By IFBB Figure Pro Angela Terlesky, for Models Observer
As an IFBB Figure competitor I have competed in twelve shows over the past 6 years. In doing so I have tweaked my posing a number of times due to feedback from the judging panel. Posing is extremely important in a competition. You could have a perfect shape but if you're not posing correctly it could cost you the show. I am sharing my personal experience and knowledge with you. I will start by explaining:
* Series of events during Pre Judging
* Modified poses
* Mandatory poses
* Casual pose
* What the judges are looking for during these poses.
* Helpful tips.
Series of events during Pre Judging
The most important segment of a figure competition is called pre judging. Each individual competitor is introduced separately. This is where the judges decide the placing. Youíre making a first impression to the judges this is very important. The order of events in every show is different depending on the promoter and venue. The expeditors will inform you before and guide you during the show as to where they want you to stop for poses.
You will enter from the side of the stage usually towards the back. Walk directly in the middle, this is where you will do a modified pose. Then walk forward towards the judging panel. Stop again and do another modified pose. Quarter turn to your right facing back hit a back pose. Quarter turn again to your right hitting another modified pose. At this time you will want to wave or crusty as to acknowledge and thank to judges for their time. At this point you have made your impression you will walk to the right or left to the line up. Again every show is different you will be informed of where to stand. While standing in the line up you will hold your casual pose while the other competitors are introduced.
Once all the competitors have been introduced, the head judge will do what is known as call outs. Each call out consists of at least five competitors and the total number of call outs depends on the number of competitors. Five or more competitors are called by number and are placed in a line then compared to against one another. Generally you want to be called first or at least within the first call out. Each call out will line up in front of the judging panel, hit their front mandatory pose and comparisons begin.
Figure consists of four mandatory poses also known as quarter turns. This gives the Judges the opportunity to critique your figure at every angle while comparing your figure to other competitors.
During the mandatory poses you will begin facing the judging panel (front). The head judge will say quarter turn. Always turn to your right your left side will now be facing the panel (left). When you hear quarter turn you will turn to your right now your back is facing the panel (back). Again you will hear quarter turn, you will turn to your right now your right side is facing the panel (right). The head judge will call quarter turn or face forward. You will again turn to your right now you will be facing the judging panel again (front). The judges might have you do these turns a few times to compare.
When the judges are finished comparing the call out they will have those competitors go back to position along the stage. Everyone will be called out for comparisons. Once everyone has been compared the judges might look over the first and second call outs again. This is when theyíre making their final decisions for placements.
This concludes pre judging. At this time you will go rest and come back later for the Finals. During the finals you will again be introduced to the audience. You will repeat all of the above. Then the top five competitors will be awarded.
What is a modified pose?
A modified pose is three creative poses that compliment your physique. Individualize these poses by adding your own flair. You can add bends, waves, dips or even bows. Donít get too crazy but you do want to make a statement. Start by doing your first modified pose facing the judges. Turn to you right now your back pose (make sure to move hair). Turn to your right again for your side or front pose. Each pose should be held for 3-5 seconds. Do not rush through this segment. The transitions between each pose should be graceful. Each pose should flow together. As always smile donít be afraid to show some personality! The judges want to see that youíre having fun. When youíre finished wave or curtsy to acknowledge and thank the judges.
What are mandatory poses?
There are four mandatory poses: front, left, back and right. During these poses every muscle should be tight at all times, although they should appear relaxed and effortless. Graceful transitions should flow between each pose completing the presentation.
* Heels and legs together.
* To create a sweep in the quads turns toes out, push down and outward on toes.
* Do Not lock knees or Hips.
* Squeeze quads (if youíre legs are cut don't squeeze).
* Pull up your torso, keep abs tight.
* Flare Lats (increase width of upper body, minimize width of hips).
* Chest up and out.
* Shoulders flexed extended out to the sides.
* Upper arms tight, relax from the elbow down.
* Elbows slightly bent.
* Hands shouldnít be more than 6 inches from your hips.
* Smile and always keep your chip up while making eye contact with judges.
* Keep your head and chin up and smile.
Left Side Pose
* Do not lock knees.
* You may position either leg slightly in front of the other to create fullness.
* Pull up your torso.
* Bend at hips to create curves and smooth glute tie inís.
* Blow out all your air holding your abs in and tight.
* There are a few options for arm placement. You can leave them both at your sides while twisting slightly at the torso.
* Or you can twist slightly at the torso bringing your front arm back keep you back arm hidden. Bringing you front arm back will help definition in your biceps and shoulder.
* Shoulder flexed and extended out to the sides.
* Upper arm tight, relax from the elbow down.
* Keep your chin up and smile.
* Do not look at judges! Look off to stage right.
* Be sure to move hair to the side and over the shoulder if itís worn down.
* Keep heels and legs together.
* Turn toes out press down and outward on your toes to create sweeps on outer quads.
* Shifting weight onto your toes will help to define calves.
* Bend slightly at hips lifting you glutes out and upward while flexing your lower back, you should feel pinching.
* Keep your hamstrings and glutes tight (donít squeeze cheeks together).
* Flare your lats as wide as you can.
* Shoulders flexed extended to the sides.
* Pull up your torso (combined with flaring lats creates v-taper).
* Upper arms tight relax from elbow down.
* Arms slightly bent.
* Hands shouldnít be more than 6 inches from your hips.
* Keep head and chin up.
Right Side Pose
* Repeat left side pose instructions.
What is a Casual pose?
A Casual pose is used when you will be standing for a long period of time. Generally used during call outs and awards. This pose will allow you to rest from mandatory posing yet it still needs to look presentable.
* Always smile.
* Number should always be visible.
* Bend one leg so you can shift weight if needed.
* One arm on hip the other slightly bent and relaxed.
* Pull up your torso.
* Stand slightly to side.
* Twist slightly towards the front.
What the judges are looking for during these poses
During the figure competition judges are looking for perfect symmetry, definition, conditioning and presentation. They look for:
* Soft lines no striations.
* Complete balance from head to toe.
* Muscle bellies should be full and round.
* V Taper (wide shoulders, small waist).
* Sweeps in outer quads and hamstrings.
* Stage presence, gracefully, great personality, happy and having fun.
* Posing properly, smooth transitions.
* Color is flawless, no streaks or lines.
* Hair tasteful, usually your best bet hair down.
* Make up.
* Suits fit properly, color flatters you.
* You must have the complete package.
* Use Vaseline on your teeth so you don't need to lick your teeth while smiling for long periods of time.
* Use bikini bit to keep your suit in place.
* If you have some sagging or cellulite use Preparation-H the night before the show. Sleep with it on the areas that need correction. Do this before you tan. This will help pull the excess water out and smooth the area.
* While in casual pose relax your muscles.
* Relax and cup hands at all times.
* I suggest heels with ankle straps rather than slip onís. The last thing you want to worry about is your shoe falling off.
* Get a good sleep the night before the competition. This is extremely important.
* Try to remain calm. If your nervous your body will begin to burn like crazy, this will cause you to look flat on stage.
* Practice makes perfect! Walk in your heels and pose at home it should become second nature.
* Have a good time. All the hard work is done up to show time. Get on stage and show off your finished product.
* Make sure to keep updated on posing changes.
Angela's website: www.angelaterlesky.com