Last Updated on by Eat Better Move More

What Is A Fire Hydrant Exercise?

Different exercises help to maintain good physical and mental health. Depending entirely on your preference and needs, you can find various routines that can fit your lifestyle, your daily agenda and your age.

That early morning run before you go to work helps keep your mind sharp, clears your head and keeps you fit.  Some people don’t have to go to the gym to work out or to keep fit. Having a mat and the proper workout patterns can also help you stay in perfect shape; physically and mentally.

What Is A Fire Hydrant Exercise? Steps And Benefits

One exercise widely used to strengthen the core and glutes is the fire hydrant exercise. Its name is derived from the movement pattern. It is also called “quadruped hip adjustments” or “all fours exercise”. It is a bodyweight exercise that targets specific parts of the body while your entire body is on standby to work.

Whether you need resistance bands, ankle weights or even dumbbells, it would depend on the things you need to improve with your physical fitness and health. Ankle weights are very specific at helping you increase endurance, strength and grow muscles where you need them the most – glutes, calves and legs.

A resistance band and ankle weights are the most common workout equipment people use when performing this routine, and it is definitely worth the muscle pain after the workout.

Target Of The Fire Hydrant Exercise

The muscle targeted mostly by this exercise is the gluteus maximus and medius. Moving the legs upward and downward helps to strengthen your hips and your glutes.

This workout also helps to strengthen your core; doing the exercise the proper way involves engaging your core. If the exercise isn’t done properly, it yields no result and it could also put stress on your spine. To be able to engage your core when doing the fire hydrant, you have to learn how to tighten your core when you’re moving your legs up and down. Involving the core during fire hydrants can help to stabilize your torso. Some people add restraints to help them work on their cores more.

Steps Involved In Fire Hydrant Exercise

How is it done? To be able to perfectly execute a fire hydrant and get the results you want, you have to follow the steps carefully. The fire hydrant exercise is a bodyweight exercise, it does not require any equipment, all you need is a mat.

  1. Spread the mat and position your body on all fours; your knees and your palms on the floor with your back parallel to the ground.
  2. Keep your legs diagonal to the ground and keep your toes curled while you’re at it. 
  3. Keep your shoulders in a way that appears to be above your hands and your knees in a position below your hips. Make sure your head is not taking all the pressure by keeping it in alignment with your back, not ducking or raised.
  4. Tighten your core (abdominal muscles). Keep your facing the floor as if your whole body was perfectly standing.
  5. Lift your left leg away from your body without moving any other part of your body aside from your hips. Your legs should be at a 45-degree angle and your knees should be at a 90-degree angle.
  6. Lower your legs back to the starting position. Do this movement 10 times.
  7. Switch legs and repeat the steps as explained from the beginning. It is important to point your foot towards the opposite wall to aid easily hip rotation.

Benefits Of The Fire Hydrant Exercise

It works on the gluteal muscles (the biggest muscles in the pelvis), calves and core in general. It is important to make sure the steps are done properly to give your target areas the attention they need during the workout. Here are some benefits of the exercise:

Hip movement

The gluteal muscles have higher control of your hip movement. There are three hip movements.

  1. The hip extension involves moving your thigh away from your pelvis in a backwards movement. It enables one to climb the stairs and to walk.
  2. The hip external rotation is a hip movement that involves rotating the legs outward. For example, coming out of a car or taking a big step forward.
  3. The third hip movement is hip abduction. It involves moving your hips sideways away from the centre of your body. This helps one to move to the side.

When doing this routine, all these hip movements are involved. This means that the workout helps to keep the hips in perfect shape and prevent muscle stiffness. Especially for working individuals who are always sitting down on chairs or slouching at work, this could help keep the fat buildup impossible while building the muscles that can keep the body strong and fit to sit down without stuffing up or cramping.

Core stability

The routine, when done properly, also helps stabilize the abdominal muscles, giving your core a firm look.

  1. A fire hydrant also helps to keep the body balanced, prevent injuries, strengthen the joints, reduce body pains, improve posture and give you a firm glute.
  2. Fire hydrants also help to increase the flexibility of the muscles and to make them stronger.

It’s hard to keep track of all the greasy, fatty food and work can also start to take a toll on your body, so improving your core is important to keeping your body fit and healthy. With this routine, your stomach will remain in fit shape without making you feel sore or bloated. 

Other Fire Hydrant Exercise Variations

To apply more pressure and get extra results, there are other fire hydrant exercise variations you can follow to help strengthen your glutes. They are:

Standing fire hydrant

This technique is majorly used by people who get wrist pains easily. It involves the same hip movement as the basic technique but it is done while standing. The steps involved are:

  1. Stand up straight with your legs spread to align with your hips.
  2. Bend your left leg at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Squeeze your core and lean your upper body forward.
  4. Lift your left leg at a 45-degree angle. Do not move any other part of your body.
  5. Lower your legs back to starting position and repeat the process several times.
  6. Switch legs and repeat the steps from the beginning.

Fire hydrant with hand lift

To strengthen your back and improve body posture, you can lift your hands while doing the fire hydrant movement.

It involves following the steps in the basic fire hydrant, but when your leg is lifted at the 45-degree angle, lift your right hand one inch above the floor. Your hand must remain above the floor throughout the first set of fire hydrants. You can then switch your left leg for your right leg and your right hand for your left hand and repeat the process.

This routine will help your hands and arm start to build up the muscle you need for endurance and continuous working, especially if your job includes your arms, hand and legs regularly.

Fire hydrant with pulses

This is a technique that involves you keeping your leg above the floor while you pulse many times before putting it back to the start position. As you build your endurance, you can increase the number of your pulse.

Fire hydrant exercise with band

Another routine variation one can use to increase the effectiveness of the technique is doing the fire hydrant exercise with a resistance band. This helps your hips and glutes to work again with the extra resistance. It involves looping a resistance band around both legs above the knees. To lift your legs, you have to apply extra pressure.

This specific exercise helps your hamstrings and your glutes create more muscle mass, and improve butt fitness. If you’re looking to improve your glutes, this is the best option for you since it’s also very satisfying to go through.

A resistance band can also be used standing up to target other parts of the body and help perform other exercise routines for better improvement of the body.

What Is A Fire Hydrant Exercise Conclusion

If you want to develop firmer, toned gluteal muscles, the fire hydrant exercise is one of the best routines you can adapt to your daily to-do. This exercise helps to keep your gluteal muscles strong, flexible and healthy. This routine also helps the core and the calves improve how they look and how they work with better muscle mass.

Other exercises that can work on your gluteal hips and your core are butt bridge, clamshell exercise, bent-knee hip extension or donkey kicks.

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