Figure Mandatory Poses

Mandatory Figure Posing

Figure Posing Guide

Quarter turn to the right, quarter turn to the right, quarter turn to the right…thank you ladies.  Sounds easy enough, right?  Well, not so fast.  Between the weight training, daily cardio sessions, intense dieting and proper supplement plan, fitness & figure athletes work hard everyday to reach their goals.  This sport encompasses all aspects of your life while you whip your body into competition shape.  You have to be lean, muscular and feminine and that takes a lot of sweat and even some tears. Anyone that has experienced a figure or fitness competition knows that the physique comparison rounds are anything but easy.  One area that even the most prepared women overlook is posing.  Posing is displaying your physique in the best possible way while following the contest guidelines.  It is a series of isometric contractions that are guaranteed to make you sore in the days following your show.  Posing is so important that I have seen several women that had the potential to win a whole show, miss out a top 5 placing because they did not know how to pose correctly for their bodies.
For fitness and figure, the athletes are compared through a series of quarter turn comparisons.

How to Pose for Figure - Front Pose

The mandatory poses include front pose, back pose and both left and right side poses.  Each pose will show your physique in a different way however they should all demonstrate your V taper (wide, well developed shoulders that come down to a lean and muscular waist with shapely and toned legs).  Your posing should also complement your strengths while down playing your weaknesses.  Here are some guidelines for each pose.

Front Pose:

  • Start with your feet either completely together or one just slightly in front of the other.
  • Take a deep breath in to raise your chest and shoulders
  • Bring your arms just out from your sides in a slightly rounded position as if you were holding a beach ball while still tight and firm.
  • Keep your head and chin held high being sure to smile
  • Abs should be tight and held as flat as possible
  • How to Pose for Figure - Side PoseLegs are tight and flexed with knees slightly turned out to show quad sweeps and hip flexors

Side Pose (Right & Left):

As with front pose, feet are either completely together or one slightly in front of the other while pointing off to the side.  If you chose to place one in front, I recommend the front foot to show a bit of calf muscle and hamstring.

Chest is lifted and delts are flexed with arms tight and to your sides
Abs are pulled in flat
Hips are completely turned to the side in line with your feet
Legs are straight with knees slightly turned out

Optional:  If you prefer, the front shoulder can be dropped back slightly while the back shoulder is pulled forward a bit.  This will help you appear a little wider at the top and narrower at in the waist.  Avoid twisting your upper body completely toward the judges however, as this is not allowed.

Back Pose:

How to Pose for Figure - Side Pose

Often the most difficult pose to master and takes a lot of practice.

Feet again are stepping completely together or with one just slightly in front of the other.
Arms are at your side as in front pose staying slightly rounded and tight.
Shoulders should be lifted, flexed and rocked back slightly
Most importantly, your lat muscles should be flared to show a wide upper back.  This is hard for some and the portion of back pose that is done incorrectly most often
Lower back is slightly arched
Glutes are flexed but not squeezed together
Knees can be slightly bent.  Some women may look better by keeping their legs straight, so be sure to try it for yourself
Calves are flexed by pushing through your toes


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