Shaping Up: How to Get a Small Waist and Bigger Hips

Lexi Lutz
Reading Time: 17 minutes
Table of Contents

Ever glanced in the mirror and found yourself daydreaming about having that classic hourglass figure, with a small waist and bigger hips? It’s a common aspiration, but it often feels just out of reach.

I can relate to yearning for a curvier silhouette while gazing into the looking glass. Years ago, standing before my own reflection, wishing for more curves where they seemed to matter most. That dream felt distant then; now I’m here to share how you can bring yours within grasp.

This post is like your personal fitness GPS guiding you on this journey of transformation – from understanding the importance of your waist-to-hip ratio, choosing exercises that target those hip muscles effectively while slimming down your waistline to fueling up with nutritious food choices. Trust me; it’s easier than you think!

But you’re going to dive deep into the world of squats. We’ll explore their benefits, different types, and how they can transform your fitness routine.

Understanding the Importance of Waist-to-Hip Ratio

Realizing the significance of your body shape, particularly between waist and hips, is fundamental to how you perceive yourself. Ever wondered why an hourglass figure is so coveted? It’s all about the waist-to-hip ratio.

The waist-to-hip ratio, a key factor in determining body shape and attractiveness, reflects the distribution of fat around your waist compared to your hips. And it’s not just about aesthetics – it also impacts health outcomes.

This magic number can be calculated by dividing your waist circumference by that of your hips. The smaller this value, typically perceived as more attractive with wide hips balancing out with a small waist.

Finding Your Ideal Waist-To-Hip Ratio

But what makes for an ideal ratio? Well, there isn’t one answer that fits everyone because our bodies are unique. For some people having wider hip might mean having bigger butt too but remember it’s all part of achieving that hourglass figure which has been admired throughout history.

In general though if you’re aiming for an ‘hourglass’ silhouette: women often aim for ratios around 0.7 while men usually target closer to 0.9 according to research studies (noted in same link above).

Achieving That Coveted Hourglass Figure

You might think genetics solely determine whether we have broad shoulders or big hips – but lifestyle factors like diet and exercise play huge roles too. You could potentially work towards getting those curvierhips or a smaller waist through specific exercises & dietary changes even without drastically altering bone structure.

Hips Don’t Lie – They Reflect Your Health

Having a smaller waist isn’t just about looking good in jeans. Having a slimmer waist isn’t just for appearances; it can also indicate a decreased chance of developing coronary illness, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer.

On the flip side, a larger hip size often signals better health. This is because it usually means there’s more muscle mass in the gluteal area. And guess what? These muscles play a key role in controlling blood sugar levels.

The Role of Exercise in Achieving a Smaller Waist and Bigger Hips

Exercise is the secret sauce to achieving that hourglass figure. It’s not only about reducing calories, but rather constructing muscle in the right areas – particularly your waist and hips.

Importance of Compound Lifts

If you want bigger hips, compound lifts should be your best friend. These exercises work multiple muscles at once and are great for boosting overall muscle growth. For instance, squats don’t only target your quads; they also engage the gluteus maximus – one of three main hip muscles.

This means every time you squat down and stand back up again (the basic movement pattern for many compound lifts), these muscles get a workout too. And since these are larger muscle groups compared to others in our body (like biceps or triceps), working them out can lead to greater calorie burn during workouts.

Glute Exercises for Bigger Hips

You might ask yourself: “Why focus on my glutes?” Well, if we take a look at human anatomy (source here), we see that the buttocks consist mainly of three types of gluteal muscles: The Gluteus Maximus (the biggest one.), Medius and Minimus. Together they form much part of our hip structure.

In order to make those hips wider while keeping your waist smaller there’s no better exercise than Hip Thrusts. This fantastic move specifically targets all three parts of your glutes giving them an intense workout with each rep range done correctly.

But remember- proper form is crucial. Improper execution of exercises can lead to injury and delay your progress.

Glute bridges are another excellent exercise for building bigger hips. They’re a little easier on the knees than hip thrusts but still provide an effective workout for the glutes, which play a key role in achieving that desired hourglass body shape.

What’s so fantastic about these exercises? You don’t have to worry. These exercises are tailored to your specific needs, enabling you to progress at a comfortable rate.

