Shapely, curvaceous hips look great in a body-skimming dress, but too many lumps and curves can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance. You can improve the appearance of your hips and maintain comfort and range of motion in your joints by exercising regularly. A combination of aerobic exercise, strength training and stretches is an ideal way to exercise your hips.
If the excess flab on your hips makes you feel like there should be a "Wide Load" sign on your behind, cardio exercise will help you whittle it away. Although there's no such thing as spot reduction, engaging in heart-pumping aerobic exercise will help you lose weight all over, including your hips. A few forms of cardio that engage the hip muscles include swimming, running, cycling and working out on an elliptical trainer. Invest 300 minutes per week in your exercise plan to burn calories and get rid of excess fat.
Get slender and strong hips to help power your everyday movement by performing weight-bearing exercises three times per week. Do 24 stepups by holding a dumbbell in each hand as you step up and down on a step aerobics platform or the bottom step of a staircase. Perform eight to 24 squats while holding a dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand. Do eight to 24 side lunges on each leg with or without the addition of weights. Take a one-day break between strength training workouts to make sure your muscles have time to recover.
Stretching your hip muscles regularly helps keep them loose and prevents muscle soreness after a workout. Always stretch after a workout while your muscles are warm. Get down on one knee while resting your hands on the other knee, which will be bent at a 90-degree angle in front of you with your foot flat on the floor. Gently lean forward with your whole body to feel a stretch at your hips. Hold the stretch for 20 counts, and then switch legs and repeat.
Stretch your hips again by standing 1 foot away from a wall with your right hand resting against it. Lift your left foot toward your butt, and grasp it with your left hand. Hold the stretch for 20 counts, and then repeat on the other side.
Check with your physician before you start a new exercise program to make sure it's the right one for you. If part of your plan for slimmer hips involves losing weight, include a healthy, low-calorie diet. By cutting 250 to 500 calories per day from your diet, you can lose 1/2 to 1 pound per week in addition to what you may lose with exercise. Vary your workouts to prevent exercise boredom, and consider working out with a friend or partner on occasion to add a social element.
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.