5 Exercises to help Reduce Your Hips

Ever wondered what it would be like to have those perfectly curved hips like Shakira and dance to her popular songs? For most of us, every time we hear her popular number Hips Don’t Lie being telecasted on the television, we get into a zone where we see ourselves shaking our hips effortlessly like she does and being full of energy. Then suddenly we glance back to look in the mirror and realise that the picture isn’t perfect after all. There’s a lot of work that we need to do on our hips to get that perfectly toned, sculpted curve. Well, don’t fret just yet, we have your back.

In an article by Harvard Health Publications, it is asseverated that while oestrogen aims at depositing fat around the thighs, hips and pelvis; testosterone settles fat in the belly. “This is the chief reason why it is difficult for women to particularly shift their fat from these specific areas in comparison to any other part of their body,” agrees Bhupendra Tokas, a trainer at Fitness First gym, New Delhi.

Here are five best ways to reduce the fat around your hips and shape it up, and no, you don’t have to head to the gym to do these exercises. You can easily perform them at home –

1. Squat and Squat

According to Gaurav Sharma, Fitness Manager at Sports Fit, this popular exercise works amazingly well for your hips, butt, thighs and stomach. For beginners, one can use less weight or just do it free hand and gradually start using dumbbells, increasing the weight after every few days.  Developing muscles in those areas combined with overall fat loss can help with toning. Also squats are a favourite of every body-builder, which includes celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and eight times Mr. Olympia, Ronnie Coleman. Here is how to squat right:

1. Start with your feet apart, parallel to your hips. Place your hands in the prayer position in the middle of your chest.
2. While putting your weight into your heels sit down like you are trying to sit on a chair.
3. Push your buttocks out behind you and go down as far as you can or until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor.
4. Pause when your thighs are parallel to the ground. Slowly rise back up to your starting position.


2. Do Those Lunges

Shakti Kumar Yadav, Head Trainer, Gold’s Gym, New Delhi says,” The Lunge technique forces you to stretch your hip flexor muscle, which are chronically tight for most individuals nowadays due to their sedentary lifestyle.” Lunges not only help you have toned muscles around your hip but also help to tone the thigh muscles. Here’s how you lunge:

1. Start standing with your feet apart, parallel to your shoulders, and put your hands on your hips.
2. Step forward a few feet with one foot. Keep your toes point forward. Drop your back knee (keeping it straight) and bend your front knee at the same time in a slow and controlled movement.
3. Drop down until your front thigh is almost parallel to the ground. Ensure that your front knee is aligned with your ankle (not in front of your ankle).
4. Use your front thigh to push your body back up to the starting position. Switch legs and repeat as necessary.


3. Try Plies

A typical ballet move , these are your regular squats turned outwards. Here, your knees turn outside instead of facing the front. You can do it along with kettle bell or dumbbells, and it works like magic on toning the hips. Here’s how you do it:

1. Stand with feet apart, slightly wider than your shoulder width. Point your toes in a 45 degree angle away from your body. Put your hands in the prayer position in front of your chest or put your hands on your hips.
2. Lower your body down keeping your head, torso and buttocks in a straight linear line from ceiling to floor.
3. As you lower your body down, your knees should be bending out away from your body. Lower until your thighs are about parallel to the floor.
4. Slowly raise your body back up to the starting position, using your inner thighs and buttocks to push yourself back up. Repeat as many times as necessary.

4. The Bridge Exercise

The bridge exercise builds strength in the hips and the spine, which help you maintain anappropriate posture when you’re sitting or standing for a longer period of time. The move likewise fortifies the centre. Here’s how you can do this exercise:

1. Lay down on the ground and face the ceiling. Bend your knees in front of your body at a 90 degree angle. Rest your arms by your sides.
2. Pressing through your buttocks, raise your hips into the air until your body is in a straight line declining from knees to head.
3. Hold for a few seconds before slowly rolling your spine back onto the ground to the starting position.
4. Repeat 10 to 20 times or as necessary. Take it a step further by raising one leg and holding your hips at an even level during the minute. Repeat it with the opposite leg.


5. The Side Lying Leg Raise

A simple exercise that is commonly included in most workout regime, it provides effective results. Here, the hip joint is stretched out through the synergistic working of the hamstrings, hip muscles and extensors, with backing from the muscles of the lower back. It helps in keeping the muscles of your back firm, tones the butt, enhances your posture and guards you from lower back pain, one of most common problems for people who lead a sedentary lifestyle.

Here’s how you do it:

1. Lay down sideward on the ground, with your legs stacked on top of each other. Rest your head on the arm closest to the floor. Place your upper arm on your hip.
2. Keeping your leg straight and foot flexed, raise your top leg up towards the ceiling. Lower back down to the starting position slowly. Repeat a number of times and then switch sides to work the other leg.

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