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The Fire Hydrant Workout

Working out plays an important role in your daily schedule, but you need to ensure you introduce adequate versatility to the types of exercises you perform. Even fitness influencers have commented on the important role that diversity plays, which allows you to target a variety of different muscle groups for better balance. 

While you already have your exercise routine, you might want to add a few extra workouts for that diversity element. A fire hydrant exercise is a popular option that many people enjoy. The exercise itself is versatile and we are going to take a closer look at what you can expect from a fire hydrant exercise in this post.

What Is The Fire Hydrant Exercise

Fire hydrant exercises refer to a bodyweight workout, which makes it a great addition to calisthenics programs. It is sometimes referred to as quadruped hip abductions. It has similar effects as other hip abduction exercises, but with a unique pose that you use throughout the workout. It is also an exercise that helps you create more diversity in the workout routine you adopt. 

Regularly doing fire hydrants helps to improve the tone of the glute muscles. When you use a few variations of the workout, you may also notice improvements in lower back pain.

The exercise was actually named due to the specific pose you take when you perform fire hydrants. Many people noticed that the pose was quite similar to a dog lifting their leg against fire hydrants. Thus, the name originated from this particular view.

How To Do A Fire Hydrant Workout

The first step to truly benefiting from the fire hydrant workout is to ensure you know how to do it. Start by ensuring you have everything ready, as this will ensure you can simply get straight to the exercise when you want to.

In reality, the only thing you really need to do at a fire hydrant is a mat to rest your knees and do hands-on. You can use some extra items, such as weights when you want to focus on variations of fire hydrants. In this section, we are going to focus on the basic fire hydrant exercise.

The starting position is down on the floor. Your hands and knees should touch the mat that you placed down. Align your shoulders above your hands and keep the knee bent at this point. Your hips should consider your feet hip width at this point and ensure you feel comfortable. The left hip should align with the knee on the left leg. The same goes for the right side of your body.

While you are in this starting position, begin tightening your core and look downward with your face.

Here are the steps to take from the starting position to perform fire hydrants:

  1. Lift up your left leg, while you keep your knee bent. You should lift your leg at a 45 degree angle, while your knee remains bent at a 90 degree angle. You should not make a straight line with your knees. Thus, do not keep your left leg straight, but rather keep the bending position.
  2. Slowly lower the left leg to the starting position that you took previously.
  3. Now that you performed one rep, repeat the process 10 times. This gives you a total of 10 reps, after which you should switch to the right leg.
  4. Similarly, lift your right leg without losing the bend you have in the right knee. Retain your proper form when you work on your right leg.
  5. Bring your right knee back down to the mat – do 10 reps on this side too.

Many people will try to aim for around three sets that include 10 reps each. This helps to work both your right and left side of the body. Do not perform more sets or reps on the left side than the right side, however, This can create an imbalance in the development of your muscles.

Benefits Of The Fire Hydrant Workout

There are a number of potential benefits that come with these fire hydrants. While they do not particularly target your upper body, the hip movement and the specific way you lift your legs helps to target the core and glutes.

The important thing to consider here is the fact that fire hydrants involves three particular hip movements:

  • Hip abduction
  • Hip extension
  • Hip external rotation

The combination of these three movements helps to provide a good workout for the glutes. By adding options like a resistance band or ankle weights, you can also strengthen and tighten your core muscles.

When you work your gluteus maximus with this excellent exercise, you will be able to reap the rewards during other workouts you perform. For example, strong glutes can help to provide better support for your back when you lift weights. Furthermore, they also help stabilize the knees to prevent injuries. This can, in turn, make your workout efforts more effective, whether your goal is to build muscles or weight loss.

How Many Fire Hydrants Should You Do A Day?

The ideal number of fire hydrants to perform depends on factors like your fitness level and goals. Additionally, when you decide to do these exercises, you also have to consider if you want to use them before you work more intensely on your gluteus medius and related muscles afterward. In this case, you can use the fire hydrants as a type of pre-workout to get your muscles warm and loose.

It is a good idea to aim for around 50 of these fire hydrants every day. You can then switch things to other workouts that offer some greater intensity on your glutes. If you decide to do a total of 50, then you should ensure you do not only focus on a single working leg. If you perform more workouts on one leg, then the other leg may develop an imbalance.

If you want to place a large focus on these workouts, such as in cases where you add an ankle weight, then you should try to do more. Just make sure you have a padded mat on hand. This can help to reduce the pressure of the ground on your knees. If you put too much pressure on your knee, then you may start to experience pain symptoms.

Muscles Worked

When it comes to balance in your workout routine, it is important to ensure you use the right variation of exercises. This also means considering the muscles that every exercise works. With proper form, the fire hydrant exercise can help to target your gluteus maximus primarily. As you regularly switch legs, you will effectively work on the glutes on each leg. Additionally, the exercise will cause you to have your core engaged. Thus, in addition to the glute muscles in the lower body, you can also work on your core with the fire hydrant exercise.

You can also turn to the fire hydrant exercise when you want to work on your hip muscles and improve stability at the hip joints. While fire hydrants increase strength and tone in your glutes, make sure you also focus on other strengthening workouts. These strengthening exercises should address other parts of your body, such as your shoulders, lower legs, biceps, and your triceps. This type of combination, including the hip movements from fire hydrants, can deliver greater results.


While a fire hydrant exercise might get its name from a strange view, it does pose as a highly effective addition to your workout. The fire hydrant workout is great for the glutes, abdomen, and helps to work on your core muscles. You can perform fire hydrants with nothing but a flat surface to exercise on, or mix things up when you wear ankle weights for some added resistance. Be sure to give the fire hydrant a try for better core stability and to help tone your core and lower body.


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Dr. Ahmed Zayed holds a bachelor’s degree in medicine from Alexandria university and is a practicing plastic surgeon. He’s our expert on all things nutrition, medicine, rehabilitation, and flexibility. Dr.Ahmed has been a medical content writer for more than 11 years and his work reached top publications such as the HuffingtonPost

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