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7 Basic Bodybuilding Poses

by
author image Miguel Cavazos
Miguel Cavazos is a photographer and fitness trainer in Los Angeles who began writing in 2006. He has contributed health, fitness and nutrition articles to various online publications, previously editing stand-up comedy and writing script coverage as a celebrity assistant. Cavazos holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and political science from Texas Christian University.
7 Basic Bodybuilding Poses
7 Basic Bodybuilding Poses Photo Credit Chris Zainal/Demand Media

The seven basic bodybuilding poses are also known as compulsory poses, because competition rules usually require that you perform them. You perform the seven basic poses for the judges panel in early competition rounds. Women may not need to perform the front or back lat spread poses. Each pose brings out your muscular definition in different ways. Master the seven basic poses and find your best angles by practicing in front of a mirror, or using a camera.

Front Double Biceps

7 Basic Bodybuilding Poses
Photo Credit Chris Zainal/Demand Media

The front double biceps pose emphasizes the development and balance between your biceps and triceps. Flex both biceps with your elbows pointing out to the side. Elevate your upper arms just past parallel with the floor. Flex your arms past 90 degrees and bend your wrists halfway, if your biceps have large peaks. Flex your arms at approximately 90 degrees and bend your wrists all the way, if you have smaller biceps. Lengthen your torso and draw your bellybutton in to emphasize a broad shoulder base and lat spread. Crunch with this pose if your abs are well developed.

Front Lat Spread

7 Basic Bodybuilding Poses
Photo Credit Chris Zainal/Demand Media

Stand with your feet close together, one foot in front of the other. Position the inside of your back foot toward the heel of your leading foot. Bend your elbows at 90 degrees with palms down and anchor your thumbs behind your waist on top of your hips, fists clenched. Spread your lats by pulling your shoulder blades away from your spine while pushing your fists against your sides, keeping your shoulders down.

Side Chest

7 Basic Bodybuilding Poses
Photo Credit Chris Zainal/Demand Media

Put your best side to the judges, feet 4 to 6 inches apart. Straighten your back leg and plant your front toes. Lift your front heel and bend your front leg approximately 30 degrees. Release half the air from your lungs and expand your chest. Bend your front arm 90 degrees with your palm facing up in a loose fist.

Reach your back arm across your abdomen to grasp the opposite wrist with the back palm facing down. Push the arm against your body, and your front upper arm firmly against your ribs. This pose shows pectoral development.

Back Double Biceps

7 Basic Bodybuilding Poses
Photo Credit Chris Zainal/Demand Media

With your back to the judges put one foot a half step back. Straighten your back and lift your chest. Extend both arms straight up and slowly flex your arms while pointing your elbows to the sides. Lower your elbows just below your ears. Pull your arms toward the judges, wrists closer to the judges than elbows. Flex your back muscles, calves and hamstrings.Tense your abs to show off your lower back.

Back Lat Spread

7 Basic Bodybuilding Poses
Photo Credit Chris Zainal/Demand Media

Turn your back to the judges with feet approximately shoulder-width apart. Angle your toes slightly to the sides and put one foot a half step back toward the judges. Plant the back foot toes firmly on the floor with the heel raised and knees slightly bent. Bend your elbows 90 degrees with your palms down and fists against your sides, thumbs anchored on your hips. Widen your back as much as possible by pulling elbows forward and spreading shoulder blades apart.

Side Triceps

7 Basic Bodybuilding Poses
Photo Credit Chris Zainal/Demand Media

Face the judges, feet 4 to 6 inches apart. Straighten your back leg, and plant your front toes firmly. Lift your front heel and bend your front leg about 30 degrees. Extend your front arm down your side, reach across the small of your back with your back arm to grasp the front wrist. Keep the back palm toward the rear and front upper arm firmly against your side. Exhale fully and flex your triceps, deltoids, abs and legs.

Front Abdominal

7 Basic Bodybuilding Poses
Photo Credit Chris Zainal/Demand Media

Face the judges with your stronger leg approximately one foot in front of the other. Point the front toes forward and angle back toes out to the side. Flex quadriceps and spread your calves. With your hands behind your neck, interlock your fingers. Point elbows up and stand straight. Flex your biceps, chest and abdominal muscles firmly. Experiment angling your legs in slightly differently to emphasize different leg muscles.

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