There are many variations of fire hydrants including the banded fire hydrant, fire hydrant with ankle weights, and the fire hydrant kick.
Fire hydrants, also known as quadruped hip abductions, are a type of bodyweight exercise that works different muscles on your body.
The banded fire hydrant is one of the most effective variations of the fire hydrant. It adds extra resistance to the exercise, making it more engaging to your muscles than the traditional fire hydrant.
HOW TO DO BANDED FIRE HYDRANT PROPERLY
What you need: Resistance band
- Loop a resistance band around your knees or ankles.
- Position your body on all fours (quadruped position). Stack your wrists directly under your hips and shoulders.
- Draw in your belly button towards your spine to fully engage the core.
- Press the tips of your feet into the floor to help you gain more stability.
- Raise one knee at a time, bringing your leg to a 45-degree angle against your body. Your knee should be at 90 degrees.
- Hold your knee in that position for two seconds. Make sure to squeeze your glutes during this
- Slowly lower your leg down to the starting position.
- Repeat the above steps with the other knee.
- Do 3 sets of 15 reps on each leg.
WHAT MUSCLES DOES BANDED FIRE HYDRANT WORK?
This exercise primarily works the gluteus maximus, which is located at the edge of your buttocks. The lower fibers of this muscle play a part in enabling your hips to rotate during the exercise.
The banded fire hydrant engages your front abdominal muscles and lowers back muscles as you lift and lower your knee. These muscles are responsible for spinal support and stability.
It also helps you develop control of these muscles, further strengthening your core and pelvic floor.
These are the muscles located on the side of your abdomen. They provide you with stability and prevent you from tipping over while performing this exercise.
HIP ABDUCTOR AND ADDUCTOR MUSCLES
The muscles located on your inner and outer thighs allow you to move sideways during this exercise.
BANDED FIRE HYDRANT BENEFITS
STRENGTHENS AND TONES GLUTES
The banded fire hydrant helps in toning and sculpting your glutes by activating the lower fibres of your gluteus maximus muscle.
IMPROVES HIP MOBILITY
The lateral lift your leg does as you move it away from your body allows your hips to move in three different dimensions, which improves your hip flexibility and mobility.
STRENGTHENS LOWER BACK MUSCLES
This exercise is often used in rehabilitation programs to help people strengthen and stabilize their lower back muscles. It is ideal for people who have had lower back problems.
PREVENT BACK INJURIES
By improving core strength and stability, it helps stabilize your spine hence reducing the possibility of the occurrence of back injuries
IMPROVES BALANCE AND COORDINATION
The banded fire hydrant helps improve your general body balance and coordination by training you to achieve balance while in motion.
STABILIZES THE PELVIC FLOOR
This exercise strengthens the hamstrings and makes them more active in stabilizing the pelvic floor.
GOOD FOR BEGINNERS
If you are just getting started on your fitness journey, you might want to add this exercise to your workout routine.
It will help you gain stability which will enable you to gain strength and range of motion over time.
IMPROVES JOINT HEALTH
This is done by stretching and strengthening your hip flexors.
GREAT WARMUP EXERCISE
The banded fire hydrant can help warm up your hips and activate your glutes before an intense workout.
BANDED FIRE HYDRANT MISTAKES TO AVOID
MOVING YOUR NECK AND ARMS
At no point should your neck and arms move while doing this exercise. Only your leg should be moving.
LOOKING UP THROUGHOUT THE EXERCISE
When you raise your head, you automatically curve your spine. This will put unnecessary stress on your neck and lower back muscles.
You should instead keep your head down so that your back remains straight the entire time. Keeping your gaze towards the ground will also ensure your neck is properly aligned.
SHIFTING WEIGHT TO THE OPPOSITE SIDE
You may find yourself shifting all your weight to the opposite side while lifting one leg. This is not good for your progress – it reduces the efficacy of this exercise.
You should focus on keeping your weight centered. Distributing your weight evenly will force your body to gain stability so that you don’t topple over.
NOT KEEPING YOUR BACK STRAIGHT
You might be tempted to arch your back to help with the leg movements – don’t do it. Keeping your back straight will help activate your core stabilizers and your lower back muscles.
TWISTING OR TILTING YOUR HIPS
Your hips should always be parallel to the floor and they should stay in one position. Moving your hips prevents the full activation of your glutes.
RUSHING THROUGH THE EXERCISE
For the best results, your movements should be slow and controlled throughout the exercise. Slow and controlled movements create a mind-muscle connection which makes the exercise effective.
ALTERNATIVES TO BANDED FIRE HYDRANT
SIDE LEG RAISE
The single-leg raise is also known as the standing lateral hip abduction. Like the banded fire hydrant, it works your hip muscles and glutes.
The clamshell exercise is ideal if you don’t like being on your fours. It strengthens your hip joints and glutes without putting too much pressure on your knees.
BENT KNEE HIP EXTENSIONS
Bent knee hip extensions strengthen your core and glutes just like the banded fire hydrant.
THE FINAL WORD
The banded fire hydrant is a fantastic way to strengthen your back muscles, improve your hip mobility and work on your glutes.
What’s even better, you can practice it anywhere as long as you have enough space. Also, it doesn’t require any specialized equipment, save for the resistance band which is easily available.
Add this exercise to your workout routine and get to define those muscles!