Hips vs. Waist: What is the Difference Between Hips and Waist?

Many women are confused about the differences between their waist and their hips. So, here's the information you need to know to determine the difference between your waist and your hips.
Hips vs Waist: 5 Key Differences & Examples To Know

Both hips and waist are important indicators of our healthy selves. The biggest hips vs. waist difference lie in their location. Our hips lie between our abdomen and thighs while our waist lies about 2 inches below the rib cage and about 2 inches above the belly button.

Let’s take a closer look at waist vs. hip:

HealthBoth hips and waist are health indicators
LocationWaist lies much above the hips 
SizeHips are always bigger than waist
Bearing body weightHips bear body weight during most of the body movements unlike waist

What is a Hip?

The flares or protruding area where thigh bone and pelvis bone meet is called a hip.

What is a Hip?

What is a Waist?

It is the area that lies at the middle point of the human body’s belly button and the rib cage.

What is a Waist?

Waist vs. Hip Strengths and Weaknesses

Hips Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths of Hips

  • Hips lend the greatest support while walking and running.
  • Without hips, the body can’t maintain its balance.  
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Weaknesses of Hips

  • Hip bones are difficult to treat in case of accidents.
  • Hips are one of those body parts that show early signs of old age due to excessive wear and tear. 
Hips Strengths and Weaknesses

Waist Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths of Waist

  • The increased size of the waist immediately hints at obesity. 
  • Abnormally small waist hints at poor digestion and a probable long list of diseases. 

Weaknesses of Waist

  • Waist sizes are considered a measure of perfection across the globe, putting undue mental stress on one and all. 
Waist Strengths and Weaknesses

Hips and Waist Examples

Examples of Hips

  • Round Hip – A round protruding hips are called round hips.
  • Triangle Hip – When the hips and thighs curve diagonally from the natural waist, it is called a triangle hip.
  • Heart-shaped Hip – These hips look like a muffin-top.

Examples of Waist

  • Natural Waist – This is the smallest part of the human’s abdomen area. 
  • Long Waist – This is used to express when a human’s waist is farthest to the rib cage and thus, gives an illusion of a longer torso.  
  • Short Waist – Short waist is expressed when someone has a very small distance between his natural waist and the rib cage. 

Considering Waist vs. Hip Measurement related Similarities for clarity

  • The size of both hips and waist act as a health indicator. 
  • Both the waist vs. hip measurements can be altered with diet and exercise. 

5 Key Differences Between Hips and Waist That You Need To Know  

Basis Hips Waist
Formation basisThe hip is a joining bone connecting the thigh and pelvis bones. The waist is formed of a bundle of muscles and tissues protecting internal organs. 
LocationIt is the wide protruding area at the back that lies between our abdomen and thighs.It is the narrowest area of the abdomen that lies about 2 inches below the rib cage and about 2 inches above the belly button. 
BodyweightHips bear body weight during most of the body movements.Waists do not bear the body’s weight during movements. 
Males A male has less dense hips.Males have a broader waistline due to a broad build. 
FemalesFemales have denser hips. Females have narrower waistlines due to their smaller frames. 

Comparison Chart

Many women are confused about the differences between their waist and their hips. So, here's the information you need to know to determine the difference between your waist and your hips.

Comparison Video

Where is the waist? Where are the hips?

Hips and Waist FAQ

What is the Waist?

The waist is the horizontal line of the narrowest part of the abdomen. 

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Is Hip Size the Same as Waist?

No, the ideal good health indicator says that the hips should always be bigger than the waist. A waist bigger than the hips indicates underlying health issues. 

How do you measure your Waist and Hips?

The waist and hip differences can be seen easily by measuring them. To measure your waist and hips, wear tight clothes first and stand up straight. Now, follow the undermentioned steps:

  • For measuring your waist, breathe out and relax. Now, wrap the measuring tape around the smallest part of your abdomen, just above your belly button. It is where your abdomen curves inside. Do not pull the measuring tape tight. This is your waist size.
  • For measuring your hip, stand relaxed, Now, wrap the measuring tape at the widest part of your buttocks. The most protruding region of your bum is your hip size. 

How Much Bigger Should Hips be to Waist? 

The answer to this question differs with male hips vs. female hips. A woman’s hips should be about 17% bigger than her waist while a man’s hips should be about 11% bigger than his waist.

What’s the Ideal Waist Size for a Woman?

The ideal waist size for a woman depends on her height and cannot be the same for everyone.

Is 30-inch Waist Fat?

For someone with a height of 5 feet and above, a 30-inch waist is not fat. (Ref. 1)

What Waist to Hip Ratio is Most Attractive?

The answer to this question would vary for different cultures. But for the western world, the most attractive waist to hip ratio varies with the gender. For men, the standard is 0.90 and for women, 0.70 is the benchmark. 

Do Women’s Hips Widen as they Age?

With puberty hitting, women’s hips widen due to enhanced estrogen levels. A woman’s hips are at their widest between 25 to 30 years of her age as estrogen production is at its peak. The hip area starts narrowing down only after menopause. (Ref. 2)

How Much Smaller Should Your Waist be Than Your Hips?

WHO specifies a healthy difference between hips and waist for both women and men. A woman’s waist must be at least 15% smaller than her hips to be considered fit and healthy. And for men, it should be at least 10% smaller than his hips. (Ref. 3)

Conclusion

The waist and hips difference lies in their location. Our waist is located much above our hips which are located between our abdomen and thighs. Hips perform the function of supporting all kinds of leg movements. On the other hand, the waist has no particular function other than lending structure to the abdomen and the organs inside.

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References:

  1. https://www.medindia.net/patients/calculators/waist-height-ratio.asp 
  2. https://www.science.org/content/article/woman-s-pelvis-narrows-she-ages
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319439#how-does-waist-to-hip-ratio-affect-health
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