Designing an Effective Workout Program for Building Bigger Hips

Your workout program needs to target the right muscles and hit them with the proper intensity. That’s how you’ll get those bigger hips you’re after.

The Key Exercises

Some exercises are better than others at building hip muscle. Side lunges, curtsy lunges, squats – these are all great options that can help strengthen and sculpt your hips. Research supports this too.

But don’t forget about variety. To ensure your body doesn’t become accustomed to the same routine, mix it up regularly. This will also keep things interesting.

Picking The Right Rep Range

To build muscle mass, aim for a rep range of 8-12 per set for each exercise in your routine. For endurance and toning (which also helps give shape), try a higher rep range like 15-20 reps.

This approach strikes a balance between gaining size (hypertrophy) and definition (toning). It’s what many trainers use when aiming to develop an hourglass body shape.

Frequency Matters Too

You can’t expect results if you’re not consistent with your workouts. Try to train at least three times per week – more if possible but remember rest days matter too.


“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” – Frederick Douglass


Now let’s move onto structuring these elements into a solid plan.

Mondays & ThursdaysSquats, Side Lunges, Curtsy Lunges – 3 sets of each exercise with a rep range of 8-12.
Tuesdays & FridaysDon’t forget to try Glute Bridges and Hip Thrusts. Aim for three sets with a rep range of 15-20.

Key Exercises to Target Hip Muscles

Muscle building is a game of targeting the right spots. For bigger hips, you’ve got to hit those hip muscles hard. But how? Well, let’s talk about exercises like hip thrusts and glute bridges that are known for sculpting big hips.

Hip Thrusts

The mighty hip thrust focuses on your gluteus maximus – that’s the biggest muscle in your butt. It also works wonders on your hamstrings and lower back. Sit on a bench, gripping a weighted barbell across your hips. Then drive those heels down, squeeze the glutes at the top, hold it…and release.

You’ll be feeling this one tomorrow but remember: no pain, no gain.

Glute Bridges

Sibling to the hip thrust is our next champion: The Glute Bridge. This fantastic workout targets not just one or two but all three major muscles groups around there –the gluteus maximus (yes again), medius and minimus–helping build muscle mass where we want it most.

To do this gem of an exercise correctly lie flat on your back with bent knees pointed upwards then push up through those heels until everything from knee to shoulder is aligned straight as an arrow. Make sure to give some love by squeezing those bum cheeks together at peak lift before lowering slowly.

Romanian Deadlift

This beauty does more than just get us closer towards wider hips; it builds strength throughout our whole body too. The Romanian deadlift targets your glute muscles and hamstrings, which are essential for a well-rounded hip area.

Stand straight with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a barbell or dumbbells in front of you, then bend at the hips to lower them close to your shins before pushing back up. Bend at the hips, lower the weights to about shin level, then push your hips forward to stand up again. This move will not only build bigger hips but also torch calories.

The Importance of Proper Diet for Waist and Hip Transformation

Achieving a smaller waist and bigger hips isn’t just about the sweat you pour in at the gym. Your diet plays a huge role too.

Think of your body as a vehicle that needs quality fuel to operate at its best. You can rev up that engine all you want, but without quality fuel, it won’t perform optimally. That’s why we need to get serious about our food choices when aiming for that hourglass figure.

Avoid Processed Foods and Trans Fats

Ever heard the phrase “Abs are made in the kitchen”? It rings true here too. Studies show processed foods and trans fats can derail your journey towards achieving wider hips or getting your waist smaller.

We’re talking packaged snacks, fast food, even some types of margarine. They don’t only contribute to weight gain; they also lead us further from our goal of lose weight around the waistline while gaining muscle mass on those hips.

Eating Healthy is Key

No one said this would be easy, but hey – good things rarely come without effort. Start eating healthy by incorporating whole grains, lean proteins (like chicken or fish), fruits & veggies into your daily meals will make sure you’re supplying your body with essential nutrients necessary for building big muscles.

  • Nuts like almonds offer protein which helps build muscle tissue;
  • Fruits such as berries provide antioxidants that help recovery after workouts;
  • Veggies including spinach contain iron which supports energy production during exercise sessions.


