Posing Guides

Background

It's not just about having a sculpted body... you need to know how to pose for the highest marks! There are some basic posing strategies that all competing bodybuilders must know.

If you're truly serious about competing in style, check out our new Competition Combos, ranging from Just The Essentials to The Everything Combo.

Of course, our number one recommendation for learning, performing, and understanding professional poses is to get the Perfect Posing Videos. There is no better way to learn to pose than to have a teacher in your house on video showing you exactly how it is done.

How do I flex my back? What do I need to know to survive the judging? What are some good poses and how do I do them? Where can I find the best oil to shine me up? All the answers and more found here!

Round One: Seven Compulsory Poses!
Round One: Seven Compulsory Poses!

The first round is generally composed of the seven compulsory poses. Get a technique down for each pose which makes you look your best and fully portrays your physique.

[ Front Double Biceps ]
[ Front Lat Spread ]
[ Side Chest ]
[ Back Double Biceps ]
[ Back Lat Spread ]
[ Side Triceps ]
[ Front Abdominal-Thigh ]

Round Two: Relaxed Poses!
Round Two: Relaxed Poses!

The main point of this round is to stand flexed as much as you can get away with, while still maintaining a relaxed look on your face.

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Round Three: Free-Posing!
Round Three: Free-Posing!

Round three is where you will present your unique routine set to music. It gives you a chance to let your strong points really shine, while hiding any weaker areas.

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The Posedown: The Top 5!
The Posedown: The Top 5!

This is it! It's you versus 5 others duking it out in the battle for all the marbles. Quite energetic an animated, the posedown is truly the piece de resistance of any bodybuilding competition.

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Contest Grooming: Tips & Tricks!
Contest Grooming: Tips & Tricks!

If you are wondering what color of shorts will best compliment your skin tone and hair, we have the answer! Insider's tips on hair styling, shaving down, skin color, what not to forget and more.

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Better Posing Picture Gallery!
Better Posing Picture Gallery!

A huge bodybuilder posing picture gallery organized nicely so you can find out how to do each and every pose!

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Articles

  • Bodybuilding.com's Posing Advice!

    What are some good poses and how do I do them? Where can I find the best oil to shine me up? All the answers and more found here!

  • Picture Gallery: Side Triceps!

    Tons of amazing posing pictures, covering every aspect of the bodybuilding competition: Compulsory Poses, Relaxed Poses, and Free Poses.

  • Picture Gallery: Front Lat Spread Page 2!

    Tons of amazing posing pictures, covering every aspect of the bodybuilding competition: Compulsory Poses, Relaxed Poses, Free Poses, and even includes some Miscellaneous

  • Picture Gallery: Front Abdominal-Thigh Isolation!

    Tons of amazing posing pictures, covering every aspect of the bodybuilding competition: Compulsory Poses, Relaxed Poses, Free Poses, and even includes some Miscellaneous

  • Picture Gallery: Side Chest!

    Tons of amazing posing pictures, covering every aspect of the bodybuilding competition: Compulsory Poses, Relaxed Poses, and Free Poses.

  • Picture Gallery: Front Lat Spread!

    Tons of amazing posing pictures, covering every aspect of the bodybuilding competition: Compulsory Poses, Relaxed Poses, Free Poses, and even includes some Miscellaneous

  • Picture Gallery: Posedown!

    Tons of amazing posing pictures, covering every aspect of the bodybuilding competition: Compulsory Poses, Relaxed Poses, Free Poses, and even includes some Miscellaneous

  • Picture Gallery: Front Double Biceps Page 2!

    Tons of amazing posing pictures, covering every aspect of the bodybuilding competition: Compulsory Poses, Relaxed Poses, and Free Poses.

  • Picture Gallery: Relaxed Poses Part 3!

    Tons of amazing posing pictures, covering every aspect of the bodybuilding competition: Compulsory Poses, Relaxed Poses, Free Poses, and even includes some Miscellaneous poses.

  • Picture Gallery: Relaxed Poses Part 2!

