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A Beginners Guide to Posing for Bodybuilding Competitions

Personal Performance Training & Physiques

A Beginners Guide to Posing for Bodybuilding Competitions

It takes more than a sculpted body to compete. You need to know how to showcase your best areas, hide your flaws, and pose for the highest marks. Learning to pose properly takes time, practice, and hard work. Having the right attitude and expectations going in will help you best utilize the tools and training available to you.

A few common questions we get asked are: How do I flex my back? Where do I look? Which way do I face? What are the best poses?

These questions and more are best answered by a high quality professional coach. Some of the answers change depending on the competition, person, and year. You should work with a trainer that is both good at explaining what needs to be done, and good at showing you how it’s done. A combination of verbal and visual instructions will help you meet gain a proper understanding.

Breaking down the Competition

Seven Compulsory Poses

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

These 7 poses are key to any competition. You should be familiar and practiced with each of them. Technique is the most important part of compulsory posing. You need to know how to do each pose properly, while also looking your personal best. Your pose should meet the standard and portray physique properly.

Relaxed Poses

Relaxed Posing means that you are not hitting one of the 7 compulsory poses. You should still be flexing and posed. There are 4 relaxed poses called quarter turns, front side, back, and left side.


Free Posing is a private routine created by you and your personal trainer to showcase your best areas. This routine can be set to music, sometimes involve props, or just consists of tons of unique flexes and movements. This round of the competition provides a lot of freedom, which can be a good or a bad thing.

The Posedown

The Posedown is the finale to most competitions. It features 5 to 7 competitors all strutting their stuff simultaneously. It’s important to come prepared for the Posedown. It’s your final chance to impress the judges, so you need to have a few tricks up your sleeve.

One key element to a good Posedown is being prepared to be unprepared. You need to be ready to improvise and react to other competitors. You may choose to strike a reactionary pose, a complimentary pose, or even ignore someone else outright.

Getting ahead of the Competition.

If you are ready to get serious about training for a competition, it may be time to hire some outside help. You may be experienced and looking for an edge, or this might be your first time. Either way, Team Loud is here to help you make a statement. Learn more about Team Loud and what we can do for you at


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