Hips vs. Waist

Hips and waist are two different body parts that are connected but perform different functions. The difference between hips and waist has a great significance not only for those who want to look slim and sexy but also it is a very useful indicator of your current health state. Doctors have started to make use of the waist to hips ratio to identify the different health problems.

To know the anatomy and the difference between hips and waist is essential and is also a step for all those who are health conscious.

The main difference between hips and waist is the attachment and function. Hips are the part of the body that is located above thighs.  It is considered as the joint that attaches the upper part of our legs with our pelvis while the waist is the part that is found between the lowermost of our rib cage and the upper part of our pelvis.

Comparison Chart

Hips Waist
Formation The hip is formed where the thigh bone (femur) meets the three bones that make up the pelvis  (ilium, ischium, and the pubis)  The waist is typically made up of fats, muscles, and its internal part is made up of internal body organs
Location Hips are located between the upper part of our thighs and abdomen The waist is the part of the abdomen that is located between the rib cage and hips
Function Hips have a particular function and assist movement of legs during walking, running, and crawling A waist does not have any particular function, but it provides stability to the muscles in the stomach
Gender Women tend to have denser hips than men while men tend to have less denser hips Women are likely to have slimmer waistlines than men while men tend to have larger waists
Figure To look sexy, women usually workout for a broader and heavier hips For a sexy and appealing body, women workout for a slimmer waistline that gives them the hourglass figure they crave for

What Is Hip?

“The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint, where the ball is the femur (also called as head), and the socket is the acetabulum (also called as the body) of the pelvis”.

The hip joint serves as the bridge that is connecting the lower extremity and the trunk. It typically works in a closed kinematic chain. For example,

  • Large muscles
  • Tendons
  • Ligaments

They all are present around the hip joint help in holding the bones (ball and socket) in place and prevent it from dislocating.

It is one of the largest joints found in our body that is bearing a major weight of our body. Weight-bearing stresses on the hip during walking can be five times a person’s body weight.

A healthy hip to waist ratio is widely used by individuals to indicate the distribution of fat into the body and it can also be an indicator if you are at a higher risk for heart diseases such as arrhythmia, angina, or cardiac arrest, and other chronic conditions. Dislocation of hip joints whether, from disease or injury, can markedly affect your posture and movement and will put unbearable stress on joints above and below the hip.

Anatomy of the Hip

As the shoulder joint, the hip is a ball-and-socket joint but is more stable. The stability in the hip is due to the strongest support of the acetabulum (deep socket) while the additional stability is provided by the surrounding muscles, hip capsule, and associated ligaments.

Gender Difference

Women have heavier hips than men because of their large pelvis. The difference in the production and proportion of hormones are responsible for the deposition of fat around all over the pelvis, buttocks, and thighs of women and in the bellies of men.

The gender difference begins early in life. For example, from birth up to age six,the number and size of fat cells increase up to three times in both boys and girls resulting in a gradual and similar increase in body fat but after about eight years of age, girls start gaining fat mass at a greater rate than boys do.

What Is Waist?

“Waist is the typically narrowed part of the body between the hips and chest or upper back”.

However, the term waistline refers to the horizontal line from where the waist is narrowest, or to the general appearance of the waist. The waistline is the reason because of that people often get puzzled in differentiating between the hips and the waist and locating exactly where the waist starts and ends.

One more confusing feature is that the circumference of the waist varies from person to person. To identify the waistline, a person needs to stand straight and then lean over to the sideways, positioning the hips and legs straight. At a point where the upper body crinkles are the regular waistline.

Gender Difference

Men are more likely to have bigger waists than females. This is mainly correct for people who have excess fats in the body, as males are more likely to have excess fats on their waistline whereas, females usually have layers of fats deposited on their chests, hips, and buttocks.

It is important to have a lean body and less of body fat, but it is rather more important to have fat deposited in right areas of the body to look shapely and attractive. The waist is the part of the body that gives an hourglass figure to a woman if she has a small waist while man has a wider waist than women, but they too can look great and shapely if they have a slim waistline.

Key Difference

  1. Hips are the joints that are found between the upper portion of the legs and the abdomen while the waist is the part of the body that is found between the hips and rib cage.
  2. Hip bone is one of the largest bones that is bearing a major weight of the body and is responsible for carrying the body weight either in the static or moving position while the waist does not carry any bodyweight.
  3. The hip joint is responsible for the movement of legs during walking and running while the waist is not responsible for supporting any such movements, but it provides stability to the muscles in the stomach.
  4. Hips of the women are wider than men because they have big pelvis while the waist of the women is usually smaller than the men.
  5. Men usually have smaller or equal in size hips because they do not have excessive fat deposited on them, while the waist of the men is broader.
  6. Hips are the wider portion located at the back of the body while the waist is a narrow body part located in between the ribs and the buttocks.
  7. Hips are responsible for maintaining the equilibrium of the body and without the hip joint body cannot be balanced while the waist is not involved in any such function.

Comparison Video


Hips and waist both are parts of our body but there is a marked difference between the two. Both body parts are located in different regions of the body and are involved in different functions.

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