I think fire hydrant is a weird name for a workout move another name for this exercise is called “quadruped hip abductions”.
But, the fire hydrant exercise is seriously good at targeting several key areas of your body including your glutes, hips, and core, simultaneously.
This allows you to strengthen and sculpt multiple muscle groups together and save time.
For those who want complete guides on various workouts like back, shoulder, biceps, etc., visit the workout routines section of the website.
Focusing on this area of your body, in particular, is important because you need your core and hip complex to act as a unit to transfer force between your upper and lower body during total-body strength training exercises.
It’s the foundation for your entire kinetic chain, i.e. the muscles, joints, and nerves that make up your movement system.
This is an exercise similar to donkey kicks.
What You’ll Learn in this Article
Here I am going to teach you everything you need to know about the fire hydrant—its benefits, technique, variations, and more.
Being in a quadruped position mimics your most foundational gait, the crawl.
The fire hydrant is an excellent exercise for strengthening your gluteus maximus.
Some variations also work the abdominal muscles, toning, and strengthening your core.
As the biggest muscle in your pelvis and hip region, your glutes control three major hip movements.
- Hip extension. The hip extension moves your thigh back and away from your pelvis. It lets you walk and go upstairs.
- Hip external rotation. This happens when your leg rotates outward. You use hip external rotation to get out of a car.
- Hip abduction. Hip abduction lifts your leg away from the center of your body, which lets you step to the side.
The fire hydrant involves all three movements, so it’s a great glute exercise.
It can help your glutes look more toned and sculpted.
Having strong glutes also improves your posture, lowers your risk of injury, and reduces back and knee pain.
Steps to Perform Fire Hydrant
Here is the step by step guide to performing Fire Hydrant to save from any kind of injuries.
- Begin on all fours.
- Start in a quadruped position with your wrists stacked directly under your shoulders and hips over your knees.
- Keep your belly button drawn in toward your spine, back flat, and your right leg bent at 90 degrees.
- Using the outer thigh muscles and glutes lift your leg out to your right side, stopping at hip height.
- Return to start. That’s one rep.
Variations of The Fire Hydrant
1- Forearm fire hydrants
If you need an easier option, instead of doing this quadruped on your palms, lower down to your forearms to allow for more control and stability.
2- Bear crawl fire hydrants
This version is way more intense.
From all fours, hover your knees off the ground and then perform a standard fire hydrant.
You’ll be forced to balance while stabilizing your core and glutes as you do the move.
3- Weighted fire hydrant
Wrap a resistance band around your legs above your knees or squeeze a dumbbell in the crease behind your working leg.
Doing so will challenge your stability and increase your strength at the same time!
Alternative Exercises to The Fire Hydrant
The following exercises below works for the same muscle groups in different ways.
- Donkey Kicks
- Weighted Glute Kickback
- Bird Dog
Clamshell is an alternative exercise to the fire hydrant workout and is specially used to strengthen gluteus activation.
- You can do this exercise by side-laying, hip-stacked, and shoulder-stacked.
- You need to bend those knees just forward of the hip a little bit with the feet stacked up.
- Make sure your hip is stacked and make a little lift and lower the top knee.
- Your hip should not move back when you lift the knee, so put a hand on your hip.
- Keep your rest of the body relaxed.
Just keep going smooth and slow, try to get at that glute muscle right in the back of your hip.
Donkey kicks are considering similar to fire hydrant exercise but there’s a little difference between them.
- To do donkey kicks brace your core with knee and hip slightly bend just like fire hydrant exercise.
- You have to use your glute to kick your functional leg directly back as high as you can do.
- While kicking back your leg make sure to do without compressing your hip position.
- Squeeze at the top.
- And then slowly and smoothly bring your leg back to the starting position.
- Keep doing donkey kicks like this.
Make sure to follow the above-mentioned steps to get the best results.
Weighted Glute Kickback
As it is obvious from its name, it’s a weight exercise an alternative to fire hydrant exercise.
Follow the step by step guide to do weighted glute kickback.
- You have to lay on the ground as you did in donkey kicks.
- Just like that you have to carry your working leg straight back.
- But, it weighted glute exercise you have to tie some weight with your leg.
- Make sure you bring back your leg with slow motion, as fast-moving can cause injury.
Weighted glute exercise is somehow dangerous because you have to tie extra weight with your leg.
I highly suggest you not to do this exercise if you have any type of leg pain or injury.
Bird dog exercise work on more muscles than fire hydrant workout.
The bird dog is simply a core exercise that is very helpful to improve stability and relieve back pain.
Below are steps to do bird dogs with proper form.
- As in the above-mentioned exercise take your position just like that.
- Draw your shoulder blades together.
- Now in this exercise, you use the opposite hand and leg.
- Raise your right arm and left leg directly forward and backward.
- Hold this position for w while and then slowly return to your starting position.
- Just like that, raise your left arm and right leg.
- Keep doing bird dog exercise like this.
Bird dog is one of the best exercises to strengthen your core and helps you to get relief from back pain.
It’s a highly recommended workout after fire hydrant exercise.
How to Work the Fire Hydrant into Your Routine?
Try it as a warm-up: Doing the fire hydrant pre-workout will ensure that your hips and core are ready to go for any exercise.
Use it as an active recovery exercise: In between sets of strength training exercises, perform a round of fire hydrants to help reinforce that hip and core unit and ensure that they’re loosened up and ready to activate when needed.
Things to Consider before Fire Hydrant
If you’re new to exercise, see a personal trainer or exercise physiologist before trying fire hydrants.
They can explain the safest options for your fitness level.
If they say it’s OK to do fire hydrants, start with a low number of reps.
You can increase the reps over time.
You should also talk to an exercise professional if you’ve had back, hip, or knee surgery
They can show you how to safely do fire hydrant exercises.
Fire hydrants will strengthen and tone your glutes and core.
They’ll also improve the way your hip moves.
It can reduce back pain, help your posture, and make everyday movement more comfortable.