The Basics of Bikini Competition Posing

The Basics of Bikini Competition Posing

  • Ideal for bikini athletes new to the sport
  • A brief discussion of the importance of posing and stage presence in NPC Bikini Competition

Arguably the most crucial aspects of competitive bodybuilding are stage presence and posing. Many people inaccurately assume that training hard and following a meal plan will guarantee success in a bikini competition. However, the judging panel can only score what they see.  So, the time invested in your overall stage presentation and posing is time well spent. After months of preparation, you have 15-30 seconds to make a lasting impression on stage.  If you don’t know how to showcase your physique, your hard work may go unnoticed.  Here are a few tips for making the best stage presentation:

The Walk

Practice walking in competition heels.  If you are a “gym bunny” like me, a little extra practice walking in heels is a great idea.  Like most things in life, walking in heels becomes easier with time.  I recommend wearing your stage heels for 30 minutes daily at home.  If nothing else, believe me, your significant other will appreciate it.   Also, keep in mind that your “stage walk” will be very different from your usual day to day walk.  So, practice is essential.

Front Pose

Just like everything else, bikini posing continues to evolve. It is essential to pay attention to the most recent competitions and most popular poses.  To make appropriate individual adjustments consider your natural curves, muscularity, and physical proportions.  Remember, your goal is to highlight your strengths and detract from your weak points (no one is perfect).


Your progression from one pose to another is critical.  Judges pay particular attention to the movement from the front-to-back pose.  In this transition phase, judges are looking at your overall conditioning, especially glute/hamstring tie-ends and shoulder caps.  Remember to always keep your core tight during this movement.

Back Pose 

This is a universal pose and will represent a significant part of your overall score.   Judges pay particular attention to your lower legs and glutes.  Often successfully hitting this pose determines the margin for victory. So, it is essential to have well-developed, rounded and conditioned glutes.  The biggest mistake competitors make is leaning too far forward.  Judges don’t like that.  Also, if your glutes are not appropriately conditioned, it may make more sense to compete in a later show.


The more you practice, the smoother your presentation will become.  And, knowing that you have done all the necessary work will make you feel confident.  Give yourself plenty of time to practice.  I suggest 8 to 10 weeks of posing practice ahead of a show.  If you are unsure of how to put together a bikini stage presentation, hire a posing coach.   A coach can be more objective when creating your routine, refine your movements and posing and give you guidance throughout your practice.  An experienced coach can give you the judges perspective, and catch slight details you may miss while looking in the mirror.

Although the allotted time for a bikini routine is just a few seconds (8-20 seconds), it is possible to hit all the right poses and completely showcase your winning physique.

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