    Tons of amazing posing pictures, covering every aspect of the bodybuilding competition: Compulsory Poses, Relaxed Poses, Free Poses, and even includes some Miscellaneous poses.

  • Posing Picture Gallery: Front Double Biceps!

    Tons of amazing posing pictures, covering every aspect of the bodybuilding competition: Compulsory Poses, Relaxed Poses, and Free Poses.

  • Better Posing Picture Gallery!

    Tons of amazing posing pictures, covering every aspect of the bodybuilding competition: Compulsory Poses, Relaxed Poses, Free Poses, and even includes some Miscellaneous 'FunPoses'. So, sit back, relax, click on the thumbnails and enjoy!

  • Picture Gallery: Free-Posing!

    Tons of amazing posing pictures, covering every aspect of the bodybuilding competition: Compulsory Poses, Relaxed Poses, Free Poses, and even includes some Miscellaneous poses.

  • Picture Gallery: Relaxed Poses!

    Tons of amazing posing pictures, covering every aspect of the bodybuilding competition: Compulsory Poses, Relaxed Poses, Free Poses, and even includes some Miscellaneous

  • Picture Gallery: Back Double Biceps!

    Tons of amazing posing pictures, covering every aspect of the bodybuilding competition: Compulsory Poses, Relaxed Poses, Free Poses, and even includes some Miscellaneous

  • Picture Gallery: Back Lat Spread!

    Tons of amazing posing pictures, covering every aspect of the bodybuilding competition: Compulsory Poses, Relaxed Poses, and Free Poses.

  • Picture Gallery: Side Chest Page 2!

    Tons of amazing posing pictures, covering every aspect of the bodybuilding competition: Compulsory Poses, Relaxed Poses, and Free Poses.

  • Round One - Compulsory Poses: Front Double Biceps!

    First impressions are vital, and likely this will be the first pose that the judges first see you perform. There are two ways to do this pose...

  • Round One - Compulsory Poses: Front Lat Spread!

    This is generally the next pose called for in a bodybuilding competition. The best position for your legs is to keep one foot in front of the other with your hands correctly placed.

  • Round One - Compulsory Poses: Side Chest!

    Both side poses, the side chest pose and the side triceps pose, should be performed with your best side. Your best side may be different on each pose, but this will make you look well-balanced to the judges.

  • Round One - Compulsory Poses: Back Lat Spread!

    The back lats pose is very similar to the front lats pose. The only difference is that you round out your torso, so that it's forward, while pulling your elbows ahead of the midline of your torso, as the pose is performed.

  • Round One - Compulsory Poses: Back Double Biceps!

    During this shot, one leg or the other must be extended to the rear with the calve furiously flexed. Most novice bodybuilders keep this same leg position during the back lat spread.

  • Round One - Compulsory Poses: Side Triceps!

    This pose will be described from the right side, if you want to do the pose on the left simply reverse the directions. Use a leg position that is contingent with one of the three leg stances described in the side chest pose.

  • Round Two: Relaxed Poses!

    In round two, you need to impress the judges with your muscle tone in a 'relaxed' state. Most bodybuilders flex their abs and quads to the max and every other group at least 50% with a relaxed look.

  • Round One - Compulsory Poses: Front Abdominal-Thigh Isolation!

    Ah, the last compolsory pose...it's good to have a great first impression...but the last impression you leave with the judges is more than important, it's crucial! To begin, put your strong leg about one foot in front of the other.

  • Round Three: Free-Posing!

    Round Three is where you get to present your totally unique posing routine set to the music of your choice. This round can be your chance to get some extra points. You can perform the poses that accentuate your physique.

  • The Posedown!

    The posedown is the five-man finally of a bodybuilding competition. It's time to flex those guns man-against-man for every crucial point possible. The posedown is the last chance to jump ahead one or even two places.

  • Contest Grooming!

    Grooming and personal appearance are not supposed to count for or against your final score. However, more often than not, the bodybuilder who looks the most polished gets more attention from the judges.