Exercises You Should Be Doing: Fire Hydrants

Thanks to those of you who have been forwarding my blog on to friends and family as well as sharing it on Facebook.  I appreciate your support and assistance in helping the popularity of this blog grow!

My blog is hosted by WordPress.com.  They provide me with a ton of great feedback, from how many visits I get per day, to weekly and monthly averages.  They let my know what my growth looks like as well as what posts have been the most popular.  One of the features that has been the most interesting to me is when someone goes to Google, Yahoo, etc and searches for something and finds my site, WordPress lets me know what they searched to find my site.  Some of these have been pretty interesting to look through.  Here are some of the most interesting:

-“escalator slide” (I’m not even sure what that is, but apparently you’re not supposed to do it):

-“dog scapula joint”

-“dog show Michael Gray” (I don’t know how I feel about that one)

-“fix pit stains”


-and lastly “male model Michael Gray”  (that one just makes sense)

I’ve thought these were funny to look through, and they’ve often left me scratching my head trying to figure out how someone ever found my blog by searching those terms.

Anyway, on to something you care about.

It’s no surprise that due to our sedentary society, our glutes (butts) don’t function properly.  In fact it is not uncommon at all for me to have clients whose butts literally barely function at all.  This can lead to a host of undesirable effects:

-back pain

-knee pain

-hip pain

-really poor movement patterns in exercises like squats and lunges

-and worst of all, S.B.S. (saggy butt syndrome)

One of the best ways I’ve found to help people teach their glutes to work properly, is to help them turn their glutes “on”.  (Minds out of the gutter, this is a family show.)  Once someone understands what it feels like to get a good contraction in their butts, they are able to tell if they are getting good glute recruitment during various exercises.

There are several movements I use to help achieve this, but one of the most common is the Fire Hydrant:

I’m assuming the name of the movement is pretty self-explanatory, but in case you missed it, you look like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant.

Here are the basic cues:

-Get in an “all fours” position.

-Keeping your hips very stable, lift one leg to the side by contracting the glute on the same side.  A common mistake people make is to rotate the hips excessively to get more height with the knee.  Don’t do it.  If you rotate your hips too much, you will lose all the contraction in your glutes.  You need very little knee-height to get the glutes contracting.

-Hold this position for a 5 count.

-Return to the all fours position and then repeat with the same leg.

-Once you’ve completed all reps for one side, move to the other leg.

I like to do between 3-5 reps per leg.  This is enough to wake the muscle fibers up and get them prepared for movement, as well as get a client in touch with the feeling of their glutes contracting.  This is not a strength exercise, so don’t treat it as such.  No matter what your aerobics instructor might tell you, you don’t need to 3 sets of 30 reps of these.  Get in a few solid reps, get your butt a-squeezin’ and move on.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s