Pole Lunge Exercise

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The Pole Lunge exercise is one of my all time favourites. If you want rock hard butt muscles and a perfectly toned tush, this is the exercise for you!

Start the pole lunge exercise by holding your pole at about waist height.

Place one foot forward with the toes almost touching the base of the pole. Lift the other leg behind you with the knee bent. Engage your core, stand tall, and get ready for the fun!

Now take your body weight back, bending the standing leg, and slowly lowering the back knee towards the floor. Allow your arm to stretch out, to keep your upper body away from the pole.

Imagine someone is gently pulling on your back foot, moving it back and away from the pole.

You don't need to take the back knee all the way to the floor if you're new to lunges. Instead, just focus on control and good form as you go as low as feels comfortable.

Remember, you're going to have to get back up again, and that's where the tight tush muscles come from!

As you lower into the lunge, keep your chest lifted and your tail bone tucked under.

Leaning forward will make this exercise much less effective, and could cause knee strain.

Notice in the photo above that the knee is back over the heel, not forward over the toes.

In contrast, this picture shows the wrong way to do the pole lunge exercise. Notice that the foot is too far from the base of the pole, and the arm is bent.

This encourages the body to tip forward, and also allows the knee to come forward over the toes.

This type of movement can lead to knee problems and is not effectively targeting the muscles we want to work.

OK, back to the right way to do the pole lunge exercise...

Now for the hard part...squeeze your butt muscles to lift your body back up to the starting point. And try NOT to use your arm.

Use a light grip on the pole, and resist the temptation to move your hand higher on the pole, as this will allow you to use more upper body strength to come out of the lunge. And that won't give you tight buns!

Of course, you will need to use that arm a little, but put the focus of your effort on your butt muscles. I tell my students to try to relax the biceps muscles as they lift back up, and to imagine they're squeezing a million dollar bill between their cheeks.

In other words, think of squeezing the butt muscles of the standing leg in order to rise back up again. This is where all the work (and benefit) comes in, so don't start cheating now!

How Many Reps?

If you've never done a lunge before, you may only be able to do 3 or 4 on each leg before your form deteriorates. That's OK, we all have to start somewhere! It's better to do 3 lunges with excellent form, than 8 with with poor form.

Work up to 12 lunges on each leg. By the time you're able to do this with relative ease, you should be getting all kinds of great comments on your new back end!

Pole Lunge Exercise - Reminders

  • Do know your fitness level. This type of lunge is not for beginners! (I explain easier and more challenging variations of all the exercises on my pole exercises DVD)

  • Keep your body upright as you lower into the lunge, without leaning forward. Imagine your pole has a force field around it and no part of your body, including your knee, can move any closer to it as you lunge.

  • Don't go too low at first. When you're ready to try this exercise, start off with a smaller lunge that's not as deep, until you get the hang of it.

  • Don't allow your front knee to go past your toe when you lower into the lunge. Proper alignment is key to preventing knee injury with this exercise.

  • Try to use only your butt muscles to lift yourself out of the lunge. You will need to use some arm strength, but if you want tight buns, don't let your upper body take over!

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