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How Can I Make My Hips Wider?

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How Can I Make My Hips Wider?

Recently we have seen a cultural shift - a curvier body has become the ideal, and the stick-thin "model look" that was around for years no longer reigns.

But what if you are a naturally small, thin person who wants a curvier look? There is only one thing that determines the size of our hip bones: genetics. Our parents' genes dictate what we will look like, from our hair color to the size and shape of our skeleton.

Your hips are your hips; you cannot change your bone structure no matter how hard you work.

But luckily, you can create the appearance of wider hips through building muscle and fat in the area to sculpt the shape you desire.

What is a waist-to-hip ratio?

One of the reasons wider hips are so desirable is that they are a great indicator of general health. The waist-to-hip ratio is a method used to measure and determine your body shape accurately. The waist-to-hip ratio refers to your waist size compared to the size of your hips, as a percentage. 

The lower your waist-to-hip ratio is, the lower your chances of several health risks, like heart disease, become. A lower waist-to-hip ratio also indicates a healthy hormone balance and healthy fertility.

You can calculate your waist-to-hip ratio by measuring your waist and hip circumferences. Then, divide your waist circumference by your hip circumference to get your ratio.

Ideally, you'd like your ratio to be under 0.8 to be in optimal health with a low risk of heart disease and other illnesses.

What hormone makes hips wider?

Hormones play a significant role in creating a delicate balance in our bodies. When hormones are out of whack, your body can experience issues with its natural rhythm.

Hormones also influence how our bodies grow - women with higher levels of estrogen and lower levels of androgens (like testosterone) tend to have a lower waist-to-hip ratio and an hourglass or pear body shape. The hormones cause their bodies to store fat in the lower half of the body instead of the waist.

Conversely, a woman with higher levels of androgens will store more visceral fat carried around the waist. Visceral fat accumulates around the organs, causing strain on many parts of the body and possibly leading to severe conditions, like heart disease.

If you think you may have a hormone imbalance, see a doctor and get some blood work done so your hormone levels can be measured accurately.

Is it possible to widen hips?

Beyond trying to keep your hormones regulated through a healthy diet and exercise, they won't be a huge help to getting bigger hips if you don't already have them.

It is impossible to widen hip bones in any controlled way. As mentioned above, the best way to increase the size of your hips is to add more meat to your body. You can achieve this through heavy muscle training, exercises that widen hips, and a diet that helps build as much muscle as possible.

What causes hips to widen?

Naturally, hip bones can widen in a few ways:

  • Childbirth. When a female body gives birth, the hip bones themselves will widen to allow a baby to pass through. In many cases, the hips will go back to their original size afterward, but sometimes the hips will remain widened permanently.
  • Age. As we get older, our hips slightly widen naturally. One study found that between participants age 20-79, the oldest participants had wider hips than the youngest participants by an inch on average.

Can you get wider hips with exercise?

If you're wondering how to get bigger hips, one way to do so is through changing the muscle and fat composition in your body.

If you choose to increase your diet to gain weight, you will gain weight all over. You can't control where your fat accumulates, and therefore you will likely be pretty unsuccessful at increasing the size of your hips without increasing the size of your waist as well.

What we can control is our muscle mass. The best method is to perform hip widening exercises to build some serious glute, hamstring, and quad muscles to increase size in the hips.

Workout for Wider Hips

You'll need to find butt workouts that you can do using a straightforward piece of equipment - the resistance band! Body weight-bearing exercises are great for working with every single muscle group, which is no different for the butt and hips.

Using a resistance band for hips to perform these bigger hips exercises you up the stress placed on your muscles leading to bigger growth and gains. They're relatively inexpensive and don't require a gym membership, and you can perform this workout from anywhere.

You'll want to perform these exercises 2-3 times a week on alternating days to give your muscles ample time to recover and rebuild.

Repeat the entire circuit 2 times. Increase to 3 times as you improve. If the exercises become too easy, try using a heavier band with more resistance.

1. Banded Squat

  1. Step both feet through a hip band and place the band around your lower thighs.
  2. Stand with feet hip-width apart. Squat down as low as your body will allow while maintaining proper form - this means keeping your abs engaged, back up straight, and knees in line with the ankles. Do not let your knees extend beyond your toes. Extend your arms straight out in front of you for balance.
  3. Return to the starting position and repeat.
  4. Perform for 45 seconds.

2. Banded Glute Bridge with Hip Abduction

  1. Step both feet through a hip band and place it around your lower thighs.
  2. Lie down on your back on an exercise mat. Bend your knees and place your feet on the ground.
  3. Engage your abs and lift your bum and lower back off of the floor. Your knees should be inline with your shoulders.
  4. At the top of the move, open your knees out slightly. Repeat 3 times.
  5. Return to the starting position and repeat.
  6. Perform for 45 seconds.

3. Alternating Banded Donkey Kicks

  1. Place a hip band around your lower thighs.
  2. Get down into a tabletop (on all 4's) position on an exercise mat. Keep your hands directly under your shoulders and knees under hips.
  3. Lift your right leg straight up behind you keeping a 90-degree angle in your knee. Your foot should be lifted toward the ceiling.
  4. Return to the starting position. Repeat with the left leg.
  5. Repeat for 45 seconds.

4. Banded Knee Abductions

  1. Place a hip band around both thighs.
  2. Lie on your back on an exercise mat. Lift both knees into tabletop position. Pull your knees in a little closer toward your chest to target your glute muscles.
  3. Extend both knees out to the side, keeping the ankles in line with the knees.
  4. Return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for 45 seconds.

5. Banded Leg Lifts

  1. Place a hip band around both thighs.
  2. Get into a tabletop position on an exercise mat. Extend your right leg directly out behind you, with the toe touching the floor.
  3. Lift your right leg straight up until it is at butt level. Repeat twice.
  4. Return to starting position and repeat on the left side.
  5. Repeat for 45 seconds.

Here is a video with some of these great exercises!

Diet for Building Muscle

Performing these hip widening exercises is only half of the big picture. Your diet needs to fall in line for the exercises to pay off.

We can't stress this enough: You need to eat extra calories to build muscle.

When eating for weight loss, your goal is to create a calorie deficit, meaning to burn more calories than you eat in a day. Conversely, when you're trying to gain muscle you need to take in more calories than you burn in order to provide energy for your body to build more muscle.

Don't use muscle gain as an excuse to go all out and start eating meals like you're The Rock. Calculate your basic caloric needs in a day (there are a ton of online tools out there that will do this for you). Add an extra 250 calories a day into your diet for the best results.

What you eat matters just as much as how much you eat. Protein is incredibly important in the process of building muscle, so you should aim to eat about 0.7 - 1 gram per pound of body weight each day. If you are 150 pounds, you should aim to eat 105 - 150 grams of protein per day.

Final Word

By combining this exercise routine with a high-calorie diet high in protein, you'll be on your way to building healthy, curvy hips and improving your physical health to boot!

Remember that consistency is vital on your fitness journey, so make finding time for these exercises to widen hips a priority.

Katherine Holden

Katherine Holden

Katherine is a CrossFit expert with humble origins. Starting out on a ranch, ever since she was nine, she spent most of her life roping and competing in team roping. After finding bodyweight exercises interesting she sought after a career in CrossFit and dedicated her life towards achieving the body of her dreams. Today Katherine is a personal trainer that loves to travel the world and change the lives of her clients.

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