manage hip dips if you are embarrassed by them. There are many ways to get rid of hip dips, but there is no guarantee that they will go away completely.

hip dipsHip Dips - Women's Health Mag

What causes hip dips?

The cause of hip dips is your hip bones that do not have a lot of skin and fat. Hip dips can be affected by genetics, weight gain or loss, or hip surgery from the past. Your pelvis bone structure is determined by genetics, and hip dips are a natural part of your hip bones that connect to your pelvis. Your pelvis and hip bones help determine the shape of the hip dips by connecting to the hip dip area. Hip dips are a part of your hip bone structure that cannot be changed through exercise, weight loss, or any other method; however, although you can't change your bone structure you can help fill the indent in with muscle or fat.

So their overall cause is genetics, however, hip dips can be made more pronounced through weight gain or loss and adding muscle or fat. Hip dips can actually be a sign of being healthy and fit. You should embrace your hip dip by trying to work them out so you have more muscle there instead of fat. They can occur in both men and women regardless of how athletic they may be. It is also important to keep weight gain and hip dips in mind as you age.

Is it ok to have hip dips?

Some people feel insecure about hip dips, but you should embrace your hip dip because it does not affect your health or mobility. Hip dips are normal and do not need to be treated by a doctor unless there is pain involved. Because hip dips are a natural part of one's bone structure that does not change, so different people have varying degrees of indentations. All of them are natural and do not necessarily indicate being in shape or out of shape.

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How can you get rid of hip dips?

As stated above, you can never fully get rid of them as they are a part of your bone structure. However, you can improve hip dips by using exercises that target the hips such as squats, hip thrusts, hip abduction exercises, and hip extensions. Let's take a closer look at how to perform these exercises for hip dips.

Squats

To perform squats you will first want to stand with your feet hip-width apart and your toes turned out slightly. Make sure that you are not tilting forward or backward as if you were on a boat as it is normal for this to happen when doing squats. Engage your core muscles by pulling in the abdominal muscles and tightening up through the glutes. Bring your hands in front of you and hold them together. Now, begin hip dipping down by bending the knees while keeping the back straight (do not stick out your butt) until you are in a squat position. Go as low as comfortable but make sure to keep a flat lower back throughout this movement and it will be hard at first but with practice, it gets easier. When performing squats it is important that you have a monitor to ensure that your hip dips are going down in the right place.

Hip Thrusts

To perform hip thrusts you will want to have a bench or box that is about 12-18 inches high, something where you can rest your upper body while keeping the hips elevated above the floor level. Place both feet next to each other with heels tilted out a bit while your upper back and arms remain on the box or bench. Take a hip dip down into the box and then thrust upwards using your hip muscles while squeezing in the glutes at the end of this movement. It is important to note that when performing hip thrusts you should not let your lower back arch as it can lead to injuries, so make sure they are performed properly every time.

Hip Abduction

To perform hip abductions, also called the standing side leg lift, you will want to start in a standing position with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Make sure that your shoulders are down, your back is straight, and your core muscles are engaged so not much movement should occur in the lower body when performing hip abduction exercises. Now bring one leg out to the side with your hip muscles while keeping the other leg straight. It is important to note that you should not bring out the hip too far because it can lead to injury so make sure they are performed properly every time and do only what feels comfortable for you. An ankle weight or resistance band can be added should you want a more difficult challenge. 

Hip Extensions

This is also called a glute bridge and the starting position involves you lying on your back on the floor, knees bent, feet flat on the ground about a foot from your butt. Then lift your hips off of the floor extending your torso, hips, and thighs toward the ceiling while squeezing in your glutes to complete this movement. Bring your lower back down to the floor and repeat as many times as necessary. This is a great hamstring and glute exercise, your glutes being your butt muscles. 

Now that you know how to perform squats, hip thrusts, hip abductions, hip extensions, hip dips are not so scary. However hip dips can be improved with some simple exercises that target the hip muscles.

Summary

Hip dips are natural indentations in the hip bones that do not need to be treated by a doctor unless there is pain involved. Hip dips can vary from person to person but everyone has them. They are caused because of your skeletal structure and cannot be changed, however, they can improve with certain exercises such as hip thrusts, hip abduction exercises, hip extensions, and squats. Should you have any more questions or have pain in your hips, please see your healthcare professional or medical provider.

References and Sources:

Women's Health Mag - Hip Dips

How to Get Rid of Hip Dips - Healthline

Hip Dips - Refinery29

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