8 Mandatory Bodybuilding Poses [Guide]

The art of bodybuilding is more than just the ability to have a perfect physique or refined look. A perfectly made body deserves justice for every muscle group to go on display for the observant crowd. Through years of seamless toil and progressive methodology, the professional bodybuilders refine every muscle. This involves a combination of the perfect diet, hours of rigorous work at the gym, and an understanding of every integral method for evolution too.

However, what started as a journey to improve one’s body and be the perfect ambassador might end in vain. The person must have a sufficient idea of how to prioritize the display of each worked out muscle. For the audience and judges, it is more the display than the journey which counts. Every competitor has almost the same hard work put in, however, where they differ is how to showcase themselves.

Almost every occasion, the wrong for or the wrong posture can be a deal-breaker. Hence, there are fixed and mandatory bodybuilding poses that come into play. Through in-depth understanding, these poses fine-tune muscle articulation and put them right out for the viewers. However, there might be a risk involved in the process and hence it needs professional guidance and understanding too.

For instance, Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance essentially brings all such talent under one roof. Through the weekend, the idea is to select the right bodybuilding professional and reward their efforts. The rules, guidelines, and the resulting pattern are all governed by the IFBB. The show remains open for every bodybuilding enthusiast and viewer alike. Moreover, the fittest and the finest across the globe assemble at the point to bring about a revolutionary display for the viewers. The one who comes out above all the hurdles is the proud and resounding winner of Mr Olympia.

The Mandatory Bodybuilding Poses

As broadly understood, each pose has an individual task of refining and redefining the concerned muscle group through a coordinated display, the idea would be to woo the users, near and far alike. Meanwhile, through definitive group formation, it would also provide a perfect way for the people and the judges to evaluate the individual talent on fixed grounds. The randomness of poses may hamper the chances to succeed, even if the body shape of the contender is better than others.

Hence, fixed or mandatory bodybuilding poses help the bodybuilder to bring about the right show on. Not only success, but the idea is also for people to appreciate the effort put behind every flexed muscle. It shall serve as the reminder of those endless hours that go behind a bodybuilder’s quest through his journey to the grandest stage!

The mandatory bodybuilding poses and their elaborate description shall assist the users and the viewer’s alike. The complete list goes about as:

Mandatory Bodybuilding Poses

Quarter Turns

The quarter turns are the first on the list of mandatory bodybuilding poses the contestant has to go through. It is an array of cumulative display of the overall muscle gathering and symmetry of the entire body. The idea behind the quarter turn is to let the viewers and the judges have a feel of the symmetry of the entire body and the framework at the display. Hence, this form finds an integral utility of every major muscle and body part in the reckoning. It also warms up the contender for what awaits ahead in the show.

To start off, the contestant is asked to stand upright with the front pose while the demeanour is semi-relaxed. With the shoulders broadened up and the abs flexed, the thighs and calves are to be moderately tightened. As the name revolves around, a series of quarter turns are to follow the front pose. With a turn to the right, the left side form shall come into the view.

 The principle idea is to not twist the body but rather stay straight after executing the turn. This gives a steady display of the side profile. A steady quarter turn would reveal the front relaxed pose again. Post this, the turn towards left will also put the right side on display. Hence, the pose is concluded with the person contestant finally on the front pose. Mr Brandon Curry, the 2019 holder of Mr Olympia is renowned for the quarter-turn pose.

Front Double Biceps

The next in the mandatory bodybuilding poses list and the biggest desire of every novice entry into the gym! The front double biceps is the standard pose that facilitates the flex and display of the biceps build. Meanwhile, an intense flex shall also display the latissimus dorsi muscles along with the width of the sides. What remains essential in this form too is the ability of the contestant to understand positioning kills. For example, the lower position of the elbow will drop the shoulder. This will simultaneously result in the inability of the bicep width to flare and hence cut down the lat width too.

Hence, the idea is to hold the arms upright toward the sides with tensed flex. A half curl from the elbow inwards will flex the bicep width. The position of the elbow shall steadily rise to a form where it is positioned above the imaginary line drawn horizontally from the shoulder sides.

