Posing 101

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Written by Jade McKee

The number one thing to keep in mind when your client decides to enter a bikini competition is that EVERYTHING matters. They are not entering the bodybuilding division – where it’s mainly the quality of their physique that will determine the outcome on the day.

To learn how to get your client stage ready, click here to learn from world-leading comp prep coach, Dr. Layne Norton!

Physique WILL play a large part, but so will the rest of the package they are presenting on stage.
What does this include? Well, along with their physique, your bikini competitor will be judged on their hair, makeup, tan, choice of bikini colour, their confidence, in some federations their ‘marketability’, and their POSING! First impressions count in this division, so your client will need to be smiling, poised, and confident from the very first moment they step on stage.

Here are a few things your client will need to do in regards to posing, over the course of their competition prep.

Start practicing ASAP
While training and nutrition are major focuses throughout the prep, posing needs JUST as much attention. We recommend that as soon as your client locks-in a start date for their prep, they start their posing too. Leaving posing to the last minute can be one of the biggest mistakes a competitor can make. And when posing is the way you show off all your hard work to the judges, it can be a costly mistake to make!

Research the federation’s requirements
If your client is a first time competitor they will need to do some research into their chosen federation, and the style of posing they will be required to do. This is important as requirements can be VERY different between different federations. Will they need to learn mandatory poses? Or will it be mainly learning to pose to suit their own physique?

Emphasize shape
The aim of a posing routine is to emphasize your client’s shape, while hiding their weaker points. And how this is done will be VERY different between individuals. As an example – the front pose that looks amazing on Miss Bikini Olympia might not necessarily look as good when paired with your client’s physique! The Bikini division is all about the curves. Wide shoulders and popping glutes will help to emphasis a small waist, so even if your client is not genetically blessed with these attributes, or hasn’t yet spent enough time in the gym to build them to where they need to be – this is where a good posing routine can work it’s magic.

Hire a posing coach
And this can be when hiring a posing coach can help. A posing coach will know the requirements of the federation, and will be able to guide your client to show off their strengths, while at the same time, teaching them how to hide their weaknesses on stage. Your client’s posing coach will know small yet effective tips and trick that can have a HUGE impact on how your client will present on stage. Even what might seem like incredibly small things – like a change in foot or hand position, can make huge difference to the appearance of their physique!

While one or two sessions might give your client some guidance and confidence to continue on their own – remember that as their physique continues to change, how their poses look will also change. So it can be a good idea for your client to check in regularly over the course of their prep, to make sure they are continuing to showing off their BEST physique.

Clean Health Online Master Coach, Kim Leggett (far right) competing at the IFBB Pro League VIC Stare Arnold’s Qualifier

Practice, practice, practice!
Whether your client hires a posing coach, or prefers to do it all themselves – they need to practice, practice, practice! Posing should become a part of their daily routine. They will need to become confident walking, transitioning, and posing in their stage heels. So confident that it appears relaxed, effortless, and like it’s second nature to them. 

Your client will need to begin by practicing infront of a mirror, and as they become more confident – without the mirror. This will help your client to learn how the poses FEEL, WITHOUT being able to see themselves. And make sure they don’t forget to practice smiling!

Record posing sessions
Encourage your client to set their phone up to record their posing sessions. This will give them a chance to watch their routine back, critically appraise it, and and see where they might need to make changes. Keep in mind – ideally the phone should be positioned on the ground and angled up towards your client.

Remind them to think about where the judges will be sitting, and how they will be viewing your client up on the stage. This will help with getting their angles right when they are practicing their routine. As your client moves from practicing with the mirrors to without – remind them to also turn their phone around and use the rear camera – again so they cannot see themselves as they work through their routine.

Attend the federation’s posing classes
Many federations will run group posing classes in the lead up to their local competitions. If there is one in your client’s area – we suggest they attend! This can be a chance to hear advice and expectations from judges in regards to posing, and there will also often be pro competitors there to learn from.

The judges will often run through different poses that are suitable, how you can tweak these to suit your physique, and what to avoid. Your client may also get a chance to receive constructive feedback on their posing or their current physique. These sessions are a great learning opportunity, especially for new competitors!

We hope this will give you and your client some insight into posing, and what it involves over the course of a prep, to make sure your client is able to confidently present their best pack on stage.

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