Fire hydrant exercise for your glutes | benefits, variations, and tips

The fire hydrant exercise is a bodyweight exercise that involves raising the legs sideways and back. It strengthens and tones the glutes, as well as your core, hamstrings, and quads. 

When done regularly, the fire hydrant exercise can give you a more rounded and pear-shaped butt.

This article will extensively discuss all you need to know about the fire hydrant exercise and its benefits, variations, and tips for an effective workout session. Let’s get started.

What are fire hydrants?

The fire hydrant is a single-joint exercise that works all your three glute muscles – gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, and gluteus medius. Fire hydrants are also called quadruped hip abductions.

They are good warm-up exercises and will help to improve flexibility and mobility in your lower body.

How to do the fire hydrant exercise

To begin the fire hydrant workout, take the following steps:

  • Place a mat in an open space on the floor and descend to a quadruped or crawl position.
  • Your hands should be directly under the shoulders and the knees under the hips.
  • While tightening your abs to support your torso, keep your spine in a neutral position. 
  • To find the neutral position, gently roll your hips down and up, arching your lower back up and down. Stop when it feels comfortable and neutral.
  • While keeping your body steady and your knees at 90°, slowly lift your right leg out to the side to about 45°.
  • Then lower your leg back to the start position in a controlled manner. 

Repeat this movement 10 – 15 times, then alternate the legs. Perform 3 – 4 sets on each leg.

What are fire hydrant exercises good for?

Aside from strengthening your glutes, the fire hydrant has many other advantages. 

  1. Improves posture.
  2. Can help to relieve back pain.
  3. Improves balance and coordination.
  4. Fire hydrant helps to boost proprioception.
  5. Reduces the risk of injury.It effectively stretches the hip flexors.
  6. Easy to perform and does not require any equipment.

Fire hydrant exercise tips 

The following are some guidelines to perform the fire hydrant exercise correctly.

  1. Keep your head down throughout the movement. Trying to raise your head to look forward will curve your spine, which can strain your lower back and cause you pain.
  2. Maintain hip level. Avoid raising your legs too high or overstretching the hip muscles. Instead, stick to a height that is convenient for you.
  3. Focus on keeping the weight centered. Don’t lean on the opposite side when lifting your leg. Keep your body firm. 
  4. Don’t arch your back when doing the fire hydrant exercise. Keep your spine neutral and your abdominals engaged, don’t try to stick your butt up.
  5. Keep the ankle in line with the knee throughout the movement. Only the hip joint should move to the side and down.
  6. Don’t move too fast. Train slowly.
  7. When you elevate your leg, make sure your foot points toward the opposite wall. This will aid proper hip rotation.
  8. Lastly, stop the exercise immediately if you feel pain or cramping in your buttocks or muscles. Your buttocks should feel tired but not sore.

Variations of the fire hydrant exercise

Like the deadlift exercise, fire hydrants also come with many variations. They are:

Fire hydrant with resistance bands

This exercise will force your muscles to work harder.

To perform, wrap a resistance band loop just above your knees and push against the resistance as you do the fire hydrant. 

The thicker the band, the more resistance you’ll need to overcome.

Fire hydrants with ankle weights

To perform this variation, wrap an ankle weight around your ankle and perform the fire hydrant.

This form will better help to tone and strengthen the glutes and hamstrings.

Fire hydrant kick

To perform the fire hydrant kick, start the fire hydrant procedures and straighten your knee when your leg is elevated. Then flex your knee back to 90° to return to the start position. 

This variation will strengthen the muscles on the sides of your hips.

Fire hydrant with hand lift 

While lifting the left leg, keep your right hand 1 inch above the floor. Repeat 10 fire hydrants, then lower your right hand after the set. 

Do the same for the right leg, keeping your left hand above the floor.

Standing fire hydrant 

This variation is ideal for those who suffer from wrist pain. It will also strengthen your glutes, hips, and core and improve your balance.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, then flex your left leg at 90 degrees. You can hold onto a chair or tabletop for stability.

Lean forward, squeeze your core, lift your bent knee to the side, and return to the start position. Switch legs halfway and complete three sets of 10 repetitions.

Pulse fire hydrant 

Here, you do not fully lower your leg immediately after lifting it. Instead, you do 3-5 pulses (lower your leg a little and raise it back) before fully lowering your leg to complete one rep. 

Forearms fire hydrant

You can also use your forearms (instead of your palms) to perform the fire hydrant. 

To do this variation, rest your forearms on the floor in a quadruped position, then perform the regular fire hydrant exercise.

This technique ensures better control and body stability.

Bear crawl fire hydrant

This is the most challenging form of the fire hydrant. 

To perform, push down with your toes and raise your knee slightly above the floor. Only your toes and palm should make contact with the ground. 

Frequently asked questions 

What does the Fire Hydrant exercise target?

Fire hydrants target the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and gluteus maximus. It also works the hamstrings and the core muscles.

Why is it called the fire hydrant exercise?

The exercise is called ‘fire hydrant’ because the movement resembles a dog urinating on a fire hydrant. The exercise is also called dirty dog exercise.

Takeaway 

If you are looking for a way to sculpt and tone your butt region, then the fire hydrant exercise is one you should try out. 

Remember to keep your back straight and head down throughout the movement.

Precious is a vast researcher and has a knack for writing. She is also passionate about learning and personal development. She is a graduate of Human Anatomy and is given to helping people live a healthier and happier life.