The knee-length bent of the leg form is important to accentuate the display of the quads too. Given the affinity of most of the first-time viewers, this section holds a lot of watch-time significance. Biceps being a hard and continuous muscle group to work on often meets a lot of critical value during competitions. The 2008 successor of the title for Mr Olympia, Dexter Jackson is the man who is best known for the front double biceps pose.

Rear Double Biceps/ Back Double Biceps

This differs from the front double biceps when it comes to the lower body. With the rear profile of the bodybuilder out for view, the idea is to give a precise outline. Hence, by moving the leg out and tightening the thighs, there is a significant display of thigh, calves muscles, and also the hamstrings.

However, what matches with the front double biceps is the origin to hold the elbow over the horizontal shoulder level line again. This flexes the bicep curl for an immaculate display that gives a reflection of the whole rear profile. Hence, the idea is also to essentially hold the back form straight. Any bulge in the rear would result in the mismatch of the profile too. The erector muscles can also find a significant screen time through this form by making sure that the lower back and waist is tightened and held straight.

The look is necessary to round up the whole profiling of the bicep and the flexed body form. Hence, the loose edges such as keeping the feet flat or the thumb in the tucked-in position are important to focus upon. Ronnie Coleman had the talent and the perfection for the rear double biceps pose perfected through his career length.

Front Latissimus Dorsi Spread/ Front Lat Spread

The Latissimus Dorsi spread, or commonly known as the Lat spread is a front and rear profile pose. The pose accentuates and displays the lat, thigh, and calf muscles and also the profile of arms. The front lat spread needs a steady positioning attribute from the candidate and the ability to flex and spread the lat wide. This enables the wing-like sides to protrude out and be on display for the viewers and the judges too.

With an upright body and a straight back, the competitor has to keep the heels close. Moreover, the toes are to turn outside with each pointing at 45 degrees from the centerline. By doing so, the profile of the thighs, especially the outer profiles is significantly visible on display. Furthermore, the close-fisted hands are to be positioned on the waist in a manner that pushes the entablature inward. This gives more scope for the lat to protrude. By a flexed movement to the shoulders and pushing them outward, the lats are also flexed. Meanwhile, this will provide for lat to be flexed outwards and be on a clear display for the viewers and the judging panel. Dorian Yates, the undisputed champion of Mr Olympia ’92 to ’97 is the man for the pose for front lad spread.

Rear Latissimus Dorsi Spread/ Rear Lat Spread

In the rear lat spread pose, the profile should appear as a widely spread and immaculate one. Hence, it is essential to concentrate on the lower body positioning during the pose. The most evident error make by even the bodybuilding professionals are to not focus on this aspect which reduces the effect of having a significant muscular build by reducing the width.

Hence, the legs shall be positioned outwards with the same 45-degree tilt for the toes from the normal axis. This will provide the profile an ability to look enhance and also a wider lower body. Just like the front lat, the rear lat also needs the participant to position the arms with a close-fisted form onto the waist and push the lower profile inwards too.

Further flexing of shoulders in the outward direction will enable the lat to be spread out wide. By doing so, the bodybuilder can position the lat to its full width and hold the tightness of the profile. The most important aspect of this profile is to have an absolutely erect back. By doing so, every individual muscle group on the back is made more noticeable. However, if there is a slight hunch, it can negate the profile and create a delusional sense of lower flare despite having the right core muscles. Arnold and Dorian have been the flag bearer for the read lat spread during their reigns.

Side Triceps

The triceps as a muscle group occur in the lower forearm profile under the biceps protrusion. Moreover, the triceps play an important role in the profiling of the entire arm and the overall posture of the body. For the side triceps, the person has to tilt towards the side. The person also needs to twist the body with the side pose so that the upper half is slightly towards the front. By doing so, one arm is on display towards the crowd are.

