How the Fire Hydrant Exercise Can Improve Your Performance

Find out how athletes can run faster and jump higher by performing the Fire Hydrant exercise during a dynamic warm-up.

Fire Hydrant Exercise

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: 2x15-20 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: 1x15-20 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: 1x15-20 each leg

Photo: runnersfeed.com


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: GLUTES | WARM-UP | EXERCISE | FIRE HYDRANTS | MEDIUS