BODYBUILDING POSING PRACTICE
WHY TO PRACTICE?
Bodybuilding and posing. These 2 words used to be synonymous but over the past several years, as the physiques have evolved, it has changed drastically from the good old days when posing and physically displaying the body as a classical art form with ease and grace was an important and emphasized part of the bodybuilding equation. Now the routines of the top athletes are nothing more than hitting some hard muscle shots and wandering from one side of the stage to the other. There are a few athletes in the current crop that are exceptions to this rule but, as a whole, it seems to be the case.
The stage is our battle ground.
How do athletes in other sports get better?
They practice what they will be doing on game day. Hockey players skate and shoot a puck. Basketball players shoot hoops and dribble a basketball. These athletes all incorporate weight training and cardio conditioning but practicing what they will be doing on game day still takes priority. We, as bodybuilders, focus most on our gym workouts and cardio but when it comes to posing practice, it takes a secondary role. Our game day is the stage so shouldn’t intense posing practice be the main emphasis, above all else, to becoming the best bodybuilder you can be? Posing is to our sport like swinging a golf club is for a golfer.
TIPS TO MASTER YOUR BODYBUILDING POSING:
SET AN ALOTTED TIME DURING THE WEEK TO POSE.
This is so self-explanatory I almost didn’t include it. The reason it’s essential is that as the weeks roll on, conceding to do only a few half-assed poses in your mirror isn’t going to cut it. Try to set at least 40 minutes two times a week to practice your mandatories.
The way I do it is block off a time shortly after my workout when I feel my my most pumped and then practice running through each pose as if it were the real show. I imagine the judge calling out the turn and then executing it, holding it, and then moving to the next one. You’ll find your ability to get comfortable in the pose and your stamina increase tenfold by setting up a dedicated time to pose.
MIRROR VS. CAMERA
This is another common error that bodybuilders make. They tend to use ONLY the mirror when practicing their posing. The only issue with this strategy is that on stage you won’t have the mirror to make adjustments. Did you really turn enough in that side chest? Did you pull your biceps above 90 degrees in that front double? You just won’t know until you get comfortable posing WITHOUT the mirror. If you haven’t tried it already go ahead and do a run down within you allotted posing time in the mirror. Then whip out your HD camera, Iphone, Webcam, or anything you can use to record yourself and run through the poses again. You’ll be amazed at just how different they look….and how much harder it is to get comfortable in the pose.
The correct strategy is to use a combination of both. Maybe do a couple times in the mirror and then a couple times on camera during the week. This will really help find your weak points in your posing and make adjustments. You can even use the camera first, do a playback of the video, and then correct the mistakes you saw in the mirror.
If you don’t have a camera you can use the poor man’s strategy. Pose in the mirror with your eyes closed. Once you feel that you’ve hit the pose correctly, open your eyes and see how it looks. This mind-muscle connection will enable you to relax on stage and stick your poses.
This is a common strategy used by people attempting to reduce their procrastination habit, but I’ve adapted it to just about everything, posing included. The Pomodora Technique means taking a pomodora timer, turning the knob to 30-50 minute intervals and then working non-stop while the clock keeps ticking. This means no breaks, distractions, nothing (aside from some water…and breathing…ya breathing is pretty important).
Lighting can make or break you when it comes to posing. Having a light blasting from the front or the back is going to be nothing like stage lighting so the straitions and adjustments your making to cater to the light will be nothing like what you’ll see on stage. The solution is to find some sort of down lighting or something that encompasses your full body and isn’t playing to any particular angle. Too many times I stood near bathroom lighting and thought my shoulder was too low simply because of how the shadows dropped off the shoulder closest to the mirror. It can really mess with your posing. There are a lot of people out there that recommend high powered lights as opposed to the dim lit CFL’s or standard light bulbs you find in most apartments/homes. I recommend just doing your posing during the day in a well lit room or even outside if you’re brave enough. Nothing better than the sun.
Posing trunks, posing trunks, posing trunks. Posing in your gym shorts isn’t going to cut it. You’re going to end up standing up too tall, not flexing your hip flexors, because you can’t SEE THEM or you’ll miss flexing your glutes in the reverse double bicep. If you don’t have posing trunks yet then you have two options.. Using some very form fitting underwear and rolling up the sides or testing out the waters in your birthday suit.
This is not something that many people focus on and it’s really only necessary if you are having some serious trouble with a particular pose. Try the pose from a different angle. This means that if you’re struggling with the front relaxed, try it from the side in a mirror or camera. You’ll notice if your hips are pulled back correctly, your back is straight, and how far you’re leaning forward or backward. Another example would be doing a side chest from the front to see if your using your back knee to press the hamstring closest to the judges correctly.
HIRE A COACH
This is the most important and easiest tip to follow. Posing is difficult….and a lot of times when you think you’ve got it…you don’t. Hire a good coach. They’ll be able to make proper adjustments and usually aren’t that expensive (well worth the cost…I should say). To find a coach surf through some of our other articles or just find your favorite bodybuilders that poses well and email them. A lot of the time they offer these services.