Contest Walk & Posing Guide

Author: Adrianna McDonald - Fitness Coach, Online Personal Training Coach, Bikini Posing Coach

For the past 5 years I have stepped on stage 10 times as a Bikini Competitor in various shows for various Federations. Each of them has a different rule when it comes to posing. Some are more relaxed than the others but they all stress the importance of posing.

My first ever show was under the Miami Pro Federation in the UK. Here I chose to prepare myself on my own. Diet and training was hard but I was (and still am) a Personal Trainer and so I already had some knowledge. Posing on the other hand was new to me. I watched numerous videos to see what was it all about and practiced at home but with time ticking towards the start of the show, I decided that I needed help from the experts. Boy what a great idea it was! The nerves on stage are enormous and you need to be prepared 100% so you look and come across confident on stage.

Only practice makes progress!!!. You should practice your posing as much as possible so you are able to do it even sleepwalking.

Most of the first time competitors admit after show “I wish I had practiced posing more”.
Some competitors may not have a winning physique but they know how to showcase it. This is where each competitor distinguishes themselves.

I had an opportunity to judge one of the shows in Dubai and see it from the other side. The way you walk on to the stage makes the judges either “fall in or out of love” with you. Confidence, personality and poise make you look professional, it‘s easy on the eye and makes you looked well-prepared.

How early should you start?

I say as early as possible! Again, depanding on federation, make sure you read the posing rules (they may change year to year) and watch relevant videos. You can then try and copy it for few weeks but I would say by at least 6 weeks out you should take some posing classes with an expert. The class may be 1 to 1 or in a group session. I suggest doing both to work on the specifics and to build up confidence around others. Still practise at home. Every time you pass the mirror – STRIKE A POSE.

If your gym has an Aerobic or other empty gym room ask when is it free, then grab your heels and spend some time posing. Record the videos of yourself posing., only then you will be able to spot any mistakes or moves you may not like and work on them.
Having videos recorded by someone else without viewing yourself in the mirror is another important tip. You won't be able to see yourself on stage and correct the body so practise that way too. Each posing should be done wearing your stage heels and crop top and hot pants or a bikini, this is the only way to see how your physique looks in those poses and the only way to make sure they are flattering your body.
Some say that Bikini competitions are won from behind and I couldn’t agree more. So make sure the back pose is perfected and you are able to hold it for around 1 min.

Please remember to never stop posing whilst on stage as judges are looking all the time and it is possible to be called to pose in a final group even if you are not initially called up. It may be painful to hold in the poses at all times and I remember being in agony walking off stage but this is when you know you have done great job and put everything into it!.

Another imortant tip – SMILE! Big and wide. There is nothing less appealling than looking stressed, uncomforatble or sad. You simply have got to look happy, and look like you are enjoying being there, having the best time of your life!!! And why wouldn’t you? You worked so hard to be there performing.


As I’ve mentioned before it all depands on the Federation you are competing under.

Some do an I-walk, others do a T-walk.

I-walk: Usually performed by walking on to the centre back of stage (with eyes on the judges or audience) and striking pose (front) followed with the walk to the centre of the stage (where it’s usually marked) and performing 3-4 poses.

T-walk: Starts like an I-walk but after performing 3-4 poses at the centre of the stage you would walk to your left and stop for 2 poses and move (walking with eyes on audience) to the right and strike another 2 poses before exiting to the back of the stage and joining the line up.
Now, this is performed either at the beginning of your category intruduction (Miami Pro, WBFF, Pure Elite, etc.) or at the end like UKBFF/IFBB where only top 3 or 6 girls have a privilage to do so.

Quarter Turns:
This is where most of the magic happens and this is where you are being compered with other girls. You will be asked to create a line starting with your front pose followed by directions to do ¼ turn to your right which means perform a side stand, next ¼ turn to the right so you are facing back (back pose) ending with next ¼ turn to your right showing your other side pose. Quarter turns are executed clock wise.

Front Pose:
It’s when you are facing judges. Tips:
Stand Tall
Pull shoulders back and away from your ears
Pull stomach in and lift your chest
Spread your legs wide and keep your knees straight

Side Pose:
Either left or right to the judjes. Tips:
Feet close
One leg bend one leg straight
Twist torso to face the judges (makes waist look smaller)
Keep your chest up and tall
Curve more of your lower back
Stick the tummy/stomach in

Back Pose:
Facing away from the judges. Tips:
Curve from lower back but don’t bend over
Keep your chest up
Legs straight, knees pushed back
Squeeze heels towards each other to tense the hamstrings

Freestyle posing allows you to place the hand wherever you like or pose with legs crossed, together, out etc. as long as it is flattering to your body. With IFBB posing it is more structured meaning hand and feet placement is crucial and mandatory.

You will be scored on the general impression of your physique including the hair style and make up; the overall body development and shape; the presentation of a balanced, symmetrically developed complete physique; the condition of the skin and the skin tone and the ability to present yourself with confidence, poise and grace.

In Summary you are judged on the entire presentation, from the moment you walk on stage until the moment you walk off stage you need to bring a “Total Package”.

By Adrianna McDonald

1st Miami Pro 2012 Bikini Tall and Overall
1st INBA 2015 Dubai Bikini
2nd UKBFF British Grand Prix 2015 Bikini Masters
3rd IFBB Amateur Olympia 2015 Bikini up to 169cm
3rd UKBFF British National Championships 2016
Bikini Masters
1st British Grand PRIX 2016 UKBFF Bikini Masters
9th (TOP 10) IFBB Arnold Classic Barcelona 2016 Bikini Masters

Adrianna's website:

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