How to: Bodybuilding Poses [Ultimate Guide]

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bodybuilding poses

Bodybuilding poses can show off your physique and impress the judges on stage in competitions.

In this ultimate guide, we will discuss some of the most popular bodybuilding poses and provide tips on how to execute them to perfection.

bodybuilding poses

We will also look at some of the best bodybuilders in the world and see why they are successfully performing these poses.

So, whether you are just starting in bodybuilding or a seasoned pro, read on for the ultimate in bodybuilding poses!

History of Posing in Bodybuilding

Since the early days of competitive bodybuilding, posing has been an integral part of the sport.

Though the specific poses have varied over time and from one country to another, they all serve the same purpose: to showcase the hard work and dedication of the athletes.

bodybuilding poses history

Bodybuilding began to gain popularity in the late 19th century, with the first official competition in 1901. These early competitions were very different from what we see today, with few rules and no standardized judging criteria.

However, as the sport grew in popularity, more formalized competitions began to emerge. Posing became a vital part of these competitions, as it helped judges assess the athletes’ physiques.

There is even an entire golden era dedicated to the original poses seen on stage by bodybuilders in the early days.

Read More: Golden Era Bodybuilding Poses

Over the years, different countries have developed their own unique styles of bodybuilding poses. In America, competitors typically strike a series of static poses, while in Europe, it is more common to see dynamic sequences.

No matter what posing style is used, the goal remains the same: to display the hard-earned muscles of the athletes in the most flattering way possible.

How to Bodybuilding Posing Guides

Bodybuilding is all about posing and presentation. You must know how to strike suitable poses to show off your muscles. Here are some tips on how to do bodybuilding poses.

First, practice in front of a mirror. This will help you see how your muscles look from different angles and help you find the most flattering poses.

Second, focus on your breathing. Taking deep, even breaths will help you relax into the pose and make it look effortless.

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment. There are no rules when posing, so try out different things and see what looks best on you. With a bit of practice, you’ll be striking bodybuilding poses like a pro in no time!

Below are some of the mandatory and classic bodybuilding poses:

Front Double Bicep

The front double bicep pose is a classic pose in bodybuilding.

It is often used as a finishing pose or to show off the size and symmetry of the biceps. To execute the pose, the bodybuilder will flex both biceps simultaneously while keeping the elbows close to the sides.

  • The chest should be puffed out, and the shoulders should be back.
  • Depending on the desired effect, the head can be held up or down.

The front double bicep pose is one of the most popular in bodybuilding and can help showcase the results of hard work and dedication in the gym.

Read More: How to Front Double Bicep Pose

Reverse Double Bicep

In the Reverse Double Bicep pose, the bodybuilder turns their back to the audience, flexing their biceps to display their gains.

This pose is often used as a concluding pose, as it allows the bodybuilder to show off their muscular development in an impressive way.

  • To execute the Reverse Double Bicep pose properly, the bodybuilder must first assume a side-by-side stance with their feet shoulder-width apart.
  • They then Bend their knees and hips, lowering their torso until their thighs parallel the floor. They bring their arms back and up from this position, contracting their biceps as they go.
  • Finally, they complete the pose by looking over their shoulder at the audience, ensuring that their biceps are fully flexed.

With practice, the Reverse Double Bicep pose can be executed with grace and power, impressing both judges and spectators alike.

Icarus Pose

The Icarus is part of the “Greek God” poses in bodybuilding.

This pose is a later addition to the mandatory poses seen on stage today. The Icarus was first introduced in the early 1990s by bodybuilding legend Dorian Yates.

The pose is named after the Greek mythological character Icarus, who attempted to fly too high with wings made of feathers and wax.

In the same way, the bodybuilder “flies” into this pose, reaching up with their arms as if they are about to take flight.

  • To execute the Icarus, the bodybuilder begins by standing with their feet shoulder-width apart.
  • They then raise their arms up and out to the sides before bringing them back behind their head and interlacing their fingers.
  • They lean forward, keep straight, and flex their muscles from this position.

Read More: How to Icarus Pose

Zyzz Pose

The Zyzz pose, made famous by bodybuilding and internet meme sensation Zyzz, is a variation of the classic front double bicep pose.

  • To execute the Zyzz, the bodybuilder first assumes the standard front double bicep pose.
  • They then arch their back and push their chest out while flexing their abs.
  • Finally, they tilt their head back and to the side, giving them a smoldering, “come hither” look.

The Zyzz pose is controversial, as some bodybuilders feel it is too flashy and attention-seeking. However, there is no denying that it can be an effective way to show off your muscles and gains.

Zyzz died several years ago due to a heart condition, but his memory remains today in the sport.

Read More: How to Zyzz Pose

Vacuum Pose

The vacuum pose is a bodybuilding move that helps to display the muscles of the stomach and sides.

  • To do the vacuum pose, stand with feet shoulder-width apart and suck in your stomach so that your belly button is drawn towards your spine.
  • Hold this position for 30-60 seconds, breathing normally.

The vacuum pose can be performed with or without weights. If you are using weights, hold a dumbbell or medicine ball against your chest. The vacuum pose is an effective way to build core strength and improve posture. It can also help to relieve back pain.

To get the most benefit from the vacuum pose, practice it regularly, as the mind-to-muscle connection can take some time.

Read More: How to Vacuum Pose

Front Lat Spread

The front lat spread is a bodybuilding pose that shows off the latissimus dorsi, or “lats,” the large muscles that run down the sides of the back.

