Having excess weight in the hips is the starting point of a pear-shaped body. This lower body fat is not as detrimental as belly fat, but it still takes its toll on self confidence. The goal is to not allow this fat to build up in the first place. Instead of practicing one exercise to keep the hips smaller, your best bet is to do a variety of exercises.
Forms of Cardio
Cardiovascular exercise burns calories and can keep the hips slim. Any form that gets your heart rate elevated is sufficient, as long as you like what you do. For an added bonus, choose a type that works the muscles that make up the hips, such as running, indoor cycling, stair climbing and fast-paced walking. By walking or running up hills sideways, you will increase the focus on your hips even more.
Lateral lunges work the glutes, outer thighs and inner thighs at the same time. Begin by placing your hands on your hips and standing with your feet together. Keeping your back straight and core tight, take a long step laterally to your right and bend your right knee to lower your body. As you do this, push your butt backward and hold for a second. Steadily rise back up, bring your feet together and repeat on your other side. Continue to alternate back and forth in a steady motion.
Abductor stepouts work the hips with the use of a resistance band. Step through the loop with both feet and position it right above your ankles. Place your hands on your hips and move your feet far enough apart to get some resistance on the loop. Steadily lift your right foot off the floor and take a wide step to your right side. As soon as your foot touches down, lift your left foot and move it close to your right. Now raise your left foot and take a wide step to your left. Move your right foot over and continue to alternate back and forth.
Side stepups require a chair or weight bench. Start with your right side facing the bench and place your right foot on top. Keeping your back straight and core tight, press down on the bench to lift your body into the air and balance on your foot for a second. Slowly lower yourself back down, repeat for a set of reps and switch sides.
Side Plank with Leg Raise
A side plank is a an isometric exercise that works the obliques and hips with no repetitive motion. Adding a leg raise intensifies the work on your hips. Begin by lying on your left side with your legs stacked, left forearm flat on the floor and elbow bent 90 degrees. Make sure your forearm is perpendicular to your body. Steadily lift your hips off the floor and form a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Hold this position while raising your right leg in the air. Slowly lower your leg, repeat for a set of reps and switch sides.