Fire hydrant exercise results

Fire Hydrant Exercise: How to Strengthen Your Glutes With This Simple Move

  • Loop a resistance band around both legs, just above your knees, while performing the move, or wear ankle weights.
  • After raising your leg, straighten it directly behind you, knee locked, toes pointed toward the floor, while keeping your core tight. Then return to the starting position.
  • As you raise your leg, hold the top position and add a pulse movement by dropping your leg a few inches and then raising it again, repeating the pulse for a total of 3-5 reps before returning your knee to the starting position.

Muscle Groups Used in the Fire Hydrant Exercise

The primary muscle targeted by the fire hydrant exercise is the gluteus medius, as you raise and lower your leg. Working the medial glutes in this manner better equips you for side-to-side movement, and aids overall stability.

Additionally, the fire hydrant exercise helps strengthen your core because it’s engaged throughout the move. Since this exercise is often performed without resistance, it’s important to create some on your own.

This can be accomplished by learning to tighten your core. This action helps create stability in your torso, accomplishing two important things: first, giving you significant control over whatever weight you’re attempting to mobilize, and second, protecting your spine from stress and compression.

How to Engage Your Core on All Fours

The fire hydrant exercise is a great way to reinforce core stability, so we’ll further explain the technique by which you should be engaging this muscle group.

  • With your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips, gently contract your glutes (basically, squeeze your butt).
  • Tuck your tailbone as if you’re drawing your butt up into your belly button. This will tighten up your lower abdomen and pelvis, flattening them out.
  • Exhale sharply to tighten the upper part of your abdomen so your whole core is engaged. Once you’ve created this tension it’s important to practice breathing in this tight, controlled space.
  • Finally, pull your shoulders back and down, flattening out your back, and set your gaze just beyond your hands, putting your head in a neutral position. A helpful cue here to stabilize your back is to imagine screwing your hands into the ground, with your arms rotating outward. You aren’t actually moving your hands, just applying that pressure to engage your lats and back.

Tracee Ellis Ross hasn’t been able to hit the gym lately—hey, she’s been busy starring in Black-ish and writing a cheeky children’s book to shed light on the #MeToo movement—but since her schedule has recently lightened up, her workout routine is back on, in full-force. One move that’s kicking her booty, quite literally? A modified fire hydrant.

Typically when you do a fire-hydrant exercise, you start on all fours and slowly lift one leg out to the side, keeping a 90-degree angle at your knee the entire time, then bring it back in. Ross’ forearm modification, though, works the muscles even more, targeting the outside of your butt, hamstrings, quads, and even your core, Pilates instructor Tianna Strateman, VP of Education at Club Pilates, told Self.

A post shared by Tracee Ellis Ross (@traceeellisross) on Mar 18, 2018 at 6:28pm PDT

To copy this modified move, start on a mat in the normal position on all fours and lower down so you’re resting on your forearms. “Lift one leg up and externally rotate the knee and hip,” Strateman said. “Then, start to extend and bend at the knee while maintaining your form. Be sure to keep your weight centered as much as possible without shifting too much to the stationary side. Keep all the work going into the working leg and out of your shoulders and upper body.”

Even though Ross’ leg is popping back behind her like a prima ballerina, don’t make getting so much air your focus. “While lifting the leg high looks ‘fun,’ it often can put a lot of pressure on the low back if the core muscles are not developed enough to support the low back,” Strateman said. And, even if you keep your leg down low as you strengthen other muscles while doing the move, it won’t take you much time to start feeling that burn.

This low-impact exercise is to thank for Adam Rippon’s abs. Also, this is the ab exercise Kelly Ripa swears by.

How the Fire Hydrant Exercise Can Improve Your Performance


The Fire Hydrant exercise is extremely popular among those looking for a firmer butt. But just because it’s a staple in most “butt lift” videos doesn’t mean that athletes can’t benefit from it.

