To succeed in fitness and bodybuilding competitions you need a fantastic physique. But it doesn't stop there. You also need the skill and ability to show your body at its best, and that means knowing how to pose to bring out every fiber and detail you have worked so hard to develop.
Unfortunately most competitors spend a disproportionate amount of their pre-contest training time working on everything but their posing!
I've never conducted a formal survey, but in speaking with many competitors over the years I would venture to state that, in the 8-10-week pre-competition phase, most spend about 50 percent of their workout time lifting, 40 percent doing cardio and only about 10 percent posing.
During my early years in the sport, I was definitely one of those people. But once I began spending more time perfecting my posing, my physique changed and my placing started to improve dramatically.
I do not know any natural bodybuilder who can make massive gains in size in the last eight weeks before an event. This is the time for cutting down to a beautiful, lean, detailed physique.
Some gains are possible, but the most meaningful progress athletes can make in their final pre-contest phase is in the quality of muscle tissue they will display on stage. I believe you can make significant improvements in your muscle quality by using posing as part of your workouts.
- Fitness and Figure Posing Guide. - Started By EME
"We get a lot of questions about proper posing, so I have created this Fitness and Figure Posing Guide for any of the ladies interested in competing in Fitness or Figure."
- My Posing Video. Need Help. - Started By 4evafit
"Ok boys this is my first ever posing video. i am currently bulking and need some advise."
- Critique My Posing On Video... - Started By Ivan25
"Hey yall... I don't know how, but I found a video from my last show on youtube.. I am far right (2nd to last)... It's a short clip of front relaxed, but was wondering how it looked and if there is anything I need to do to make it better?"
I can write forever about the many ways to become a better poser, but this article will focus on using posing a large part of your training regimen in the final weeks before a contest. For me, posing takes the place of my regular cardio work at this stage.
I am not talking about going through the motions - I mean posing with serious intensity. I put myself through compulsories (symmetry); mandatories (full circle of 1/4 turns) and then I free pose to different songs. I do this for approximately 40-50 minutes with 1-2 minute breaks in between to towel off and grab a few sips of water.
Make no mistake, this is hard work! I finish by performing my routine to my music 2-3 times. The entire workout takes approximately 1 hour. I finish with a good abdominal blast and possibly 10 more minutes of light elliptical or bike cardio. I follow this program 3 times a week from 8 weeks out to 2 weeks out, at which point I drop all other cardio and use only posing.
What are the major benefits to be gained from my posing workout?
1. Feel Confident On Stage:
When contest day arrives, you will be up on stage in your next-to-nothings in front of hundreds of people. The more you practice, the better you will be able to perform while the judges scrutinize your every muscle.
2. Look Bigger:
You've worked hard in the gym to perfect every muscle fiber, but they won't stand out unless you know how to position yourself properly. Better posing can make you look larger, highlight your muscle definition and make otherwise unseen striations visible to the judges.
3. Come In Harder & Fuller:
When you flex your muscles intensely, you draw nutrients and water into the muscle fibers, making them harder. Also, by drawing water out from under the skin into the muscles you create thinner-looking skin and fuller looking muscles.
4. Gain Excellent Endurance & Muscle Control:
Posing properly, without shaking, demands incredible endurance. The more you practice posing intensely, the more muscle control you will gain and the better you be able to last through lengthy pre-judging sessions.
Having judged competitions, I can tell you that seeing competitors shaking uncontrollably or constantly re-posing on stage is very distracting and makes it difficult for the judges to get a good read on your muscularity and definition.
5. Practice Makes Perfect:
The more you practice posing, the more these demanding movements and positions will become second nature to you. So when the head judge calls for a particular pose, bang you'll hit it without a moment's hesitation. And that looks impressive!
One word of caution: make sure you are practicing your posing correctly! If you practice with poor form, you will cause yourself more harm than good. I recommend seeking the input of a WNSO Pro before embarking on the intense posing trail. Consider attending a FAME Camp.
I also recommend you continue to follow the "Posing 101" series in each issue of FAME Magazine. These guides are an invaluable tool to help you execute your poses correctly at every FAME World Tour competition.
Six Major Stage Poses
Following are a few tips for six major stage poses. Start every pose from the bottom up, flexing each muscle group successively up the body. The muscle group you want to display should be the last group you flex. Make sure you can get into the pose quickly. Practice in front of a mirror so you can see exactly how you look. Hold each pose for HOW LONG? Keep your chin up and don't forget to smile.