  • To do the front lat spread, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides.
  • Bend forward at the waist, arch your back, and extend your arms to the sides.
  • You should feel a stretch in your lats.
  • Hold the pose for a few seconds, then release and return to standing.

The front lat spread can help improve your posture and increase the range of motion in your shoulders. It is also an impressive display of muscular strength and definition.

Start practicing your front lat spread today if you’re looking to impress onlookers at your next bodybuilding competition.

Read More: How to Front Lat Spread Pose

Back Lat Spread

The back lat spread is the same as the front lat spread, only this time it is judged from the back point of view.

  • The goal of the pose is to showcase the latissimus dorsi muscles, which are located on the back.
  • To achieve the back lat spread, competitors will bend forward at the waist and then extend their arms back and sides.
  • This causes the lats to contract and creates a broad, V-shaped back. The back lat spread is often used as a transitional pose between other back poses and can help create a more balanced presentation.

When done correctly, the lats can often help you win in the competition as they are a complex muscle group to develop.

Read More: How to Rear Lat Spread Pose

Side Chest

The side chest pose is an excellent way for bodybuilders to show off their side profile.

The pose showcases the competitor’s muscular chest, shoulders, and arms.

  • To achieve the side chest pose, the bodybuilder stands with their feet and hands on their hips.
  • They bend to one side, arching their back and extending their chest.
  • The arms are held out to the side, parallel to the ground.

Side Triceps

The side triceps pose is a standard bodybuilding pose that highlights the triceps muscles.

  • To assume the side triceps pose, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms by your sides.
  • Bend your elbow and place your hand on your hip.
  • Flex your biceps and turn your palm toward your back.
  • Rotate your body so that your side is facing the front.
  • Raise your other arm overhead and bend at the elbow, so your hand is behind your head.
  • Extend both arms and flex your triceps muscles.
  • Hold this position for a moment before returning to the starting position.

The triceps are often overlooked in favor of other muscle groups, but this pose allows them to shine.

Abdominal and Thigh

The Abdominal and Thigh pose helps show off the muscles in the abs and upper leg, i.e., the quad area; it also helps balance the body.

  • To do the Abdominal and Thigh pose, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips.
  • Bend your knees and lean forward, keeping your back straight.
  • Try to touch your knees with your chest.
  • Hold this pose for as long as you can.

You can also try this pose with one leg in front of the other for a more challenging balance.

Most Muscular

As the name suggests, the goal of this pose is to showcase the competitor’s muscular physique.

To achieve this, competitors will flex their muscles as hard as possible, resulting in a highly-detailed display of all their hard work.

This pose is often considered one of the most difficult in bodybuilding, as it requires a great deal of control and coordination.

However, this pose is the finishing move for most professionals when out on the stage.

Banned: Moon Pose

The moon pose is as dirty as you could imagine.

The pose is when a bodybuilder turns around and reaches for the floor while emphasizing their glute and quad development.

This pose was greatly frowned upon and later banned due to the optics of muscular men sticking out their rear end to be judged in a competition.

The moon pose has not been seen professionally for quite some time.

Read More: How to Moon Pose

Bodybuilding Competition Posing Rounds

Posing rounds are an essential part of bodybuilding competitions.

During these rounds, competitors are judged on their muscle symmetry, definition, and posing ability.

The posing rounds allow competitors to show off their hard work and dedication to the sport of bodybuilding. Posing is not easy, and it takes a lot of practice to perfect.

Competitors must be able to show off their muscles in the most flattering way possible while maintaining balance and proportion.

The posing rounds are usually divided into two parts: compulsory posing and freestyle posing.

In the compulsory posing round, competitors must perform a routine that showcases all the different muscle groups.

In the freestyle posing round, competitors can choose their own poses and music to create a unique routine. The freestyle posing round is usually the most entertaining for spectators, allowing competitors to show off their personality and style.

Posing is an integral part of bodybuilding and plays a significant role in determining the winner of every bodybuilding competition.

Creating your Bodybuilding Posing Routine

Creating your Posing Routine When people think of bodybuilding, they imagine huge muscles and impressive physiques. But posing is an essential part of bodybuilding, and it can be a complex and challenging discipline in its own right.

There are some factors to consider when creating a posing routine, but with some planning, you can create a performance that showcases your strengths and help you to stand out on the stage.

  1. First, you’ll need to decide which poses to include in your routine. There are a variety of classic bodybuilding poses, so take some time to familiarize yourself with the different options.
  2. Next, you’ll need to consider the order of your poses. You’ll want to start strong and build momentum as you go, so you finish your routine with a bang.
  3. Finally, make sure to practice your way until it feels natural. By taking the time to create a well-crafted posing routine, you’ll be able to show off your hard work and impress the judges at your next competition.

Conclusion: Bodybuilding Posing [Ultimate Guide]

Mastering the art of bodybuilder posing can be daunting, but it’s definitely worth it.

Posing sets the best bodybuilders apart from the rest and can make or break your competition.

Have you nailed down your poses yet? If not, start practicing today – you never know when that next contest might come up. 

Let us know how you go in mastering the perfect bodybuilding pose – we’d love to hear about your successes!

Leave us a comment down below.

Cody Yurk
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Cody Yurk

After several near-death surgeries and a heart attack at 29, I decided to get serious about my health and went from 278lbs to 181lbs in only six months. How? I built an entire team, including a personal trainer, nutritionist, psychologist, physical therapist, and sports masseuse. Having the same team as Hollywood stars allowed me to reach my goals fast and produce insane results.

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