There are some videos listed in the Resources/Links section on the www.theOCBwebsite.com website. They can be useful for learning posing techniques. There are a couple for bodybuilding, and one for figure too. You can also get copies of local shows in your area on video and study competitors in them to look for what presents well, and what can take away from presentation.

Learn the poses (photos of each mandatory pose are available on the rules page of www.theOCBwebsite.com), and practice them in a mirror. Try slight variations of the poses to see what makes your physique look its best. If you have a video camera, tape yourself going through the poses. If you don’t use a mirror when doing this, you can get a good idea of how you would look on stage when you don’t have a mirror to check your form. Watch your transitions from pose to pose and think about what you can do to present them fluidly. Posing takes a lot of practice to master, and a lot of practice to avoid shaking while posing on stage. Many competitors tremble when hitting poses on stage because they didn’t practice enough and their bodies did not become used to it. It’s never too early to begin practicing your poses and quarter turns. For a new competitor, it’s best to start at least 2-3 months before the day of the show. Shaking takes away from one’s presentation. One trick that can help with this is to make sure your jaw is relaxed if you start to shake. This relaxes the muscles in the neck and prevents shaking a lot of the time.

Most competitions have a ‘prejudging’ (group comparisons) in the morning followed by the finals later in the day. During prejudging you will go through quarter turns, and compulsory poses with the other members in your class. Quarter turns are judged for proportion and symmetry. You begin by facing forward in a relaxed position. Relaxed is far from the meaning though. On stage in the relaxed position you want to flex your muscles while still appearing to be standing at ease. The head judge then calls for a quarter turn. You display your physique at a side view, then from the rear, then the other side. After the quarter turns, you go through the compulsory poses along with the other competitors. Mandatory poses can be different depending on which federation you are competing in, but virtually all of them require the front double biceps, front lat spread, side chest, side triceps, rear double biceps, rear lat spread, hands over head abdominal, and a most muscular pose. That does it for the prejudging. The decisions are made at that time for each class with most organizations, but not announced until the evening. Generally only the overall winners are determined at the finals. Finals are basically an opportunity to show your creativity. You're usually permitted 60-90 seconds to pose to music of your selection. After all routines are performed, awards are given out. Then for the overall, each 1st place class winner comes back onstage and goes through the quarter turns and compulsory poses again. Judging is done at that time for the overall winner. After the poses are complete most organizations have about a minute of music while the competitors have a pose down. Judges sheets are tallied at that time and the winner is announced afterwards.


For photos of poses and tips, visit our Posing Guide.

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