Glute exercises have been becoming more popular by the day. Strong glutes extend far beyond a sculpted posterior; it's the secret to unlocking a rock-solid midsection and a resilient posterior chain. The fire hydrant exercise attacks muscles that are normally left unattended when it comes to lower-body workouts. Another beauty of the fire hydrant exercise is that it requires ZERO equipment and you can do it wherever you please.
In this article, I will be teaching you how to effectively complete the fire hydrant exercise and giving you tips on creating bulletproof hips, pain relief, and effective strengthening.
Why The Fire Hydrant Exercise:
The fire hydrant movement is one of the few exercises that target many hip muscles left dormant and forgotten about. Not tending to these muscles can further result in tightness and a great deal of pain. The fire hydrant movement is also a great exercise for improving hip stability. The lateral movement of the leg/hip attacks important hip muscles that play a key role in keeping properly aligned hips, lower back, and knees.
A few other perks of the fire hydrant workout are; more explosive lateral movement, a rounder aesthetic butt, it's easy to learn, and the exercise is easy on the joints.
Fire Hydrant Exercise - How To:
- When starting the fire hydrant exercise, put yourself in an all-four position with your hands and knees below your shoulders. Brace your core and make sure your lower back is slightly arched and your spine is neutral.
- Next step in the fire hydrant exercise, lift one leg up and out to the side while maintaining a 90-degree bend in your knee and hip. The remainder of your body should remain still. Lift your leg up at a 45-degree angle. Make sure that your hip and knee are still in alignment.
- After pausing for one or two seconds with your leg up, slowly and controlled, lower it back down.
- After completing the specified number of repetitions, switch legs and complete the fire hydrant workout.
For a fire hydrant exercise visual, check out this video below.
Fire Hydrant Exercise Tips:
- Keep a tight core and stabilize your body in all fours
- Full range of motion but do NOT overextend if it's uncomfortable (the mobility will come)
- Do an equal amount of sets and reps on each leg to avoid muscle imbalance
- To progress the movement, use a resistance band
Fire Hydrant Exercise - Pain Relief:
Before doing the fire hydrant workout, many people suffer from hip tightness and pain. Exercises similar to the fire hydrant workout are great for strengthening the glutes, but if you are looking to ease hip pain or hip pain while sleeping and give back mobility to the muscle, you should consider another alternative known as deep tissue massage (see tailbone pain exercises for an exhaustive guide).
Fire Hydrant Exercise - Trigger Points:
The vast majority of hip muscle pain is typically caused by trigger points and constant muscle tension. When a hip muscle is ridden with constant muscle tension - nerves can be impinged, the pelvis can be pulled out of alignment, and pressure can be placed on the lower back. Before doing any stretches or strengthening exercises such as the fire hydrant workout, it is crucial to eliminate the constant muscle tension first.
In order to rid the muscle of painful trigger points and find relief, you must apply targeted deep tissue massage to the muscle.
A soothing deep tissue massage will release the area of its muscle tension and allow it to exist as a normal, non-pain-inducing muscle.
Fire Hydrant Exercise - Trigger Point Release:
Effective trigger point release via deep tissue massage can be done by the hands of a trained physical therapist, massage therapist, chiropractor, or at home with a purposefully made tool like the QL Claw. The QL Claw is the only tool that is equipped with a hook to get in deep and break up tight muscle fibers. Get your QL Claw today and rid your muscles of tension!
Fire Hydrant Exercise - Back Programs:
The fire hydrant workout is an awesome complimentary exercise for strengthening the lower back. If you have suffered from low back pain in the past and want relief and improved flexibility, check out my programs below. These are the exact stretches and strengthening exercises (including the fire hydrant workout) that helped me go from years of crippling back pain to having a bulletproof low back.
 Donnelly, Joseph M. Travell, Simons & Simons Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: the Trigger Point Manual. 3rd ed., Wolters Kluwer Health, 2019.