Real estate is about location, location, location; posing is about practice, practice, practice. Onstage, you'll encounter temperatures of 120 degrees. If you haven't practiced holding poses, you'll shake like a leaf and look out of place. To avoid that fate, practice every day for at least the eight weeks leading up to the contest.
Start off by practicing in front of a mirror, but by two months out from the contest, you shouldn't even need it anymore.
Nothing is worse than seeing a competitor onstage in great shape, who obviously worked hard to get there, but who doesn't know how to display their physique to proper effect. The judges can only judge what you show them onstage.
Here are the poses you'll be asked to hit onstage, starting with the symmetry round:
1. FRONT RELAXED POSE
- The pose name, "relaxed," is anything but. Turn your feet out slightly.
- Press your feet against the floor to bring out your upper-quad detail.
- Then pull up your lats, flaring them as widely as possible. Don't flex down on your abs; your waist will look blocky.
- Keep your arms in a relaxed flare.
2. SIDE RELAXED POSE
- Place the toes of your back foot against the instep of your front foot, so that a little of your back leg hangs out.
- Twist your torso to display your intercostals and obliques.
- Pull the arm farthest from the judges across your body to showcase your pecs.
- Keep your hamstrings and glutes tight during this pose.
3. BACK RELAXED POSE
- Make sure your glutes and hamstrings are tight by pulling back against the floor with your feet, as if you were executing a stiff-legged deadlift.
- This separates the winners from the losers.
- Flare your lats and lean back slightly; this will catch the light and bring out your back detail.
4. SIDE RELAXED POSE
- This is the mirror image of the first one side relaxed you hit.
5. FRONT DOUBLE BICEPS POSE
- Slowly raise your arms until your upper arms are parallel with the floor.
- You can either flex your abs or pull them up.
- From there, transition back into your front relaxed pose.
6. FRONT LAT SPREAD POSE
- Place your fists against the widest part of your hips.
- Flare your lats. Lean back slightly, making your lats appear bigger.
- Flex your pecs and arms.
7. SIDE CHEST POSE
- Spike the calf that's facing the judges, placing your toes in the middle of your rear foot.
- Take the arm farthest from the judges and swing it to form a curl with the arm nearest the judges.
- Meanwhile, flex your farthest pec.
8. SIDE TRICEPS POSE
- Place your foot in the same place as for the side chest pose.
- Reach behind your body to grab your hand and flex your triceps.
- If you're not flexible enough, try grabbing your fingers instead of your wrists.
9. REAR DOUBLE BICEPS POSE
- Spike your calf. Foot positioning and leg angles are critical for this pose.
- You want to create a V taper from the top and bottom.
- Turn out your leg and pull back. From there, flex your biceps and lean back.
- Don't squish your shoulder blades together; flare your lats as much as possible.
10. REAR LAT SPREAD POSE
- Place your feet in the exact some position as the rear double biceps.
- Spike your calf, turning your leg outward.
- Place your wrists on the thickest part of your obliques and spread your lats, leaning back slightly.
- You're not flexing your back; you're spreading your lats.
11. SIDE CHEST POSE
- Same drill, different side.
- Spike your calf in middle of your rear foot, and use your arms to perform a curl against your body.
- Keep your hamstrings, glutes, and obliques tight.
12. SIDE TRICEPS POSE
- Spike the calf in the middle of your rear foot.
- Reach around behind your back, grabbing your wrist and pulling back on your triceps.
- Flex your obliques.
- Rotate your torso slightly to give the judges the best view.
13. HANDS-OVER-HEAD ABS POSE
- Place your hands behind your head, extending one leg and flexing down on your abs.
- Squeeze down on your quads to show striations, or push your foot against the floor.
- Keep your upraised arms in close to your head.
14. MOST MUSCULAR POSE — HANDS ON HIPS
- There are three options when the judge calls for the Most Muscular pose.
- The first is the hands on hips most muscular pose.
15. MOST MUSCULAR POSE — HANDS CLASPED
- The second posing option is the hands clasped Most Muscular.
16. MOST MUSCULAR POSE — CRAB
- The third Most Muscular option is the crab.
- Experiment to see which one best showcases your physique.
17. SIDE SERRATUS POSE
- The judges may ask for this pose, which displays the intercostals and obliques.
- Turn to your favorite side, as if doing a side chest or side triceps; spike your calf in the middle of your foot; and place the arm closest to the judges behind your head, with your farthest arm mimicking a side chest.
- Flex down on your obliques.
- Be sure to keep your glutes and hamstring tight.
18. CALF RAISE POSE
- Turn and face the rear of the stage, and slowly flex up and down to showcase your calves.
- Keep the rest of your body tight, including your upper back and arms.