You have been training and dieting hard for 8 or more weeks, and you are getting ready for your upcoming contest, it may even be your first contest. You got your training routine and diet in check, you got your pro tan, your posing trunks, you got your game set, but you are forgetting one thing..... the posing.
I have seen a lot of contests where the guys hit poses and look very awkward and the way they do some of the mandatory poses, makes them look very dumb. Posing can show the judges and the crowd that you know how to pose and that you are prepared and that you have done your homework or it can make you look like an idiot if you don't know how to even hit a pose.
In all bodybuilding contests you have a comparison round, where the judges have you do a number of mandatory poses. I will go over the mandatory poses. I will have a picture next to or under each explained pose. But remember one thing, you MUST flex every muscle, even though it might be a pose showing off your lat spread, they are still looking at your legs, your calves, and everything else.
Front Lat Spread:
You put your feet together, or you can put one leg a bit in front of the other, and you keep your body upright. You put your fists into your sides, or right above your pelvic bone. You take in a deep breath and stick out your chest up high, then you start to spread your lats until they are fully spread.
Front Double Biceps:
You can keep your feet together or you can put your weight on one foot while you put the other foot to the side. You then flex both biceps, while spreading out your lats at the same time, some people flex their abs, some don't, and some may suck in their stomach, do whichever you think shows of your physique to it's best advantage.
Rear Lat Spread:
You turn your back to the judges and crowd, you extend one leg back, and you will want to squeeze your glutes and hamstrings also. Some bodybuilders like to bring back their elbows slowly at first to show off the "Christmas tree" and striations in the lats (as in the pic 1). Then you put your fists into your sides, or above your pelvic bone, and then start to spread your lats.
Rear Double Biceps:
You put one foot to the side, like in the front double biceps. Some like to extend their arms straight up in the air, or down or to the sides to show off their back detail better (as in the first pic). They then flex both biceps and then spread out their lats at the same time. Make sure to squeeze all of your back muscles, your hams, calves and glutes.
You turn to the side(let's say your right side will face the judges), then you bend your knees slightly, you then flex your right calve, or the one facing the judges, you will have your right arm to your side with your elbow at a 90 degree angle, you then bring your left arm across your body and squeeze your left pec, u can suck in your stomach a bit to make the rest of your body appear larger.
You do almost the exact same pose as in the side chest. You turn to the side then bend your knees again, then u flex the calve facing the judges. You will extend and show off your triceps, the arm facing the judges, then bring your opposite arm across to squeeze your pecs, also don't forget to squeeze your abs and obliques.
Abdominal & Thigh:
You turn to the front. Extend one leg in front of the other, then put your hands and arms over your head, place them wherever is comfortable, just as long as they are over your head, then you breath out, and flex your abs and obliques. You can bend or turn to the side to show off your obliques more (as in pic 2).
There are a few variations, in one you put on leg in front of the other, and squeeze and flex both legs, bend over a bit, then hold in your stomach, and start to roll your traps or flex your traps, and then start to bring your arms together in front of you, and you then flex every muscle in your body.
In the other variation, you keep both legs together then flex and squeeze your legs, flex your abs, then bring both hands in front of you, with your elbows angled out, you will flex your chest, shoulders, lats and arms. There are 2 more variations of this pose. The one with your hands in front of your body (as in the pic 1) or with your hands on your sides (as in pic 2).
There is a run down of the mandatory poses that are done in the comparison round of a bodybuilding contest. I hope that you now have a better understanding of what is done during each pose. Good luck with your training, eating, and posing.