Did you know Marilynn Monroe had “hip dips”? Probably not, since this term wasn’t a “thing” until relatively recently. But people around the world are currently posting pictures all over Instagram of themselves and others, highlighting the curve in their upper thighs, so-called #HipDips.
Thankfully, mainstream media like People and USA Today are covering the body positivity messages that go along with the trend. But there’s one startling point we can’t help but note: This wouldn’t be happening without so many women thinking their hips dips were odd or something they could “fix”! It’s time to put this to rest.
What Are Hip Dips?
Basically, hip dips are inward curves on the outer, upper thighs, just below the hip bone (scientifically called a trochanteric depression) due to a space between the hip bone and the femur (thigh bone). It’s usually most noticeable in women with higher and/or wider hip bones. Here’s the good news: If you have them, don’t be alarmed. It’s totally natural. The shape of your hip-to-femur joint requires no more concern or change than the shape of your knees, knuckles, or any other joint.
As a fitness professional of 15 years, I have an idea why this is a “thing.” Like the “thigh gap,” it’s an easy way to physically compare women to each other. But are we so self-conscious that we’re looking for new ways to feel bad about our bodies? Why???? Let me be crystal clear: Hip dips do not mean you need to lose weight!
Some women are confident in their shape and level of health. Others are not. We may think “My thighs are too fat,” or “My arms are too skinny.” Ok, if you’re really storing extra fat or want some extra muscle, then as a strong and independent woman, you can do something about it. Or you can accept it and move on. Either is perfectly fine. It’s your body.
Bone shape, however, is genetic and you can probably thank or blame your parents. The “hip dip” is much more strongly correlated to bone structure than to fat deposits and muscle size.
The Proof You Can’t “Work It Off”
As a body builder who trains body builders, I have a lot of experience in this area, because we’re naturally trying to reduce fat and build muscle as much as possible. It’s an art show, not a fitness competition. But despite all my hard work, my hip dips will never go away. And I love it!
I have hip dips at both my normal weight and my stage weight (about 20 lbs lighter, with such limited fat that I almost look sick). On stage, it’s especially easy to see the hip dip as a positive, as it separates my quads from my glutes.
The biggest hip dip difference between my two sizes is the proportion. When I’m carrying a healthy amount of body fat, the top of my thighs stick out further than the top of my hips, because my quads grew faster than my glutes. Do I want to shrink my quads? Absolutely not! So to balance them, I’m focusing on more glute training. More squats! More deadlifts! More bridges! If this is a concern for you too, and you want to do something about it, you can strength train. Check out my mini workout below for some good moves to incorporate.
But You Can Build It Up
Ultimately, my point is if you don’t have hip dips, enjoy those smooth, sleek lines! But if you do, embrace it and build it and show off some muscle. You have a beautiful, sturdy foundation. Flaunt it!
3 Moves to Build Your Booty & Thighs
To add shape and density to your backside and thighs, try these exercises. I recommend starting light with a few practice sets (or practice days, if you’re new to weight lifting) and working up to 2-4 sets of 10-12 reps 2-3 days/week. Once acclimated to the new exercises, select a weight that is light enough for you to complete at least 8 reps in a row with good form, and heavy enough that you really can’t complete more than 12 reps in a row with good form.
1 – Lie with your shoulders and head on a bench, knees bent, feet flat and hips low, holding a barbell across your midsection.
2 – Raise your hips up, making a straight line with your body from your shoulders to your knees.
• Lower back to the start position and repeat.
1 – Start in a squat position with the barbell on the floor, your feet hip-width apart, your head up and your hips low.
2 – Stand up, lifting the barbell, keeping your arms straight and your back flat.
3 – Lower the barbell back to the floor, pushing your hips back and down and bending your knees.
1 – Stand upright with the barbell on the back of your shoulders and your feet flat, shoulder-width apart.
2 – Lower your body toward the floor, sending your hips back and down and bending your knees.
3 – Push through your heels to return to start position, keeping your back flat and head up throughout the movement.