9 Bodybuilding Poses Every Pro Should Know About

Here Are 9 Poses Every Competitive Bodybuilder Should Know

Bodybuilding is more than just lifting heavy weights and flexing in the mirror, it is more of an art than you may think. Posing is just as important to the sport as lifting is. Look at the Mr. Olympia stage, there are plenty of muscular competitors up on that stage that have perfect posing routines with flow and grace, completing the overall look of their physique. However, there are also those that have great physiques that are ruined by bad posing, posing that comes off as stagnant and robotic.

If you go ahead and take posing out of the equation entirely, then bodybuilding wouldn’t be as glamorous anymore, it just becomes very large, ripped individuals up on a stage, in some posing trunks.

When you think of a bodybuilder, chances are that a big muscular guy flexing his biceps comes to mind, but it is much more than just some bicep poses. Bodybuilding shows wouldn’t exist if there was no posing involved. All-time greats like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Kai Greene took posing classes to show the best of their physiques on stage. If you’re planning on competing or want to impress people with your physique, then you need to learn to properly pose.

Bodybuilding Poses

  • Quarter Turns
  • Front Lat Spread
  • Front Double Bicep
  • Side Chest
  • Rear Lat Spread
  • Rear Double Bicep
  • Side Tricep
  • Abdominals and Thighs
  • Your Favorite Most Muscular

Quarter Turn Poses

The posing round of a bodybuilding show starts with mandatory poses, where the athletes standing while facing the judges, with their lats flared out. The athlete turns clockwise, when they hear “quarter turn to the right”, with every pose until all the sides are done and he returns to the starting position.

Front Lat Spread

It all starts with the front lat spread on the stage. Although all the poses have a primary muscle (like the lats in this pose), you can’t undermine the importance of the other muscles.

The front lat spread shows the width of your lats from the front, thickness of the chest, shoulder development, front arm, and forearm size. Make sure you are focusing on flexing your legs and showing the separation and muscle mass in your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves throughout the posing routine. One way to flex your legs from the front is to plant your heels and use the balls of your feet to “spread the floor”, meaning they are pushing away from you.

Front Double Bicep

The front double bicep is one of the most popular poses and is usually the second pose performed on stage. It shows off the mass, definition, and peak in your biceps. Symmetrical triceps and forearms can add to the size of your arms and give the illusion of bigger and fuller arms.

The front double bicep pose also entails showing your lat width and quad size, as well as the definition and size of your front calf musculature.

Side Chest

As you turn to your right, you will have to hit the side chest pose to display your chest size and thickness from either side. While posing on stage, you should rotate your body towards one side, grab the wrist, and pull your elbow back towards your side while using the other arm to push your pecs together so they pop.

Apart from the side chest, this pose will show your arm, forearm, shoulder, hams, quad sweep and calf muscle size and definition. You will want to “smash” one leg against the other, and keep your foremost leg on its tippy toes to show off the calves and hamstrings.

Rear Lat Spread

The rear lat spread will convey the width of your lats from the rear, the thickness of the trapezius muscle, the size of your arms from the rear, glute and hamstring development and separation and the rear calf musculature.

It is performed the same way as the front lat spread, but from the back, and has more of an emphasis on the glutes, hamstrings, and calves.

Rear Double Bicep

While your back is facing the judges, you hit the second back pose which is the rear double bicep. This pose shows off your arm size and the biceps mass and peak from the rear. The rear double bicep also displays the separation of your shoulders (rear delts in particular) and biceps.

The thickness and definition of your back muscles, including your trapezius, infraspinatus, teres major, latissimus dorsi are visible in their full glory in this pose. Your glute, hamstring, and calf development and separation are covered in the rear double bicep pose.

Side Triceps

The side tricep pose displays your triceps, especially the lateral head, from the side of your choice. This pose displays your chest size, side forearm development, thigh separation, and calf development from the side.

You also may want to do the same thing with your legs that you do with the side chest, to show off your hamstrings and calves.

Abdominal and Thighs

The abdominal and thighs pose shows the development and separation in your external intercostals, serratus anterior, quadriceps muscles, and abs. This pose puts your entire frontal muscles including your arms, chest, shoulders, and calves on display. Most bodybuilders perform it by placing their hands behind their head and flexing their abs to show off the abs and obliques.

The stomach vacuum is also popular to utilize during this pose.

Favorite Most Muscular

The favorite most muscular is the favorite pose of most bodybuilders. The most muscular pose gives the bodybuilders the leverage to show the best of their physiques through the pose of their liking.

Many bodybuilders perform the pose with one hand placed on their thigh while the other is flexed across the body. The others, such as Phil Heath, perform the “crab version” of the pose by bringing their arms and hands together across the abdomen.

Posing Wrap Up

Overall, posing is an art form and something that really ties bodybuilding entirely together. But, not everyone knows all of the poses, so these were 8 bodybuilding poses that everyone should know about.

Which is your favorite pose? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.

Dylan Wolf
I work mainly in content writing, focusing my free time on bodybuilding and strength sports. I was introduced to fitness in high school and after watching Generation Iron movies. I love to train. I have competed multiple times, even winning a junior title in classic physique. I have a bachelor's in criminal justice and business obtained through Alvernia University. When I am not focused on work or training, I enjoy watching films or reading about anything and everything.