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Single-Leg Power Hops with Stepback Lunge Twist

By RealJock Staff

This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.

A single leg jump out of a lunge is a quad-buster. To take it to the next level, add a weight plate and an upper body twist between jumps. The weight plate adds a shoulder and core component, but it also adds difficulty to the hops. For maximum intensity, bring your knee high as you hop.

Muscles Worked

Starting Position
Hold a weight plate in both hands, with arms extended at chest level. Step your right foot powerfully back in a lunge, dropping down through your back knee and thigh. Remain vertical through your upper body; do not lean forward (see Photo 1).


  1. From the starting position, jump powerfully up into the air with your left foot, bringing your right knee up as you hop. As you jump, bring both arms explosively up, such that the weight plate is overhead at the top of your jump. Land on your left foot as your arms come back down to chest level (see Photo 2).
  2. Immediately step back into your lunge with your right foot, keeping your arms extended at chest level (see Photo 3).
  3. In the lunge, with your left foot forward and your right foot back, twist your upper body 90 degrees to your left. Do not let your hips rotate; the turn is entirely through your shoulders and center. Keep your arms extended as you do this, and engage your center to keep your balance (see Photo 4).
  4. Twist your upper body back to center to come back to the beginning of the exercise, and repeat the entire hop-lunge-twist sequence for a set of 12 repetitions.
  5. Next switch feet, with your right foot forward and left foot back for the lunge, and repeat, twisting right in the lunge on this side, for a set of 12 more (see Photos 5 to 7).
About Billy Polson: Billy Polson is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, which was voted the best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. A competitive swimmer and triathlete in his own right, Polson has over 15 years of experience working as a coach and trainer, and was recently named by Men's Journal Magazine (December 2005) as one of the Top 100 Trainers in America.