Research also suggests that healthy fats (found in nuts, avocados, olive oil) can aid weight loss while supporting muscle growth.

Balanced Diet for a Balanced Body

But a balanced diet isn’t just about counting calories. It’s also deeply tied to the quality of what we eat.

Incorporating Healthy Fats into Your Diet

Contrary to popular belief, not all fats are bad. In fact, some can even help you on your journey towards a smaller waist and bigger hips.

The key is knowing which fats to include in your diet and which ones to avoid. The goal isn’t just weight loss; it’s about reshaping the body while nourishing it with essential nutrients.

Healthy Fats for a Healthier Body Shape

Fats play an integral role in our bodies. They provide energy, absorb vitamins, protect organs, and aid brain function. But let’s get specific: what types of healthy fats should we eat?

  • Polyunsaturated fat: This includes omega-3 fatty acids found abundantly in fish like salmon or plant-based sources such as walnuts.
  • Monounsaturated fat: Foods rich in this type of fat include nuts (like almonds) and avocados – tasty treats that pack a nutritional punch.

A study, highlighted how incorporating these healthy fats into your diet could contribute significantly towards achieving a smaller waistline.

Saying No To Unhealthy Fat Sources

You’ve got the lowdown on beneficial fats now but remember – balance is vital. Although some edibles may have beneficial fat, that doesn’t mean they are without other unhealthy components.
If there’s one thing you need to cut back on right away? It’s trans-fatty foods.

Ditching Trans-Fat Rich Foods For Waist Transformation

Trans fats are the arch-nemesis of any healthy diet. They’re found in many processed foods and can lead to weight gain, specifically around your midsection.

If you want a smaller waist and wider hips, it’s crucial to make healthier choices that support these goals.
Avoiding trans-fat-rich food is one simple yet effective step towards achieving your dream body shape.

Understanding the Anatomy of Hip Muscles

The anatomy of hip muscles is fascinating. Your hips are primarily powered by three key players: the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus.

The Gluteus Maximus

Your glute max, as it’s fondly called in fitness circles, is the largest muscle in your body. It not only supports your upright posture but also aids in running, climbing stairs, and heavy lifting. Building this muscle contributes to wider hips and a bigger bum.

According to studies, targeted exercises for these big hitters can lead to building bigger hips with more pronounced curves.

The Glute Medius & Minimus

Moving onto our other two stars – the glute medius and minimus – they play vital roles too. They help stabilize your pelvis when you walk or run while adding depth to those curvier hips we’re after.

Beyond making us look great in jeans, these mighty trios support many everyday movements that involve moving around or externally rotating our legs like dancing or playing soccer.

A Peek into Muscle Mass Building

When it comes down to gaining muscle mass specifically on your lower half for an hourglass figure appeal, understanding how these specific muscles work can be a game-changer. By targeting them during workouts with exercises such as squats and hip thrusts, you’ll be able to sculpt larger glutes contributing significantly towards achieving wider hips square against a smaller waistline.

Hip External Rotation Exercises: Key Players For Wider Hips?

Sure enough. If done correctly, exercises that externally rotate the hips are a great way to build those outer hip muscles. For instance, clamshells and fire hydrants can be included in your routine as they specifically target gluteus medius and minimus.

These specific exercises might seem challenging at first, but remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. Consistency is key.

The Role of Genetics and Bone Structure

Ever wondered why some people seem to naturally have a smaller waist and bigger hips, while others struggle with it? It’s all about genetics and bone structure. Yes, you heard that right – your genes play a big part in determining your body shape.

For instance, if your family members tend to have wider hips or an hourglass figure, there’s a good chance you might inherit the same traits. That doesn’t mean you can’t improve what nature gave you through targeted exercises and diet adjustments though. But more on that later.

Bone structure is another crucial factor influencing our body shapes. Your skeletal frame determines how wide or narrow your waistline can be naturally without exercise or diet intervention.

