Alas, there is not a single machine in any gym that magically removes excess fat just from your hips. Despite hundreds of promises made in late-night infomercials, you can't target which part of your body the fat will come off of next. You can, though, put to work any cardio machine in the gym to lose fat all over -- including your hips. Many of those machines also help tone your glutes, revealing sleek, shapely hips as the fat melts away.
The Best Calorie Burners
The more calories you burn on gym cardio machines, the faster you'll burn off the excess fat on your entire body, including your hips. A vigorous workout on the stationary bike is one of the best calorie burners in the gym, closely followed by the elliptical trainer and rower, according to figures from Harvard Health Publications. Each machine can burn more than 350 calories in 30 minutes, depending on your body weight. Or you can hit the treadmill; according to the same figures, running at 6.7 miles can burn more than 450 calories in 30 minutes.
What Affects Fat Loss
Your calorie burn may differ depending on factors such as your body weight and how intensely you work out. As a general rule, the more intensely you work out, the more calories you'll burn. That's why intervals, which combine bursts of high-intensity exercise with easier recovery periods, are so effective for weight loss. If you can't do high-intensity workouts, you can make up for it by spending longer on the machine.
That said, there are some behaviors that can slow your journey to sleek, slim hips. Excessive stress, not getting enough sleep and not drinking enough water can all slow or halt weight loss. So can a diet full of "empty" calories, including sugary drinks or desserts. So focus on a balanced, nutrient-rich diet that facilitates your weight loss instead of slowing it down.
Toning Your Hips
You'll get even better results if you put in quality time with a few strength-training machines as well as the cardio ones. The weighted mule kick, butt blaster and hip abduction machine -- if your gym has them -- all target your glutes specifically. Weight machines such as the leg press and hack squat target your glutes too, although your quads and, to a lesser degree, your hamstrings also bear some of the load.
Other Hip Exercises
If you don't have access to any of the aforementioned weight-training machines, you can also tone your hips with free weights, a cable machine or even just your body weight. Start with compound exercises that involve hip movement, such as bodyweight squats and lunges. Then hold dumbbells for extra resistance once you're ready. You can also perform hip abduction using the ankle cuff on a cable machine.
- American Council on Exercise: Why Is the Concept of Spot Reduction Considered a Myth?
- American Council on Exercise: What's the Best Piece of Cardio Equipment to Use?
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- American Council on Exercise: Strength Training 101