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How To Gain Weight In Hips? 8 Exercises To Get Wider Hips 2022

Christine VanDoren

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN

how to gain weight in hips

You must have been taught about puberty in elementary school, an intriguing experience. Although females and males have some common signs of puberty, distinctions exist. 

In females, the distinct signs include breast development, vaginal discharge, periods, and broad or wide hips. However, some scientists[1] have discovered that the woman’s pelvis gets wider from puberty until 30 years of age. Then at the age of 40, it starts shrinking. Various health conditions, such as a thyroid disorder or osteoporosis, may also be responsible for a shift in body fat and body weight.

Losing weight in your hips can be pretty frustrating. Besides, it is possible to be discontent with your hip size at any time, whether you feel you are losing weight or not. But is there a way out? Well, this piece should suffice since it will center on how to gain weight in the hips and thighs. So, it is time to dive in! 

What Muscles Make Your Hips Wide?

In general, if you desire weight gain in a particular body organ, you must target the muscles that comprise that organ. Hence, you must work on your hip muscles to develop wide hips. They include the gluteus medius[2], gluteus maximus, and tensor fascia latae. Let us examine each more closely to get an idea of how to get wider hips, as a classic exercise routine may not do the trick! 

One of the three muscles of the gluteal region is the gluteus medius. The gluteus medius is positioned between the gluteus minimus and gluteus maximus on the posterior hip. So, what is the purpose of the gluteus medius?

First, the gluteus medius is the fundamental hip abductor. In other words, its primary function is to move your leg away from your body’s midline. In addition, the anterior section of the gluteus medius aids hip flexion; it also rotates your hips medially, turning them inwards. 

As the name “gluteus maximus[3] implies, it is the largest of the three gluteal muscles. It is a thick and quadrangular-shaped muscle that helps to keep your body’s posture erect. 

The gluteus maximus joins forces with other important muscles to extend your hip and is also responsible for rotating your hip externally.  

The tensor fascia latae[4] (TFL) is a muscle that runs along the side of your hips that works with the gluteal muscles to facilitate various hip movements – hip abduction, flexion, and internal rotation. 

How To Gain Weight in Your Hips?

In contrast to the introductory section of this piece, another research[5] shows that the hip width of men and women continues to expand until 80 years of age. So, what happens is just bone expansion, increasing hip size. This is something to keep in mind while you are trying to gain weight in your hips. Genetics and age play a big factor in the size of your hips naturally, so be kind to yourself throughout the process of adding weight in that area.

To gain weight in your hips and become more shapely, you want to focus on strengthening your abdominal muscles, glute muscles, and upper thighs to sculpt that hourglass figure and increase muscle mass.

Well, weight gain boils down to two things – diet and exercise. First, focus on increasing your calorie intake since it will avert weight loss, facilitating body fat deposition around your hips. Next, adopt strength training exercises to build muscle mass in your hips. But which exercises exactly would help build hip muscles and gain weight in hips and thighs? 

8 Workouts To Build Hip Muscles

Abductor Machine   

how to gain weight in hips

A hip abductor machine helps work out your hip muscles, particularly the ones that aid abduction like the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. Before using it, sit on the device, allowing your outer knees to contact the knee padding.

After that, choose your weight; as you sit on the machine, its dual pads help you to rest your outer thighs. Hold the machine’s handles and push against the knee padding to make your legs parallel. Finally, maintain the posture for some seconds before returning to the starting position. 

Cable Hip Abductions

how to gain weight in hips

The cable hip abduction workout also targets your hip abductors. Before performing this exercise, stand sideways, facing a low pulley. Then, connect the cable cuff to a distant ankle. After, move away from the stack and hold the ballet bar. 

Next, stay erect on your near foot, allowing the other to cross in front. Then perform the exercise by moving your leg to the low pulley’s opposite side. Return the leg and repeat the step. Afterward, you can change your direction and perform the exercise with your opposite leg for another ten reps.  

Barbell Hip Thrusts

how to gain weight in hips

This exercise[6] helps to improve the muscular conditioning of your spinal erectors, knee extensors, and hip extensors, and it is a must in your weekly routine! It is also an essential move for building your gluteus maximus. 

To get started, take a seat on the floor. Lean your back against the side of a bench and have a loaded barbell resting across your hips. Have your knees bent and plant your feet flat on the floor. Keeping your chin tucked into your chest, take a deep breath and push through your heels as you thrust your hips towards the ceiling and, therefore, the barbell.

When your thighs are parallel to the floor, hold this position for three seconds before bringing your hips back down to the ground. Repeat this exercise for a total of ten reps.

Pause at the top of this movement for three seconds before slowly lowering your hips back down to the ground. Momentarily tap the plates on the floor before repeating the exercise for a total of ten reps.