Your Genes are Not Your Destiny

No need to despair if wider hips aren’t in your genetic cards. Although our genes do contribute to physical features, they are not the only determinant of body shape; regular exercise that focuses on particular muscle groups can help create an hourglass silhouette regardless. Research shows that lifestyle factors like regular exercise routine targeting specific muscles (hello gluteus maximus.) can help sculpt those curves even when DNA seems uncooperative.

The Lowdown on Bone Structure

Your bone structure also impacts where fat distribution occurs on your body which indirectly affects hip width as well as how small we could get our waists via natural methods alone. For example, women who possess broader pelvic bones may find it easier to achieve bigger hip measurements due their anatomy supporting larger muscle mass build-up around this area compared with those having narrower pelvises.

But don’t let this discourage you; remember muscular development contributes significantly towards overall appearance besides just bones.

Altering Bone Structure: Fact or Fiction?

You might have heard about certain exercises or diets claiming to alter your bone structure for a smaller waist and bigger hips. Unfortunately, this is more fiction than fact.

But don’t let that discourage you. Even though your bone structure stays pretty much the same after adulthood, there are still ways to enhance your figure. Exercise and diet can play a big role in shaping the muscles around your hips, giving them a more defined look.

Common Myths and Misconceptions about Getting a Smaller Waist and Bigger Hips

Let’s bust some myths, shall we? Dispelling the many misconceptions and myths surrounding waist-hip ratio, let’s start by debunking this one. Let’s clear the air.

“Spot Reduction Works for A Smaller Waist”

The first myth that needs debunking is spot reduction. Sorry folks, but science says you can’t just burn fat from your midsection by doing endless crunches or planks. Studies show that to achieve a smaller waist, you need more than specific exercises; what matters most is overall body fat loss which involves moving your whole body regularly in exercise routines like cardio workouts along with strength training.

“You Can Get Bigger Hips By Eating More”

A common misconception is thinking eating more will give you big hips – not entirely true. Sure, gaining weight might make your hips wider temporarily but without targeted exercises for glute muscles such as hip thrusts or glute bridges, this added weight could end up anywhere.

Your diet does play an important role though – specifically eating healthy fats like nuts avocados contributes positively towards building muscle mass around the right areas such as your bum area (gluteus maximus), while also helping keep that waist small through burning calories efficiently.

“Genetics Don’t Play Any Role”

Surely if I do enough squats my bone structure will change – wrong again. Your genetics heavily influence how easily you build bigger butt or curvier hips. So don’t beat yourself up if progress seems slow – everyone’s different.

“All Exercises Are Created Equal”

While it’s true that exercise is crucial for a healthier body, not all exercises are created equal when it comes to building big hips. Specific exercises like hip thrusts and glute bridges do wonders in targeting the gluteal muscles.

Plus, exercises that involve external rotation really give those outer hip muscles a workout. We’re talking about the gluteus medius and minimus here.

FAQs in Relation to How to Get a Small Waist and Bigger Hips

How can I increase my waist and hips size?

You can grow your waist and hip size by focusing on muscle-building exercises like squats, lunges, and deadlifts. Adding more calories from healthy foods into your diet also helps.

How do I get a smaller waist size?

To shrink your waist, focus on full-body workouts to burn fat evenly. Add in core-strengthening exercises for toning and eat a balanced diet low in processed food.

How do I get a flat stomach and big hips?

Achieving this combo involves two key steps: reducing belly fat through cardio exercise along with an overall healthy diet, while building up hip muscles via targeted strength training.

What exercises make your waist smaller?

Moves that tone the midsection – think planks, bicycle crunches or Russian twists – help carve out a slimmer waistline. Remember though: regular cardio is crucial to torch extra body fat too.


Transforming your body into an hourglass figure, with a small waist and bigger hips, isn’t beyond reach. It just takes understanding, effort, and time.

You’ve now got the knowledge on how targeted exercises like hip thrusts or glute bridges can shape those curves you desire. Remember to include these in your routine regularly.

A balanced diet plays its part too! Avoid processed foods; opt for healthy fats from sources like nuts and avocados instead. Nutrition is key when aiming for that desired silhouette.

And let’s not forget genetics – while it has some say in our natural body shape, don’t let this deter you from achieving your goals!

In short: work out wisely; eat well; be patient. Your dream of having a smaller waist and wider hips will become reality before long!