Hate your big hips? 5 tips to help you improve your body shape
by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA
Most people have a body area that they dislike but in my experience big hips tends to be a topic of controversy. Some people want to make their hips bigger and really work on getting a great hip/booty package. Others despair at their pear-shaped figure and want advice on which exercises will help give them the proportions they want.
I understand that people want to look good—let’s face it; feeling that we look our best is a huge confidence boost. Follow my five steps to add hip definition and you could be feeling more body positive in no time. These big hip tips will help you define your waist, tone up your tush and work your hip area until it’s perfectly proportioned for you! It’s amazing that by simply taking a few small steps and striving to improve your body through fitness, you could quickly see a boost in overall confidence and self-image.
My advice is to work towards achieving an improved overall fitness level and incorporate your body specific goals into that plan. Here are my five hip-boosting tips to help you get started on perfecting your hip area and booty while burning calories and improving your fitness level.
Boost your cardio exercise regime
Cardiovascular exercises such as running, cycling, biking and swimming burn calories. Often the fuel your body uses for these cardio activities is stored body fat. If you’re trying to burn fat off your big hips and booty, making time for a few cardio workouts each week is essential. Remember that you can’t decide where your body will burn fat (there’s no such thing as spot reduction), but adding 30-45 minutes of cardio on three days of the week will help you to burn fat effectively.
To make your cardio workout lower-body specific, try running and include hills to build up your glutes. Or try a spin class – they can be tough but fun and, if you put in the work, you should see results within the first six to ten weeks.
Make small dietary changes
Investing in good nutrition is one of the most important factors in improving your body. If you want to increase your muscle mass you must consume adequate protein. If you’re increasing the amount of exercise that you do, ensure that you are well-hydrated and enjoying plenty of good carbohydrates. My tip is to write down a daily consumption food diary so that you can see what you’re putting into your body. Make small changes to cut out junk foods and choose healthier options. If you focus on snack time to start with, you may be surprised how many empty calories you’re consuming. A change of just a few hundred calories a day can make a big impact on your body composition over time.
Build muscle and tone up
If you want to improve the muscle tone in your lower body, you must add lower body exercises to your routine. My favorites for toning big hips and booty are squats, lunges, step-ups, and leg lifts. Even if your aim is to slim down, building muscle is a perfect choice. Start out by performing these exercises using your body weight, then progress to adding resistance with dumbbells or a weighted bar. Strength exercises three days a week for 30 minutes would be a great start.
Balance your body with upper body exercises
If your proportions aren’t balanced, it can make a certain body part look too big or too small. Sculpting a balanced body, especially when talking about hips, is important. If you want to help big hips look smaller, start working on toning your upper body and shoulders in addition to lower body exercises. Try adding push-ups to your routine—they will tone your arms, chest, abs and back muscles in one simple move.
This is an important tip because I’ve hear people talk about wishing to improve their body all the time. Unfortunately, wishing without taking action will not work. If you make a commitment to following my simple big hip-slimming tips and getting your exercise routine going, over time you will start to notice changes.
I love having what I call a ‘strong figure.’ My upper and lower body is muscular but still petite proving that there is no need to be afraid of building muscle. Having a lean body mass means that my body burns more calories each day because it takes more energy for my body to sustain muscle. Muscle takes up less body space than fat as it’s a denser tissue. Having muscle can actually make you look smaller than if you have a lot of fat.
Whatever your overall body goal, just remember that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. True beauty is what is what radiates from the inside. Maintaining a body fat percentage that is within a healthy range is what I believe is most important.
Good luck working on your hips and booty. Get started and stop wishing!
Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.
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