If you are entering a North American Natural Bodybuilding Federation competition, then you are going to have to learn the NANBF figure posing. NANBF sanctioned contests will judge figure athletes on a two-round method. The two rounds will take part at pre-judging and will include symmetry, physique, and presentation.
Symmetry (Left and Right)
Symmetry is the balance of the left and right side of your physique. Your left side should be equal to your right side in size and shape. Having an underdeveloped left side, which is common among figure competitors, can cost you points.
Proportion (Upper and Lower)
Proportion refers to how your upper body is balanced with your lower body. If your legs are not lean enough in comparison to your upper body, that could also cost you some points on stage as well.
Symmetry and proportion work in harmony so you want to be sure that your weaker side is up to par with your stronger side and that you develop your muscles and lose body fat overall, evenly.
Use Your Off-Season Training To Develop Your Symmetry and Proportion…
Overall Physique (The Fit Look)
Another point your NANBF figure posing will judge on is each competitor’s physique. Participating athletes should have a fit look, without extreme muscle development and deep cuts and striations.
While overall muscle development and leanness is encouraged, these should not be taken to extreme as seen in Women’s Physique and Female Bodybuilding. In addition, figure competitors should not come in soft. The judges are looking for the right balance of muscle and body fat, the perfect package.
Pre-Judging (What To Do)
Each class of athletes will walk on stage and form a line facing the judges. Once all the ladies are on stage the head judge will start to direct the judging process.
If there is a large group of ladies in a class the head judge will usually ask the ladies on the ends to step ahead so the group forms a semi-circle. This allows room for all the ladies to be viewed by the entire judging panel.
Each figure competitor is urged to stand erect with her feet together and toes facing forward. Once you get your feet placed correctly, flex your quads, move your hips back a little and flare your lats.
As you do this, hold your chest up high and roll your shoulders forward just a bit. In this position your arms should be out at your sides and hands held in a loose position. Keep your up, smile, and don’t forget to breathe.
The Quarter Turns And How To Do Them
At this point the figure competitors will be asked to go through a series of quarter turns to display their physique to the judges. As the athletes start their quarter turns, they always turn to the right, showing all 4 sides of the physique; front, left side, back, and right side.
By going through these quarter turns, each of the judges have a chance to assess the physiques on stage and judge them based on symmetry and proportion.
Quarter Turns to the Side
When competitors are posing on each of the side poses the heels need to be kept close together and toes facing the same direction as the body. Don’t go into some awkward pose. Just turn so your side can be displayed.
When you are facing the side of the stage you have the option of tweaking the pose to highlight your physique such as a slight twist to show shoulder to waist ratio. However, if you do not know how to tweak your figure posing properly, Don’t Do It!
Quarter Turn to the Back
The back relaxed position is very similar to the front pose, but this where you get to highlight your hams, glutes, and back development. You want to ensure that you keep these body parts flexed and posed for the judges. Be sure to move long hair out the way it doesn’t hide your back development.
Change and Compare
After the competitors go through their quarter turns the head judge will ask for position changes so the panel of judges and better compare the athletes. Usually, those with the top 3 placements will be called to the center stage.
In this new order, the line-up will go through the quarter turns once again so the top placements can be selected. The competitor line-up shuffle can be a one-time thing or it can go through a few different rounds.
Individual Presentation Stage Walk (The Total Package)
The stage walk takes place at pre-judging as well as the night show. Each lady will be judged individually. During the stage walk athletes will be scored based on:
Appearance: skin color, tone, and complexion
Style: suit cut, heels and grooming
Stage Presence: walking, grace, posing, appeal, and confidence
Figure Posing Suit and Heels (And the Extras)
Figure competitors will wear a two-piece figure posing suit complete with high heels. Suits may be highlighted with rhinestones, sequences, and sparkles. Jewelry is also encouraged.
Be sure that your suit, figure posing heels, and accessories compliment one another and your physique.
The T-Walk (What You Need to Know)
For NANBF figure posing, each athlete will take part in the T walk on stage. Her name and any provided details will be announced by the MC during her walk. Background music will be provided by the contest promoter.
The figure participants will begin the T walk in the middle of the back of the stage. From that point she will walk to the front of the stage and turn left without stopping, and walk to the end of the end of the stage and pose for a second.
From there she will walk across the stage to the other end. When she reaches the other side of the stage she will again stop and pose for a second.
From there the competitor will walk to the center of the stage, stop and pose for a second. Lastly, the athlete will wall off the stage diagonally to the side from where she entered (or to the back of the stage) and exit.
No worries on the T walk. Promoters will have each of the 4 stops marked for you on stage. Please keep in mind that your figure posing should be tasteful and should compliment your physique. Avoid going into bodybuilding poses, as it’s a figure competition.
How To Bring The Perfect Package (Contest Prep Secrets)
If you are really serious about taking part in a contest you need to get in shape and prep the right way and learn the figure posing tips and tricks. You can find all the details of how to diet, train, pose, and prep in Figure Competition Secrets. Download it now if you want to win!
Karen Sessions – Figure Coach
(Article, NANBF Figure Posing, Written by Karen Sessions)