The concept of the Fire Hydrant exercise is simple. From an all-fours position, you lift your leg up to the side to engage your glutes. (Check out STACK’s Glutes page.) The exercise specifically targets the gluteus medius, the muscle responsible for moving the leg sideways away from your body (technically termed abduction).

Activating this muscle prepares your body for the explosive side-to-side movements that are common to most sports. Develop this muscle and you’ll be able to run or skate faster and change direction more quickly. The gluteus medius also improves hip stability, which is critical for maintaining balance and preventing knee and ankle injuries.

Another variation of the Fire Hydrant exercise adds a hip extension to further activate the glutes and open up the hips. The greater range of motion will help you move around the field without restriction, quickly transition into an athletic stance and jump even higher.

Perform these three variations of the Fire Hydrant exercise during your dynamic warm-up to be ready for the demands of an intense workout, practice or game.

The Fire Hydrant Exercise

  • Assume all-fours position
  • Lift leg directly to side and hold for two counts; keep knee at 90 degrees
  • Lower to start position
  • Repeat for specified reps
  • Perform set with opposite leg

Sets/Reps: 2×15-20 each leg

Side-to-Back Fire Hydrants

  • Assume all-fours position
  • Lift leg directly to side so thigh is parallel to ground; hold for two counts and keep knee at 90 degrees
  • Extend leg directly behind, squeeze glute and lift leg toward ceiling; hold for two counts
  • Lower to start position
  • Repeat for specified reps
  • Perform set with opposite leg

Sets/Reps: 1×15-20 each leg

Back-to-Side Fire Hydrants

  • Assume all-fours position
  • Extend leg directly behind, squeeze glute and lift leg toward ceiling; hold for two counts
  • Bend knee and hip to bring leg to side position; hold for two counts and keep knee at 90 degrees.
  • Lower to start position
  • Repeat for specified reps
  • Perform set with opposite leg

Sets/Reps: 1×15-20 each leg


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Level: Easy

Type: Body Weight, Low Impact, Strength, Anaerobic

Focus: Lower Body

20 15-30 repetitions in 1-3 sets /day 70 10 min

Muscles Involved: Leg, Butt, Glute

Benefits of Fire Hydrants

Fire hydrants is a great exercise which engages the external parts of the buttocks and thighs. It also helps to stretch the hip joints and inner thighs. Fire hydrant exercise strengthens the lower body, improves balance, increases the mobility of the hip and knee joints, corrects posture, activates abdominal muscles, increases the muscle tonus. Hamstrings, glutes, adductors, and abductors work during this exercise.

Fire hydrant exercise is particularly beneficial for the hips, inner thighs and buttocks. This exercise may seem to be simple, but if you perform it according to the rules, slowly and controlling every movement – at the end of the set you will feel your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes “burning”. Stretching after fire hydrant exercise will improve muscle flexibility, the amplitude of movements, and make the muscles stronger. Beautiful, resilient female thighs and buttocks always look attractive. Fire hydrant exercise is exactly what you need to form sturdy, slender thighs and butt.

How to Do Fire Hydrant

  • The initial position: stand on all fours, straighten your arms, and tighten your abdominal muscles toward the spine;
  • Keep your hips straight and in one position. Do not let your thighs move together with your legs. Both legs are bent at an angle of 90 degrees;
  • Raise your right leg slowly to the side. Lift it up until you feel that your thigh is raised to the limit. Hold this position for a second;
  • Slowly return the right leg to the initial position;
  • Repeat it for the left leg.


How many fire hydrant exercises should I do per day?

You should do 15-30 repetitions in 1-3 sets by each leg for visible results. If it is difficult to cope with proposed number of reps – do as many exercises as you can – it will be easier by time. The most important thing is to always follow your plan of workouts.


  • Pull in your belly and keep your back straight during the exercise;
  • You can increase the intensity of your exercise using additional weights of 0.5-1 kg by each leg;
  • Breathe normally; do not forget to breathe during pauses.

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