By pushing the front calf tightly into the rear profile of the trailing leg, it gives an impression of the tight build. Further, the chest has to be held uptight and the abs have to be pulled in and held tight too. The wrist of the outward arm has to be held by the trailing hand. Meanwhile, this makes sure that the arm is steady and the triceps for the leading hand is in a clear display.  Moreover, this arm has to be pressed inward and against the torso profile. This gives an appearance where the triceps appears to be flared and thickened up. Jay Cutler is the man for the deal when it comes to the side pose.

Side Chest

The side chest position is the one that makes more prominent the entire bulk of the chest profile. This profile is helpful in winning over the judges and the audience as it gives an elaborate description of the leading arm, the entire side chest as well as the outer thigh. The most common mistake that occurs while profiling the side chest pose is to allow the trailing shoulder to rise up. However, this makes the chest flare down and reduces the appearance of the thickness of the profile.

Hence, to attain this position, take a quarter turn towards the side profile Press the leading leg into the trailing leg and press inwards. This tightens the calf and pushes in too. Furthermore, the elbow has to be aligned in-line with the side and the half arm will get a raise. After doing so, the trailing side of the profile has to be twisted outwards. This gives a profile for the striations to poke put and visible from the outer pectoral. The most iconic posture held for the side chest pose is by the legend of the bodybuilding era Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger himself.

Front Abdominal & Thigh

The front-abs and thigh pose is one of the most stressful and pressurized amongst the 8 mandatory bodybuilding poses to be held during the display. This is because the pose significantly holds a large group of muscles. The flexing of lat, as well as the tightening of abdominal crunch, is important. In addition to this, one leg has to be positioned outwards, and simultaneously the calf for the leading leg has to be strained. By doing so, the abdominal crunch will be tightened.

For the upper profile, the hands are to be raised upward and held with the wrists positioned behind the neck. In doing so, the elbows need to be aligned and kept steady outwards. By crunching down, the stress for the posture will fall on the frontal abdomen. Hence, the rib cage area shall appear to be sucked in or “in a state of vacuum”.

While the pose is in the stage of exhaling, the oblique and also the serratus anterior is on the display. The whole position is highly advantageous for the bodybuilder to hold the thigh and the abdomen profile high on display. The flared up position for the high elbow is highly advantageous for the flaring of the lat profile. Chris Bumstead has the perfect set of expertise for the front abs and thigh pose. He conducts several tutorials for the same as well.

 The story behind the prohibited moon pose

In addition to the standard list of the bodybuilding poses, the IFBB also allows a collection of other poses. However, not all of these have been accepted with the right way of understanding. For example, the moon pose happens to be one of the critically mistreated poses that were barred by the IFBB from the list of mandatory bodybuilding poses.

Performed in a position of bending over from the waist, the moon pose was considered offensive. It included the ability to keep the legs steady and closed together while flexing the calves. By doing so, the rear calves, hip muscle, the entire rear, and the lower waist was on display for the viewers and the judges.

However, due to certain claims of the pose being an offensive method to gain an advantage in the competition, it got barred. Many participants and judges voted for the prohibition of the pose as it was considered as an offensive technique to sexualize the event of bodybuilding. It was explained that the bodybuilding poses are more about the display of physique as a portrayal of hard work and determination, rather than an idea to woo the audience through physical charm.

The right bodybuilding poses for the right rewards

Through dedication and the will to succeed, bodybuilders across the globe are connected. The wish to achieve the improbable and often the impossible is what keeps the motivation going through. Hence, it remains absolutely essential for these individuals to focus on the right mix of every aspect. As much hard work goes in the preparation of a quality product, it would be of no use if the display is not right. The same is applicable for a finely honed body and physique that needs the right mix of the display by the athletes involved.

Through the perfect bodybuilding poses, it becomes completely realistic to achieve the set targets. Moreover, these techniques assist the aspirants to keep in mind the strict guidelines and the patterns set by the IFBB to regulate a safe, fair, and evenly contested event on various platforms. Even the toughest and the strongest contenders have expressed their agreement with the universalization of the pattern.

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