Cable Kickbacks

how to gain weight in hips

This workout strengthens your gluteals (glutes) and hamstrings. For this workout, you should use a cable machine with a low cable pulley at the gym and an ankle cuff attachment or an ankle strap. Then, face the pulley and move backward for resistance. You should use your other leg for support. 

Next, bend your knees slightly and tighten your abdominal muscles (abs); kick your legs back slowly until your hips extend and glutes contract. Finally, squeeze your glutes for three to five seconds before returning to the starting position.

Bulgarian Split Squats

how to gain weight in hips

This exercise targets your glutes, quadriceps (quads), and hamstrings. To perform it, look for a bench or step you can rest on at knee height. Then observe a forward lunge posture, keeping your core braced and torso upright with one foot resting on the bench behind you. 

Now, lower your body until your front thigh is horizontal. Again, make sure you always align your knee with your foot. Then drive up via your front heel to starting position and repeat with your other leg.

Curtsy Lunges

how to gain weight in hips

Curtsy lunges work your quadriceps and glutes. To do it, stand erect, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart. Then use your right foot to move backward and across to ensure its toe touches the ground in line with your left foot’s exterior section. After, lower your body until your front thigh aligns with the ground and carefully push back up to return to starting position. 

Perform this movement for ten reps before switching to the other side.

Sumo Squats

how to gain weight in hips

The sumo squat works on your glutes and inner thighs as a variation of regular squats. To perform this exercise, stand with your feet wide and your toes pointing at 45 degrees. Then lower yourself in a squat until your thighs are parallel with the ground, and drive through your heels to stand up.

Fire Hydrants

how to gain weight in hips

This exercise strengthens your gluteus maximus. To begin, get on your hands and knees with a neutral spine. You should brace your core and ensure your hips don’t sag. Now, while bending your knees at 90 degrees, raise one leg up and to the side until your knee assumes hip height and returns to starting position. Repeat with the opposite leg, and aim for 15 reps on each side.

Foods That Increase Hips Size 

To answer the question of how to gain weight in my hips, you need to look at your diet. Your diet is a key factor in weight gain to get wider hips. Therefore, you should prioritize protein since it fuels the muscles, increases your caloric intake, and fuels wider hips. 

Meanwhile, almonds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, nuts, legumes, beans, and peas will also help add to your total calorie intake. Poultry such as chicken, turkey, and pork are excellent foods that can widen your hips[7]. Also, you can consume red meat such as lamb, goat, veal, mutton, beef, and pork. If you can’t get enough protein from food, consider protein supplements.

In addition, other examples of hip-widening foods include eggs, milk, Greek yogurt, fish, shellfish, quinoa, protein shakes, broccoli, cauliflower, and cottage cheese.  

Summary

Have you been wondering how to gain weight in my hips? Hopefully, now you understand better to build muscle around your hips; you need dedication and consistency to a plan. It does not happen by chance. So, you should adopt a weight training workout and diet plan you can maintain conveniently!


+ 7 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. Huseynov, A., Zollikofer, C.P.E., Coudyzer, W., Gascho, D., Kellenberger, C., Hinzpeter, R. and Ponce de León, M.S. (2016). Developmental evidence for obstetric adaptation of the human female pelvis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, [online] 113(19), pp.5227–5232. doi:10.1073/pnas.1517085113.
  2. Knapp, S. (2020). Gluteus Medius – The Definitive Guide | Biology Dictionary. [online] Biology Dictionary. Available at: https://biologydictionary.net/gluteus-medius/
  3. Adel Elzanie and Borger, J. (2022). Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Gluteus Maximus Muscle. [online] Nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538193/
  4. UW Radiology. (2015). Tensor Fascia Lata – UW Radiology. [online] Available at: https://rad.washington.edu/muscle-atlas/tensor-fascia-lata/
  5. Berger, A.A., May, R., Renner, J.B., Viradia, N. and Dahners, L.E. (2011). Surprising evidence of pelvic growth (widening) after skeletal maturity. Journal of Orthopaedic Research, [online] 29(11), pp.1719–1723. doi:10.1002/jor.21469.
  6. Snarr, R. and Eckert, R. (2014). Barbell Hip Thrust. [online] ResearchGate. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/268513513_Barbell_Hip_Thrust
  7. The Nutrition Source. (2012). Protein. [online] Available at: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/protein/‌

Christine VanDoren

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

Christine is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist with an undergraduate degree from Missouri State University. Her passion is helping others learn how strong and healthy they can become by transforming their daily habits. Christine spends most of her time in the gym, hiking, painting, and learning how she can influence others through positivity!

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

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