What Cardio Is Good for Hip Reduction?

Women who carry much of their weight in the hip area are said to have a pear-shaped body. Excess hip fat often distorts the overall shape of the body -- and can difficult to lose for many women. Though it's impossible to target a specific area of the body with exercise to reduce fat, following a few important exercise guidelines can help you slim your hips. Consult your doctor before beginning any new fitness regimen.

The Spot Reduction Myth

Trying to remove fat specifically from your hips or any body part through targeted exercises isn’t going to work. Your body will release fat from where it wants, in the order it wants, so finding general exercises and routines that are effective overall fat burners is the wise way to go. Choosing exercises that engage your hips may help to tone muscles, but it won’t help to reduce the fat on top.

Circuit Training

Circuit training refers to performing several resistance-training or calisthenic exercises in a row, with little or no rest in between. When you do five to 10 exercises consecutively, your heart rate will elevate and the movements will take on a cardiovascular component. Perform exercises like pushups, pullups, crunches, squats, biceps curls, shoulder presses and jumping rope. Try to alternate between upper- and lower-body exercises to really get your heart pumping. You can do circuit training at the gym or at home -- just be sure to have the stations and equipment set up before you start so you don’t have to waste time once you begin your circuit.

Rowing

Rowing is a total-body exercise that can burn more than 500 calories in an hour for a 160-pound person. You can get a rowing machine for your home, work on one at the gym or even row an actual boat in a lake or river, if possible. Aside from burning a lot of calories, rowing develops the muscles of your legs, upper back and shoulders.

Swimming

Swimming is another whole-body exercise that is an efficient calorie burner. A 160-pound person burns more than 500 calories in an hour of swimming laps. You can also do water aerobics or just run in place in the water to burn off fat. The water provides a slight resistance that makes your muscles work harder than they would on land.