Last Updated on by Eat Better Move More

What Is A Fire Hydrant Exercise? Steps And Benefits

There are different exercises that help to maintain good physical health. 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? 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 body weight exercise that targets specific parts of the body.

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.

The fire hydrant exercise 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

What is a 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 steps carefully. Fire hydrant exercise is a body weight 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 shoulders in a way that it appears to be above your hands and your knees in a position below your hips.
  3. Tighten your core (abdominal muscles). Keep your face downwards.
  4. 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.
  5. Lower your legs back to the starting position. Do this movement 10 times.
  6. 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

The fire hydrant exercise works on the gluteal muscles (the biggest muscles in the pelvis). Here are some benefits of the exercise:

Hip movement

The gluteal muscles have a higher control on 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 the 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 the fire hydrant exercise, all these hip movements are involved. This means that the fire hydrant exercise helps to keep the hips in perfect shape and prevent muscle stiffness.

Core stability

The fire hydrant exercise when done properly also helps to stabilize the abdominal muscles, giving your core a firm look.

  1. 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 flexibility of the muscles and to make them stronger.

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 strength 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 for a number of 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.

Fire hydrant with pulses

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

Fire hydrant exercise with band

Another fire hydrant exercise variation one can use to increase the effect of the technique is doing the fire hydrant exercise with band. This helps your hips and glutes to work again 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.

What Is A Fire Hydrant Exercise Conclusion

What is a fire hydrant exercise? If you want to develop a firmer, toned gluteal muscles, the fire hydrant is one of the best exercises to use. This exercise helps to keep your gluteal muscles strong, flexible and healthy.

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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