The best solution to your super wide hips, even if you’re thin, is something you’ve probably never even considered.

And that’s to develop your shoulders and back/chest muscles to offset the lopsided appearance that excessive hip girth creates.

I was inspired to write this article after reading about a woman who, no matter what weight she was at (ranging from 125 to 175), complained of “super wide hips” that she hated.

She said that no matter what her weight, her hips were always 12 inches more than her waist. But this doesn’t sound all that bad, being that the classic enviable measurements for a woman are 36-24-36.

So I’m thinking that the problem is that first measurement; it may be so small that it creates the illusion that the hips are wider than they actually are.

If you have widely spaced hip bones, you can’t change this. A woman or man with low body fat can still look disproportionately wide in the hip area.

If this skinny person gains 80 pounds, they will probably still look out of proportion.

Offset Wide Hips by Developing a V-Taper

Have you ever noticed that in just about every man or woman you’ve seen with extra wide hips, that their shoulders appeared to be narrow or underdeveloped?

And that they lacked muscle development in their back and torso?

I sure have. Though I’ll admit, I’ve seen wide-hipped people with broad shoulders, and I have to say, the broad shoulders do help offset the wide appearance of the hips.

A V-taper body consists of broad shoulders (shoulders wider than waist) and a V shape that begins from the shoulders and down to the pelvic area.

This V shape will help obscure the excessive width of your hips—not to mention will make normal-width hips and a normal-width waist seem even narrower and smaller.

This is why sometimes the waist/hips of a female bodybuilder appear so tiny. Though it IS small, her upper body development makes it appear even smaller. Same with men.

But you do not need to become a bodybuilder or beef up with slabs of muscle to reduce the appearance of wide hips.

• Take up strength training and concentrate on shoulder, back and chest work.

• If you’re already doing this, you need to change something.

• As a former certified personal trainer, I recommend the following: wide-grip lat pull-down, wide-grip seated row or standing barbell row, wide-grip T-bar row, bench press, overhead barbell press and dumbbell side raise.

• Use a weight that’s heavy enough to reach “failure” or near-failure within eight to 12 repetitions.

• Rest one minute to 90 seconds in between sets.

• Do not fear bulking up. Believe me, this is very difficult to do. And besides, if you do end up developing more muscle to your liking, you could always reduce the amount of weight you use, which will cause some of the muscle mass you gained to diminish.

Exercises that will NOT Make Wide Hips Narrower

Forget about any kind of spot-reducing, isolating exercise in the name of making wide hips look narrower. If these bones are spaced wide apart, you cannot change this any more than you can change your height.

If you feel that a lot of excess fat is making you look wide there, then the above strength training exercises, when done properly and intensely (8-12 rep max) will shrink the fat cells (as well as cause fat loss throughout your body).

No amount of crunches, seated twists, standing twists or swiveling movements will shrink fat cells ANYWHERE in your body.

Another thing that will make your wide hips appear narrower is that of sucking the excess fat out of your midsection.

Again, no quantity of sit-ups or crunching will accomplish this. Excess fat in your stomach and waistline will only be sucked out when you force your body to dip into this stored energy for fuel.

This happens when you strength train intensely, dramatically raising your body’s energy needs, forcing your body to raid the fat stores in your midsection (and elsewhere) for recovery fuel.

Additional exercises for burning fat: deadlifts, squats, leg presses, high intensity interval training.

The bottom line is that broad shoulders and a V-taper of trained muscles will create the illusion that your hips aren’t as wide as they actually are, making you look narrower there.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.