1. Front Double Biceps:
Stand with your heels touching and your toes pointing slightly outward. Press the heels hard into the floor. Flex the calves and hamstrings and push the glutes back slightly - we muscle athletes sometimes refer to it as "sitting" on your hamstrings. Flex the abs hard. Raise your arms high in the air in a controlled manner.
Make fists and bring the elbows down until the fists are even with your ears. Raise the elbows until they are slightly above the shoulders and squeeze your biceps as hard as possible without shaking. As with all front poses, remember to keep your legs flexed and your upper quads pushed tight against your skin.
2. Side Chest:
Imagining you are on stage, turn to the side and stand with the feet together. Raise the front foot (the one that would be closest to the judges) up onto the ball, which will enable you to fully flex the calf muscles of that leg and to display both sets of hamstrings. Press the feet firmly into the ground.
Generate a better view of your hamstring by turning the front foot slightly inward. Press the thigh of the back leg tightly against the front one to blow the hamstrings outward and create a larger sweep through the whole leg. Circle the arms out to the sides and in front of your body. Clasp the back hand over the front wrist.
Forcefully pull the front elbow back and lock your arms in side-chest position. Tightly squeeze you rear bicep hard against your chest and squeeze your front elbow tight against your front lats. (It's not that difficult once you practice a few thousand times!) Rotate your body slowly toward the front. Remember to keep those legs tight!
3. Side Triceps
Keep the feet and legs in the same position you had for your side chest pose. Rotate the upper body slightly toward the front, which will allow your chest and back shoulder to expand and will give a larger view of your entire physique. Keep the abs tight throughout the pose.
Twist the front arm slightly forward to show the triceps and then circle it back behind the glutes until it meets the back arm, which should be positioned just above the glutes, across the lower back. Lace and lock your fingers together. Lock the front elbow and rotate the front shoulder around and down, squeezing the triceps hard.
Push the triceps against the lats to create a thicker looking triceps muscle. Also, locking out the elbow and pushing forcefully downward pops out the striations in the shoulders, making you look spectacular!
4. Front Lat Spread:
This pose offers an unparalleled opportunity to display your overall symmetry and exceptional leg development. Position the feet and legs the same way you did for the front double biceps pose. Again, press the feet into the floor and flex the calves, quads, hamstrings and glutes. Hold the abs tight.
Pull both elbows back as if you were performing an intense cable row. Then place your thumbs just under the back of your rib cage and blast your elbow forward. Do not press the thumbs into your sides, which can create an unsightly bulge in the skin. Flex and flare the lats as hard as you can, as though you are trying to spread out over the entire stage.
5. Abdominals & Thigh:
Facing front, place one foot slightly in front of the other and press the ball of the front foot firmly into the ground to squeeze out the separation in your quadriceps. Maintain a slight bend in the knee and push the knees apart to bring out more muscle definition in the quads.
Push the glutes back slightly and tighten your low back to bring out the definition in your upper quads and hip flexors. Pose the abs by inhaling deeply as you sweep the arms up and behind your head. Crunch your body slightly forward and down as you exhale all the air from your lungs to expose your abs and obliques.
Think of rolling the upper abs downward toward the pelvis. A slight lean forward allows for a full crunch, which will bring out the cuts in your abdominals. Do not to lean too far back. Keep your elbows up high above your head and hold your hands together at the base of your neck.
6. Most Muscular - Crab:
Face front and angle the feet outward, with one foot slightly in front of the other. Flex the calves, quads and hamstrings. Bend the knees slightly and push the glutes back. Press the heels forcefully into the floor and slightly lift the toes of the front foot to reveal maximum leg cuts.
Stretch both arms out to the sides at shoulder level, keeping a slight bend at the elbows. Clench your fists and circle the arms together in front of you. Squeeze the shoulders down and inward while crunching the upper body slightly downward. Hold the pose and flex the muscles hard.
Be very, very careful not to block your abdominals with your hands. Position the hands at the top of your trunks with the knuckles nearly touching. Also, be very careful not to lean too far forward, which will block the view of your chest and abs and cast a shadow over your legs.
It is amazing how much better a great body can look if it is presented and posed correctly.
Full Posing Guide
Video Posing Guide With Bob Cicherillo.
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