What if there was an exercise that strengthened your hip and glute muscles while building a leaner core and improving your wellness? It turns out that fire hydrants do just that!
Also known as quadruped hip abductions, fire hydrants are a can't-miss bodyweight resistance exercise. They are best known for strengthening your hips and glutes, but they actually do so much more than that.
Want to know more? Here is our complete guide to fire hydrants, including the proper techniques, benefits, and variations of the exercise!
We highly suggest adding fire hydrants to your lower body workout routine because they have so many benefits. Here are just a few of the top ones:
Lifters often overlook the hip and glute muscles for other muscle groups, including the back, shoulders, and legs. However, they perhaps don't realize the importance of strengthening the hips and glutes.
What makes having strong hips and glutes so important? Here are just a few of the top reasons:
Most importantly, having muscular hips strengthens the pelvis. The pelvis is the bottom of your entire core region and links your upper body to your lower body. When it is strong and stable, your whole body becomes stronger and stabler as a result.
The primary hip and glute muscles that get worked from fire hydrants include:
In addition to the hips and glutes, fire hydrants also strengthen the core muscles and abdominal muscles.Did you know that your core and abdominals are not the same things? The core includes more than 20 muscles in your stomach area, lower back, and hips. On the other hand, the abs are solely in your stomach area.
The core is an extremely robust muscle group that helps stabilize your entire body and coordinate movements, while the abs are purely for moving the torso. If you want a totally lean, toned, and well-built body, then you need to fire up both the core and abs.
Thankfully, fire hydrants do just that.The abs and core get fired up to help initiate the movement from the hip joint and keep your upper body facing the floor. As a result, you get a healthier and better-looking midsection.
If you are not an everyday gym-goer, then fire hydrants are perfect for you! You don't need any equipment or a spotter to help you, so you can do them from home, a hotel room, or wherever you like! However, we suggest having a personal trainer give you a hand with them if you feel like they are causing you any pain.
Lastly, fire hydrants are a low-impact bodyweight exercise, meaning that they use your bodyweight for resistance rather than weights or a machine. The best thing about low-impact bodyweight exercises is that they are usually easy on the joints.
Therefore, you are less likely to get injured doing them. If you struggle with arthritis or body aches and pains, try fire hydrants for strengthening your body without further hurting yourself.In addition to reducing the odds of an injury, low-impact resistance exercises have several other benefits, including:
Moreover, if you want to get stronger while improving your overall wellness at the same time, then fire hydrants are right for you!
Fire hydrants are a simple but excellent exercise. However, even though they are simple, it is still crucial to pay attention to your form. Improper form is likely to cause injuries and target the incorrect muscle groups. Moreover, if you want to reduce your risk of injury and reap all the benefits of the exercise, then you must pay attention to form!
Here is how to do the fire hydrant exercise with proper form:
Because they are only a few steps and are a tiny movement, fire hydrants might seem easy at first. However, they are highly technical, which makes proper form extremely important!
Therefore, keep in mind these couple extra form tips when doing fire hydrants:
We love fire hydrants for toning the lower body, but doing them so many times over again is boring and ineffective. However, you can do fire hydrants then switch things up a bit with these top fire hydrant variation exercises! Not only will these exercises prevent boredom, but they will also increase strength in your hips so that you can improve your fire hydrant technique.
Here are our favorite fire hydrant variations:
Like we mentioned above, you can't fill up an entire workout plan with just fire hydrants. However, you can put together a complete hip abduction workout with fire hydrants, fire hydrant variations, and these other top hip abduction exercises. If you want to put together a total abduction workout and improve your fire hydrants, try these exercises!
Lay on a soft, flat surface on the right side of your body. Create one long line from your head to your toes. Your legs should stack on top of one another, and your body should open to the right side. Prop your head into your right hand and place your left hand on your left hip.
Press your knees forward about one foot while keeping your feet in line with your hips. When you're ready, exhale and open your left knee off your right knee while keeping your toes together. If you're doing this right, it should look like a clamshell opening!
Open your knee as far as you can while keeping your upper body forward, then inhale and drop your left knee back to starting position. Do ten to twelve reps laying on the right side, then flip onto the other side of your body.
Lay on a soft, flat surface on the right side of your body. Create one long line from your head to your toes. Your legs should stack on top of one another, and your body should open to the right side. Extend your right arm long and rest your head on your arm.
When you're ready, exhale and lift your top left leg straight into the air. Lift it as high as you can or until the pinch in your hips is too much, then slowly lower back to starting position. Make sure to keep your body completely straight! Do ten to twelve reps laying on the right side, then flip onto the left side.
Finish out your hip abduction workout with curtsey lunges! Stand up tall with your feet hip-width apart and hands on your hips. Exhale and step your right foot backward and slightly behind your body to simulate a curtsey. Inhale to step your right foot back to starting position, then repeat on the left side.
Curtsey lunges are very similar to regular lunges, except you step backward and to the side rather than just backward. You should feel an extra pinch in your hip muscles!
While all of the above hip abduction exercises are excellent, they aren't the only hip exercises you should be doing. In addition to hip abduction, you must also do exercises for the other types of hip movements, including:
Here are some of our favorite exercises for the other types of hip movements:
Lay flat on your back with your arms by your sides and feet pulled in towards your glutes. When you're ready, press into your heels to lift your glutes off the floor and keep lifting them until there is a straight line from your knees to your neck.
Imagine as if there is a string attached to your hips that suspends your midsection in the air. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the bridge, then slowly lower back to the floor.
Lay on a soft, flat surface on the right side of your body. Create one long line from your head to your toes so that your legs stack on top of one another and your body opens to the right side. Slide your top leg backward off of your bottom leg while keeping your hips stacked.
When you're ready, flex your right inner thigh muscles to lift your right leg off the floor. It should only lift about two to three inches. Squeeze your inner thigh and hips, then slowly lower back to the floor.
Band walks have the double benefit of strengthening your hips and boosting your heart rate. That makes them perfect for building muscle mass and inducing weight loss. Wrap a looped resistance band around your thighs right above your knees. Spread your legs to shoulder-width apart and bend your knees to create mild tension in the resistance band.
When you're ready, take a step straight out to the right to increase tensity in the resistance band. Then, step your left foot to the right so that your legs are shoulder-width apart again. Take ten more steps to the right, then switch to the opposite direction.
Regardless of your fitness level or goals, we highly suggest adding fire hydrants to your workout plan! You will strengthen and tone your lower body while improving your overall physical and mental wellness.
When combined with upper body exercises, you can make fire hydrants a part of a balanced full-body workout. Do not hesitate to start doing fire hydrants (and their variations) today!
Bonus tip: Want to build even stronger hip abductor muscles? If so, then check out our guide to the top 10 best hip abductor exercises!