A well-rounded resistance training routine hits all major muscle groups in the body, including the gluteal muscles. While these muscles are active in exercises such as squats, lunges and step ups, they are working in concert with other muscle groups. The fire hydrant butt exercise is a single joint exercise that focuses on the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus, as well as your core to stabilize your torso. You need no equipment to perform the exercise, and it is appropriate for most people.
Things You'll Need
- Exercise mat or cushioned surface
Place your mat down on a clear space on the floor. Get down on the mat on all fours. Hands should be directly below the shoulders and knees below the hips.
Keep your spine in neutral position, holding your abs in tight to support your torso. To find neutral gently roll your hips under and back up, arching your low back up and down. Stop when it feels comfortable and natural.
Look down at the mat slightly in front of your hands to keep your head in line with your spine. Keeping your body steady and your knees bent, slowly lift your right leg out to the side. Lift the leg as high as you can without rotating your hips, or leaning to the left side.
Lower the leg back down to the start position in a controlled manner. Repeat the movement for 10 to 15 repetitions, exhaling as you lift and inhaling as you lower. Switch legs and repeat. Perform the exercise for a total of two to three sets on each leg.
Tips & Warnings
- Keep your ankle in line with your knee the entire time your are lifting your leg. Only the hip joint should be moving out to the side and back down.
- Add ankle weights to increase the challenge of the exercise.
- Perform the fire hydrants after any multi-joint exercises.
- Stretch your glute muscles after you finish the exercise.
- Perform the fire hydrants two or three times each week on nonconsecutive days.
- Stop immediately if you feel any pain or cramping in the gluteal muscles. They should feel fatigued and tired, but not painful.
- Do not arch your back when performing the exercise. Your spine must stay neutral and abs engaged.
- Do not use momentum to complete the exercise.
- Do not lean over to the opposite side as you lift your leg. Keep your body steady.
- Photo Credit Eloi_Omella/iStock/Getty Images
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