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Fire Hydrant Exercise: How To Peform and Variations

July 25, 2024
July 8, 2024
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Want to learn how to build stronger and larger glutes? Fire hydrant exercise is one of the many exercises that you would have seen people doing for glute building. Some say that it doing it constantly, can help you shape your butt!

So, if you are looking to get a sculpted peach bottom, it’s time to learn how to perform this exercise.

Key Takeaways

  1. The fire hydrant exercise primarily targets the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and hip external rotator muscles, which are crucial for hip stability and mobility.
  2. Performing fire hydrants helps strengthen and tone the glute muscles, improves hip stability, prevents injuries, enhances balance and coordination, and supports functional movements.
  3. The correct execution of the fire hydrant exercise involves maintaining a neutral spine, engaging core muscles, and lifting the leg out to the side in a controlled manner.
  4. Beginners can start with 1-2 sets of 8-10 repetitions per side, while advanced individuals may aim for 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions.
  5. There are different variations of this exercise such as banded fire hydrants, fire hydrant kicks, and standing fire hydrants.

What Muscles Do Fire Hydrants Exercise Target?

fire hydrant target muscles

The fire hydrant is a type of bodyweight exercise that is excellent for toning the glutes and outer thighs. This exercise primarily targets the following key muscle group:

Gluteus Medius: The main muscle activated during fire hydrants is the gluteus medius, which is located on the outer left side of the hip. This muscle is responsible for hip abduction and stabilization of the pelvis during movement.

Gluteus Minimus: Another muscle that benefits from fire hydrant exercises is the gluteus minimus, which lies beneath the gluteus medius and assists in hip abduction and core stability only.

Hip External Rotators: Fire hydrants also engage the outer hip and external rotator muscles, including the piriformis and other rotator muscles, which help rotate the thigh outward during the movement.

By performing fire hydrant exercises, individuals can effectively strengthen these muscles, improving hip stability, mobility, and overall lower-body strength.

Benefits of Fire Hydrant Exercise

The fire hydrant exercise offers a range of benefits for individuals looking to strengthen and stabilize their lower body, particularly the hips, right knee, and glutes. Some of these benefits include:

  • Glute Activation: The fire hydrant exercise effectively targets the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus, helping to strengthen and tone these muscles.
  • Hip Stability: By engaging the core and hip abductors, and external rotators, the fire hydrant exercise promotes improved hip stability and function, which is beneficial for overall movement and posture.
  • Injury Prevention: Strengthening the hip muscles through exercises like fire hydrants can help prevent injury, especially for individuals involved in activities that require hip mobility and stability, such as running, dancing, or sports.
  • Balance and Coordination: Fire hydrants can contribute to better balance and coordination by targeting the muscles that support these functions.
  • Functional Movement: The movement pattern of the fire hydrant exercise mirrors everyday movements, making it a functional exercise that can translate to improved performance in daily activities.

Overall, the fire hydrant exercise offers a targeted approach to strengthening the hips and glutes, with potential benefits for both athletic performance and everyday activities.

Fire Hydrant Exercise: Step-by-Step Instructions

fire hydrant exercise 
how to perform

The fire hydrant exercise is a great glute and hip mobility exercise that targets the gluteus medius muscle. Here are the step-by-step instructions:

  1. Begin on all fours on the floor with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Your head and spine should be in a neutral position, and your core engaged.
  2. Tighten your abdominal muscles to stabilize your torso throughout the movement.
  3. Keeping your knee bent at a 90-degree angle, lift one knee out to the side while keeping your butt, hips, and pelvis stable. Aim to lift your thigh out to the side until it is parallel to the floor.
  4. Lift your leg out to the side in a slow and controlled manner, focusing on the control using the muscles of your hip rather than swinging your leg.
  5. At the top of the movement, pause for a moment and squeeze your glutes to maximize the activation of the targeted muscles.
  6. Lower your left leg and back down to the starting position in a slow and controlled manner without letting your knee touch the ground.
  7. Perform the same movement with the other leg, lifting it out to the left arm and side in a controlled manner while maintaining stability in your hips and pelvis.
  8. Aim to perform 10-15 repetitions on each side for 2-3 sets, gradually increasing the number of repetitions and sets as you become more comfortable with the exercise.

Remember to focus on the quality of the movement rather than speed and to maintain proper alignment and form throughout the exercise. This will help maximize the benefits of the fire hydrant exercise.

Sets And Reps

The fire hydrant exercise is recommended to be started with 1 or 2 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions. Over time, as you become stronger, you can increase the number of sets up to 3, and the number of repetitions up to 15-20 per set.

  • Beginner: 1-2 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions
  • Advanced: 3 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions

This allows you to start at a beginner level and progressively challenge yourself over time by increasing the volume and intensity of the fire hydrant exercise. The optional use of ankle weights provides an extra way to focus on strengthening and toning the buttocks muscles.

Fire Hydrant Variations

The classic fire hydrant exercise is a fantastic way to target the glutes and hips, but there are several variations you can explore to add more challenge and variety to your workouts. Let’s take a look at a few of the top fire hydrant variations:

Banded fire hydrant

banded fire hydrant

To perform a banded fire hydrant, you would add resistance by placing a looped resistance band around your thighs, just above the knees. Then, follow the same steps for the traditional fire hydrant exercise, focusing on pushing against the resistance of the band as you lift your leg out to the side. This variation increases the challenge and engagement of the hip abductors and external rotators.

Fire hydrant kicks

fire hydrant kicks

In this variation, you would perform the standard fire hydrant movement, but once your right leg is lifted to the side, you would extend your lower leg out until it is straight. This adds an extra dynamic element to the exercise, targeting the glutes and hip abductors in a slightly different way.

Standing fire hydrant

The standing fire hydrant variation involves performing the same movement pattern as the traditional fire hydrant exercise, but in a standing position. Stand upright, and then lift one leg out to the side while keeping your legs, hips and torso stable. You can use a wall or sturdy surface for support if needed. This variation challenges balance and stability while still targeting the hip muscles effectively.


The fire hydrant exercise is a valuable addition to lower body workouts, targeting specific muscles essential for hip stability and function. By incorporating this exercise into a routine and gradually increasing intensity and variations, individuals can experience improved muscle strength, injury prevention, enhanced balance, and better performance in both athletic endeavors and daily activities. A focus on proper form and gradual progression can maximize the benefits of the fire hydrant exercise over time.

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About authors
Jessica Brown
Written by
Jessica Brown is a 29-year-old freelance copywriter who is passionate about human nature and is now immersing herself deeply into the realm of health and wellness. Jessica holds a Master of Arts in Literary Studies from the National University of Singapore and a Bachelor's in Biology from the University of Cambridge.