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How do I Perform Bodybuilding Poses?

By D. Messmer
Updated Feb 23, 2024
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Performing bodybuilding poses takes practice in order to master the proper form. The basic compulsory poses that occur in the first round of most body building competitions include the front double biceps, back double biceps, front abdominal thigh, front lat spread, back lat spread, side triceps and side chest. The second round then consists of relaxed bodybuilding poses. The third round is the free pose round in which competitors can pose in whatever position they choose. Learning how to perform bodybuilding poses can be easy, but it will take practice to perfect poses that will show off your build.

There are variations for several of the first round of bodybuilding poses, but all of them have specific compulsory elements that a competitor must accomplish. The front double biceps, which usually is the first pose, consists of extending at the shoulder in order to point your upper arms away from your body while curling your forearms toward your body. This will contract the bicep muscles in both arms. During this pose, some athletes might flex the abdominal muscles, or they might create a stomach vacuum.

Front lat spreads require you to place your fists your hips, creating a bend in your arms. Then, flex your chest muscles while pulling your shoulder blades apart in an effort to get a good spread. It is important not to shrug your shoulders while performing this pose. The back lat spread is identical to the front lat spread, except that you round out your torso slightly.

The side chest pose is one of the more elaborate poses, and you can perform it using either side of the body. In this pose, turn one hip toward the judges while standing with the legs slightly apart — as though you had been frozen while taking a forward step. The length of the step can vary. Then place your far hand over the wrist of your near hand, and flex the near bicep while twisting your body toward the judges. This pose is an opportunity for you to show off your chest, arm and leg muscles at the same time.

The back double biceps are similar to the front double biceps, except that your back is to the judges. Also, there will be a slight twist in your lower back, so that your hips are not in line with your upper body. You also must have a slight bend in one leg in order to maintain a constant calf flex throughout the pose.

The side triceps pose is similar to the side chest pose. You should pose your lower body in the same way that you would during a side chest pose. Your far arm once again will grasp the wrist of your near arm but will do so by reaching behind the back. From this position, flex your triceps.

The final compulsory pose is the front abdominal thigh. This pose requires you to place your hands behind your head with your elbows extended to the side and away from your head. Your legs should be slightly apart, just as they were in the side chest pose. You then flex your chest muscles, abdominal muscles and quads.

Following these compulsory bodybuilding poses, the second round consists of each athlete trying to flex his or her muscles as much as possible while maintaining an expression and stance that are as relaxed as possible. In the final round, you have the option of assuming any pose that you wish in a routine set to music. This allows you to choose the bodybuilding poses that show off your best traits while hiding the weaker ones.

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