Tracee Ellis Ross hasn’t been able to hit the gym lately—hey, she’s been busy starring in Black-ish and writing a cheeky children’s book to shed light on the #MeToo movement—but since her schedule has recently lightened up, her workout routine is back on, in full-force. One move that’s kicking her booty, quite literally? A modified fire hydrant.
Typically when you do a fire-hydrant exercise, you start on all fours and slowly lift one leg out to the side, keeping a 90-degree angle at your knee the entire time, then bring it back in. Ross’ forearm modification, though, works the muscles even more, targeting the outside of your butt, hamstrings, quads, and even your core, Pilates instructor Tianna Strateman, VP of Education at Club Pilates, told Self.
To copy this modified move, start on a mat in the normal position on all fours and lower down so you’re resting on your forearms. “Lift one leg up and externally rotate the knee and hip,” Strateman said. “Then, start to extend and bend at the knee while maintaining your form. Be sure to keep your weight centered as much as possible without shifting too much to the stationary side. Keep all the work going into the working leg and out of your shoulders and upper body.”
Even though Ross’ leg is popping back behind her like a prima ballerina, don’t make getting so much air your focus. “While lifting the leg high looks ‘fun,’ it often can put a lot of pressure on the low back if the core muscles are not developed enough to support the low back,” Strateman said. And, even if you keep your leg down low as you strengthen other muscles while doing the move, it won’t take you much time to start feeling that burn.
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