Moon Pose in Bodybuilding [Banned]

moon pose bodybuilding

The moon pose in bodybuilding is one of the best poses for showing glute, hamstring, quad, and calf development.

It was banned in the early years of competitive bodybuilding because it was considered too risqué. That didn’t stop some of the biggest names in bodybuilding from performing it!

In this blog post, we will look at the history of the moon pose, how to do it, and why it was eventually banned from competition.

Moon Pose Examples

The moon pose is quite a sight to see and yet was only able to be pulled off by some of the most advanced and celebrated modern bodybuilders.

Often seen as inappropriate or too much, the pose displayed muscle definition not often seen on the IFBB stage.

The moon pose is considered a taboo pose in the world of bodybuilding, as you will see why in our examples below:

moon pose bodybuilding examples

How to Moon Pose Step-by-Step

The moon pose involves showing off the bodybuilder’s backside (glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves).

This is the main contributor to the moon pose being banned from competition. The idea of bodybuilders who are already wearing tiny swimsuits and covered in body oil performing such a provocative pose was seen as distasteful by competition judges.

Nonetheless, some wanted to stand out in bodybuilding and went through with the pose; civility be da****.

Here is how to recreate the moon pose for bodybuilding in step by step instructions:

  1. Tighten your glutes and hamstrings with both feet firmly planted shoulder-width apart on the ground

  2. Lock your knees in place; you will want not to allow any bending of the knee to execute the moon pose flawlessly.
  3. Make sure your backside is in the direction of the judges. You will want to bend at the waist.
  4. Extend your hands, reaching for the ground while keeping your lower body completely straight.
  5. Flex across all lower body muscle groups, including glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.
  6. Keep your eyes and head looking down at your feet for balance.

Push your hips upwards as high as possible towards the end of the moon pose for a better hamstring definition.


Video: How to Moon Pose

The best way to understand how to do a pose is to see it in action.

The moon pose is truly a sight to behold in person and photos, but it’s also a pose that takes a lot of practice to perfect.

While the moon pose may seem easy enough to do, it’s challenging to execute without proper form.

Here is a video guiding you through how to create the perfect moon pose in your next bodybuilding competition:

Bodybuilder’s Famous Moon Pose

The moon pose was inspired by the well-known yoga pose (half-moon) and made highly popular by bodybuilder Tom Platz.

Here are a few of the most popular moon poses performed in professional bodybuilding competitions:

Tom Platz – Tom was known for his vast and defined legs, so the moon pose became a signature part of his routine

The moon pose helped him show off his backbreaking work and dedication to leg day.

Platz was also known for his inhuman ability to squat an absurd amount of weight, which added to his legend and insane moon pose.

Ronnie Coleman – Ronnie Coleman is probably most remembered as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time and for his vast and muscular leg and glute development.

Coleman’s moon pose was massive and always left the crowd in awe.

He was able to flex every muscle group in his lower body with ease, making him one of the most popular to perform the pose before its eventual banning.

Working on your Poses for your next bodybuilding competition? Check out our other instructional articles for bodybuilder poses:

Muscles Targeted

When performing the moon pose, various muscle groups are targeted.

moon pose muscles targeted

Flexing nearly all of the lower body muscles and substantial hip extension is paramount for nailing this pose in competition.

The moon pose will show off these muscle groups:

Glutes – Your glute muscles are the main attraction in this pose. Deep serrations and a large amount of muscle mass are required to make this pose look great.

Quads – Your quads are like the beam supports of a large tower throughout this pose. You will need solid and defined quad muscles to make the entire moon pose “pop.”

Hamstrings – This pose will display hamstrings in a way not seen in the other primary bodybuilding poses. Do not skip deadlift day if you want to make your moon pose stand out.

Calves – While not the star of this pose, having muscular and defined calves will help to add that extra bit of wow factor to your moon pose.

Now that you know everything there is to know about the moon pose and how to do it, you may include it into your posing routine with ease. Make sure to practice this pose often before your competition to master it and destroy the competition on stage.

Diet is essential, and having the perfect body fat ratio to a muscle is vital in this sport.

Would you dare to do the moon pose in a bodybuilding show? Have you ever seen the moon pose performed live and in person?

If you know of any moon pose techniques that we may have missed, please let us know below!

Matt Mahony
Latest posts by Matt Mahony (see all)

Matt Mahony

Matt Mahony has been a personal trainer for over a decade, helping people from all walks of life get in shape and stay healthy. He is originally from Portland, ME but now resides in Colorado. A self-proclaimed "gym rat," Matt loves nothing more than spending time in the weight room or on the basketball court.

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