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The Notorious Moon Pose Is Forbidden on Bodybuilding Levels

In the event you’re a bodybuilding competitor, do not even give it some thought. The appropriately dubbed moon pose, named for its iconic rear hip hinge posture during which the athlete bends over to “moon” the viewers, is likely one of the few poses you may (virtually) by no means see throughout a contemporary physics competitors.

That is not simply as a result of a sure slice of the bodybuilding group regards it as lewd — the moon pose is formally banned by the Nationwide Physique Committee, the IFBB Skilled League, and lots of different main bodybuilding organizations.

What Is the Moon Pose?

Historic data on the moon pose is sparse, however you’ll be able to hint it again at the least so far as the profession of bodybuilder Tom Platz. If your bodybuilding historical past, that Platz is among the many most well-known physique stars to ever grace the stage, regardless of having by no means gained the Mr. Olympia competitors (he did, nonetheless, place third in 1981).

Platz is extensively thought to be possessing essentially the most spectacular pair of wheels in bodybuilding historical past. A part of that popularity is, after all, owed to his craft at posing and posture.

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“The Quadfather,” as he is recognized, helped popularize the moon pose as a means of displaying off his carved-from-marble posterior chain. By going through his bottom to the viewers and folding over from a standing place, Platz might reveal each particular person striation in his glutes, hamstrings, and calves.

Eight-time Mr. Olympia winner Ronnie Coleman additionally carried out the pose in competitors, although he hardly made it his calling card. Coleman is legendary for having maybe the very best total bottom in bodybuilding; his insane muscularity made him an ideal candidate for the moon pose.

The moon pose can be starkly much like the ahead fold stretch in yoga, during which the practitioner bends on the waist, trying to wrap their arms round their calves or contact the ground with their palms.

This stretch not solely highlights the muscular tissues of the rear leg but in addition gives an incredible stretch within the gentle connective tissues across the ankle and knee.

The Darkish Facet of the Moon (Pose)

In a sport that celebrates the form and situation of the human physique, it could appear a bit curious to forbid a pose that successfully exhibits off a good portion of the physique. Regardless, bodybuilding federations have taken a stance in opposition to athletes performing the act on stage.

Some inside the bigger ecosystem of bodybuilding regard the pose as unnecessarily vulgar or inappropriate. It is doable that bodybuilding organizations want to keep away from any undesirable consideration that the world’s most muscular males could unintentionally draw by exposing themselves so absolutely in little greater than posing trunks.

There’s little in the best way of formalized reasoning behind prohibiting the moon pose on stage, however some competitors rules do characterize it as a “lewd act.”

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Regardless, there are a number of different poses in bodybuilding that greater than adequately spotlight the muscularity and definition of the glutes, hamstrings, and calves; bodybuilders are criticized from head to toe throughout poses just like the again double biceps.

The moon pose, whereas extravagant, may be thought of redundant on this regard. It’s miles from the one method to showcase your legs.

What Are the Obligatory Bodybuilding Poses?

Make no mistake — aggressive physique athletes had been by no means below any direct order to hit the moon pose on stage. Bodybuilders are sometimes allowed to carry out freestyle posing routines, and a few athletes take this chance to inject their very own persona or creative imaginative and prescient into the presentation of their physiques.

Nevertheless, the Males’s Open and 212 divisions within the IFBB Professional League do mandate eight different assorted poses that, in totality, reveal nearly each final muscle fiber on the physique:

Facet Triceps

The facet triceps pose highlights the muscularity of the arms, chest, and shoulders. The athlete takes a perpendicular or three-quarters stance to the judges and wraps their arms behind their again, sharply straightening their elbow to flex the triceps brachii.


The facet chest pose is much like the facet triceps, nevertheless it requires a completely perpendicular stance. To exhibit the scale, form, and definition of the pectorals (and arms as properly), the bodybuilder bends the arm closest to the judges whereas urgent their far arm into their torso to flex the pecs.

Rear Lat Unfold

Again width and silhouette are evaluated in the course of the rear lat unfold. Athletes will stand away from the judges and increase their latissimus dorsi muscular tissues as extensive as they’ll, creating the coveted “V” form from shoulder to hip.

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Judges will usually think about the form and proportion of the decrease physique in the course of the rear lat unfold, together with the identical muscular tissues proven off by the moon pose.

Again Double Biceps

Much like the lat unfold, bodybuilders spotlight the scale of their arms, shoulders, and higher backs by performing the again double biceps pose. Moreover, athletes will “spike” certainly one of their legs by urgent their toes firmly into the ground to tense up their calves and glutes.

Brow Double Biceps

Frontal poses just like the double biceps put a bodybuilder’s total physique on show. Athletes increase their arms and contract their biceps, flatten their stomachs, and contract their quadriceps muscular tissues unexpectedly.

Entrance Lat Unfold

The entrance lat unfold pose demonstrates again width and thickness when seen from the entrance. Athletes assume roughly the identical posture because the rear lat unfold but in addition incorporate some ab and thigh flexion into the combination.

Stomach & Thigh

Bodybuilders showcase their stomach leanness and leg features with the Stomach & Thigh pose. They increase their arms out of the best way, inserting them behind their heads, crunch their abs all the way down to carry out each reduce and crevice, after which flex their quadriceps and calves in equal measure.

Most Muscular

Probably the most muscular pose is a chance to point out off simply how a lot muscular dimension a competitor has. It additionally occurs to be a reasonably interpretive transfer, permitting the athlete to flex their total physique in numerous methods.

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Some athletes stand upright with their arms flared and their total physique tense. Others will lean ahead and clasp their palms collectively to contract their arms and reveal their trapezius muscular tissues as properly. Probably the most muscular pose is taken into account the athlete’s masterstroke — their likelihood to disclose all their onerous work directly.

Waxing and Waning

You’d in all probability get very completely different solutions when you requested round in regards to the moon pose at a bodybuilding present. Some think about it important bodybuilding lore, whereas others think about it needlessly brazen.

Regardless, the pose has been consigned to the historical past books. Platz and the opposite practitioners of the pose loved lengthy, storied careers within the sport — regardless of its gnarly popularity, the moon pose was hardly a loss of life sentence. It simply occurred to be a dangerously efficient means of displaying off your legs.

Featured Picture: @golden_era_of_bodybuilding on Instagram // Mahmudul-Hassan on Shutterstock (“Banned” picture)

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