Icarus Pose Bodybuilding: Step by Step

Icarus Pose

The Icarus pose is one of the most impressive and challenging poses in bodybuilding. It takes a great deal of strength, flexibility, and balance to execute correctly.

The Icarus pose is also one of the recent poses at many major bodybuilding competitions exploding in popularity.

Even more so, the Icarus pose flow and speed transition have a magnifying effect on the physique.

Icarus Pose Examples

We have put together some of the most well-executed examples of the Icarus pose in action.

This is considered a more advanced pose and will take some practice to correct the flow and execution.

Icarus pose examples

How to Icarus Pose Step-by-Step

The Icarus pose is most often performed from the floor. It is one of the many Greek God poses and is great for showing both arm, shoulder, and abdominal definition.

There are a few different ways you can do the Icarus pose. The most common way is to start from the floor on your back and press up into the position.

Another popular method is starting in the standing position and then going down into the Icarus.

Here are some simple steps on how to do the Icarus pose:

  1. Lower the left leg in half so that your left foot is under your glute.
  2. Your right leg should be reaching out in a full extension to the right side of your body. Your weight will rest on the inner side of your left ankle. Do not plant the foot flat on the ground.
  3. Both arms will reach upwards, fully extended from the side of your body.
  4. As you raise your arms, both wrists should be bent forty-five degrees in the direction away from you.
  5. Pull in your abdominal muscles and puff your chest out.
  6. Arms should be at the height with a slight bend to keep all of those muscles flexed.
  7. Many will turn and slightly lean their head back with their eyes closed to give the whole “Greek God” effect.

Keep the abdominal and leg muscles flexed to stay in position and make the Icarus pose “pop.”


Video: How to Icarus Pose

Below we have added a step-by-step video tutorial on how to perform the Icarus pose to perfection.

Bodybuilders often add their flair to the Icarus pose to make their routine stand out amongst the judges.

Here is a video showing exactly how to pull off the Icarus pose in all of its glory:

Bodybuilder’s Famous Icarus Pose

While many bodybuilders have performed the Icarus pose in their show routine, they each have their spin they apply to it.

You want to make the Icarus pose your own and show off your strengths in this particular move.

One of the most common ways to do this is by how you position your arms.

Some will keep them locked at the elbow, while others will have a slight bend.

It all comes down to preference and what makes you look the best on competition day.

Here are a few of the most popular Icarus Poses in the world of bodybuilding:

Mike MentzerMike was famous for training, eating, and competing in his unique way. He is also the only bodybuilder famous for executing the Icarus pose with one arm.

He would keep his right arm locked in the flexed position while raising his left arm above his head.

Jay CutlerJay is a four-time Mr. Olympia and knows a thing or two about posing. In this particular Icarus pose, he keeps his arms slightly bent at the elbow and pulls his left arm closer to his chest.

He also has a more significant lean back, which accentuates his V-taper.

Muscles Targeted

The muscles targeted while doing the Icarus Pose include quite a few different muscle groups. You will need to engage nearly all of your muscles, with the main focus of the Icarus pose being your upper body and arms.

Icarus pose muscles targeted

The Icarus pose includes the following targeted muscles:

Pectorals – Your chest muscles are engaged throughout the Icarus pose.

Deltoids – Your deltoid muscles will be used as you lift your arms to the side.

Triceps – The back of your arms, known as your triceps, are also involved in this pose.

Biceps – The front of your arms, or your biceps, are also involved and flexed as hard as possible.

Quadriceps – The large muscle group in the front of your legs, known as your quadriceps, is engaged while performing the Icarus pose.

Serratus Anterior – This is a muscle located on the sides of your ribs and is engaged as you reach your arms out to the side.

Latissimus Dorsi – Also known as your “lats,” this muscle group is located in your back and is engaged as you reach your arms overhead.

TIP: We have a great in-depth post about performing the lat spread pose.

How to Lat Spread Pose

Traps – Your traps are the muscles located in your upper back and neck area. These muscles are engaged as you reach your arms overhead.

Abdominals – As you pull your abs in, you are engaging your abdominal muscles.

Iliopsoas – This is a muscle located in the hips and is engaged as you raise your left leg in the air.

Now that you know all about the Icarus pose and how to do it, you can add it to your routine with confidence. Be sure to practice this pose often so that you can perfect it before competition day.

With a little bit of practice, you will be nailing the Icarus pose like a pro in no time!

You can read our bodybuilding poses guide to learn all of the best poses for your next competition.

Start practicing the Icarus pose today to add it to your arsenal of impressive bodybuilding poses! You will be sure to wow the judges and stand out from the competition. Stay disciplined with your diet and workout routine to make sure you are ready on

Is your version of the Icarus pose dialed in? Do you have issues with making the Icarus pose “pop”?

If you have any tips we may have missed for having a great Icarus pose, let us know in the comments below!

Cody Yurk
Latest posts by Cody Yurk (see all)

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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