Female bodybuilding has been around for a long enough time for every aspect of it being elaborately detailed. However, most viewers (and sometimes even the rookie participants) are confused about heels. The few essential questions that through everyone’s minds are:
- Why do female bodybuilders wear heels?
- Is it legal to wear heels in the bodybuilding competitions?
- What effects do heels have on judgment?
- Do heels affect the muscle and posture?
While these may sound tough, the answers to them are almost interrelated. Not only the competition but the rules have evolved steadily as well. So to gauge what’s right and what is wrong is highly necessary. Moreover, it must also be not be ignored that these athletes are professional stalwarts. Anything and everything that these women do is well thought of by their coaching staff and team. But to have a clear idea of it is also necessary for the viewers to appreciate the wholesome output.
To give you an idea, female bodybuilders wear heels as it is a mandatory regulation stated by the various bodybuilding federations. Heels accentuate calves, hips and lower body and give an illusion of longer legs to add to the overall physique of female bodybuilders. The female contestants in some divisions are required to tip on the feministic side and display the idea of “perfect curves”. In order to match these expectations as required of the female bodybuilders, heels play a vital role. But not all female bodybuilding division requires the women bodybuilders to wear heels. So, what are those divisions, which allow for a more raw physique than a postured wholesome one?
The legal principles of wearing heels in bodybuilding
So first questions first, point-blank, is it legal or not? The answer, to the surprise of many ignorant ones, is, yes, it is! Female bodybuilding does not involve only one category, and there are numerous major ones. The IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness) takes every intricate detail with the utmost seriousness in each category. Hence, nothing escapes their vigilant eyes, so entire footwear simply cannot.
It is briefed to each competitor about the details involved in a particular competition category. While some competitive formations rely on strength and muscles, others are wholesome. The unique approach in each one regarding the footwear (or no footwear) is justified.
Which competitive divisions allow heels?
Before understanding why female bodybuilders wear heels, it is important to know when they can wear them. As per the IFBB guidelines, selective wearing is allowed.
Categories that allow heels
The bikini, as well as figure & fitness, are all categories that highlight posture and wholesome display. Along with the usual quarter turns that accentuate the body posture, these also involve T-walks. The attire for the group is a two-piece bikini.
The figure & fitness category of bodybuilding for the female bodybuilders also allows the heels. In fact, these two categories nominate heels as their mandatory footwear. The routine schedule for the figure division involves different attributes as well. In contrast to the bikini division, the figure division is judged on the basis of a “fuller” look.
Categories that do not allow heels
- Woman’s Physique
- Woman’s Bodybuilding
The woman’s physique and woman’s bodybuilding divisions are both relatively raw and powerful. In these categories, the woman competitors are allowed and regulated to walk barefoot. The categories also have their own set of mandatory poses. In addition to the poses, the performance and pose routine are also controlled. While the former two categories focus on shape and appearance, the latter 2 are the traditional bodybuilding forms. The existence of the physique and bodybuilding category is also relatively more extended than the other 2.
Advantages of Wearing Heels in Female Bodybuilding
So the question, if they’re still in one, is that why do female bodybuilders wear heels? It might also need a little (well, a more than little) grasp on bodybuilding nuances to understand this. Given that the type of competitions which permit heels is already known, their advantages are more target-oriented.
An essential component of the female bodybuilding is the shape and built of legs. This will include the toned and shapely calves, accentuated muscles, leg posture, and the ability to emphasize on these. With heels, the calf muscles and the foot is under compressive force, which tightens the muscles. This compression tones and highlights the muscles.
➥The Illusion of Longer Legs
Due to the illusion of toned and shapely legs, the bodybuilder’s lower body appears to be longer. Hence more emphasis is given to the lower body, and it also adds to the overall physique. The use of the heel’s appropriate size provides just the right impetus of height to the female bodybuilders.
➥Accentuated Hips and Lower Body
In both the bikini and the figure routine, the competitors are expected to be more “feministic.” This means that the judges focus more on the womanly features and instincts of the performing athletes. A significant part of this leans onto the accentuated lower body and the hips to give the looks for the “perfect curves“. In the long run, the heels enhance these features for a better and more presentable overall appearance.
Along with the two-piece bikini, heels are a total match-winner. Heels make the female body posture look enhanced, or so it is popularly believed by the experts. Heels also happen to be one of the most important accessories in the wardrobe of the female bodybuilders. With wholesome judgment into account, each accessory is equally important. Points are marked for small things such as fingernails and the hairdo. The additional weightage of the perfect heels and carrying themselves in those add a lot of significant advantages.
Because the bikini and the figure categories are subjective in judgment, so the essential aspects need to be fixed. This provides a level playing ground for each competitor and also the right guidelines to work with. Hence, the IFBB decided to fix the foot accessory as the heels, right at the inception of the whole section. This essentially meant that none of the competitors could afford to wear something too extravagant to swing the judgment. Not many professional weightlifting athletes and judges accept it, but mandatory regulations play for the wholesome goodness.
Heel or No Heels?
With the mandatory requirements in place, it is not much of a question left. However, time and again, there have been ripples about the decision to use heels as footwear. Some coaches and experts have argued the ability of rigid-framed athletes to be able to perform well in high heels. One of the significant reasons for this is that the bigger the athletes get, the more off-balance their C.O.G. goes with heels.
Some also dispute about the time and effort that needs to be invested into the whole heel training. It has been largely observed that most professional bodybuilding athletes need to take separate training for “the pose.” However, with IFBB having their say, the playing rules are decided.
In total, the act of wearing the heels tick almost every essential point that could be good for the competition. From defining the female looks to accentuating the features, every crucial point is met. Overall, the select competitions become more efficient and a better spectacle through the use of heels.