Bikini Posing Tips

posing coaching in your bikinis for npc ifbb showsThis posing guide will provide you with the best bikini posing tips. After preparing for a competition and working hard at becoming a bodybuilding model or fitness model- knowing the best way to pose in bikinis will get you judged favorably in shows.

Bikini and Fitness modelling is all about displaying poise, confidence and elegance in how you display your body on stage. A great quote from Pro body builder Ed white says “It’s how you are serving your food to the table. The food on the plate could be amazing but if you’re serving it to the table without showing any character or any kind of control or poise, then people are not going to be impressed regardless of the quality of the food.”

Always remember, (depending on federation) only around 40% of bikini and fitness modeling is judged on physique! If this is something you don’t like then Bodybuilding would be a better fit for you.

Be sure to do your homework on posing – Posing styles and what is expected from competitors in regards to walking and posing is very different from federation to federation. Commit to your chosen federation, study previous competition videos and know the ins and outs of how your division is judged within that federation. Study these bikini posing tips and start your competition preparation off right!

How to Pose as a Bikini Model

i walk routine what to do guideTo begin with you need to understand the basics of how to look good in a bikini. Our bikini posing tips are presented here as a specialized set of techniques, which include:

  • How to position your body (How to stand)
  • How to walk correctly for your specific division/round
  • Where to put your arms, hands and feet
  • How to transition from pose to pose

How to pose correctly in bikinis is easy to learn if you follow the guidance of a posing coach.

Prepare for competitions such as those run by:


Tips for Posing in Bikinis

guide to posing in npc wellnessLearn the correct way to choreography a stage routine, stand, walk, turn and lots more. Understand your best attributes- and how to present what you have to maximum advantage with our bikini posing workshops.


What The Judges Look For in Each Pose

npc ifbb judge shows how to do front poseThe judges throughout all federations look for specific shapes. Therefore understanding and knowing how to stand correctly in this shapes is important when competing as a bikini, fitness or figure model. 

  • S Shape & Curve
  • Symmetry – Top to bottom, side to side, front to back
  • X shape or V taper – Shoulders then tapering into a little waist then back out to quads/legs
  • Stage Presentation and overall confidence

5 Top Tips On Posing

1. Relax

First, relax your entire body. When you are natural and agile you appear less stressed and more confident in your posing.

2. Standing

Take your feet shoulder width apart, push your hip to one side, keep your torso straight but not too rigid, place your hand on the little part of the waist with elbow out to the front, toes turned outward slightly. Now you have a basic stance from which to work.

3. Walking

As soon as you can see the judges they can see you so – game face on! When you come out onto the stage, be confident and walk slowly and purposely, always with a smile.

Make a stop at the first point (as per instructions from the federation), striking a pose then transitioning to a second pose which should lead you fluently in a direction to the next point to stop at.

4. Practice

You can always eat too much, train too much but you can never pose too much. The best way to learn and become confident with your posing is to practice. Use mirrors to begin with and then begin taking them away. Ultimately you should be able to feel how the pose needs to look. When you are up on that stage it’s the bright lights, judges and audience staring back at you rather than your own reflection.

Which Division is Right For You? Bikini, Fitness, Sports, Wellness or Figure?

This is a very important question that needs clarification. Body building athletes need to have a clear understanding of what the judges will be looking for the day they step on stage. Each different category has specific requirments on aspects such as:

  • How lean the athlete is
  • The conditioning of the competitor
  • Muscle maturity and development
  • Muscle separation The major difference between a model and a fitness model is primarily determined by how lean the athlete is.

Below you will learn the general criteria for each category. Therefore knowing you are entering the right division for you physique.

Bikini Model Category

swimsuit modelling stanceLearning and understanding bikini posing tips enable models to depict a picture of health to the general public however they must still have some athleticism about themselves. Models are not expected to be lean and defined though they must still have a toned body and good figure. Models are judged on:

  • Their physical appearance
  • Beauty
  • Body shape
  • Tone
  • Presentation
  • Confidence
  • Cat walk
  • Stage presence
  • Marketability

Fitness Model Category

fitness model from the anb icn competitionFemale Fitness Models are expected to be leaner than the Bikini Model category however not totally defined in all areas as would be expected in the Figure Category. The major difference between a Bikini Model and a fitness model is primarily determined by how lean the athlete is. Fitness Model competitors must have a very toned and taut body and leaner in the abdominal area than the Bikini Model, however still requires to have a womanly figure. Less detail and definition is required to that of a figure competitor and the delineation between the fitness model and figure competitor is the level of definition and muscle separation in the torso and limbs (both arms and legs). If a competitor has very defined arms, legs and back they would be better suited to the Figure Category.


Wellness Category

guide to wellness posesAs a wellness competitor you bust display an imbalance in symmetry. This mean that your upper body muscle development must be less that your lower body. Wellness should hold more mass throughout the lower region of your physique in the hips, thighs and glutes. Your conditioning The wellness category is only offered in some federations such as:

  • NPC IFBB Pro Leauge
  • IFBB Elite Pro
  • WBFF

Figure Category

symmetry pose for figure modelsThe figure model category is primary judges on their physique. Your physique will be mainly assessed on your overall muscularity. Muscle groups should be balanced and symmetrical. Your body should have a firm and round appearance. Your physique should not be either excessively muscular or lean. Muscle separation should be shown but without too much muscle striations. Although you will be mainly judged on your physique presentation is apart of your judging assessment including an athletes:

  • Hair
  • Tan
  • Bikini cut and fit
  • Stage presentation

Judging Criteria & What You are Judged On

Depending on which federation you compete with below is a rough guide of what the judging criteria entails and what you will be judged on.

Body Shape and Condition and Overall Beauty

The panel will be looking for fit, feminine contestants who display proper shape and symmetry combined with overall condition and beauty. Keep in mind this is not a bodybuilding or figure contest, so extreme muscularity and definition will be negatively scored.

Poise, Posture, Catwalk & Presentation (Including Hair, Makeup & Smile)

The panel will be looking for contestants who have great stage presence and a very marketable look for fitness and bikini modeling.

Apparel – Coordination, Fit & Proportion

The panel will be looking for contestants who best compliment the apparel they are modeling and therefore can suit almost any type of attire. In wearing a bikini it must fit your body type correctly. Therefore it is important to get a custom bikini suit made, or any theme or sports wear.

How to Active Your Lats & Perform a Lat Spread

Posing tips bikini comp contestantsThe art of activating your lats and posing your shoulders correctly is important in any category you compete in. This is because it helps to:

  • Create x shape
  • makes the waist appear smaller
  • accentuates the muscularity of you delts and lats.

This is one of my posing clients Katie. After 2 posing sessions with me I have been able to teach her how to accentuate her upper body development, in particular her deltoids (shoulders) by releasing the trapezius and lifting the deltoid to bring further symmetry to her physique along with width through her lats (back). In the words of Katie “Wow I didn’t even know my shoulders could look like that!”

Bikini posing tips were developed to suit Katie and have become part of her successful routine.

Fitness & bikini girls- you work so hard for those shoulders make sure you know how to pose them on stage.

Posing tips BEC PICMeet Miss Fitness model novice Bec and her incredible lat spread! This picture was taken in Becs second posing session with me.

This pose highlights the muscles of the latissimus group, which extend from the lower back to the sides of the torso. Being able to execute a lat spread will narrow the waist (as seen in the picture comparison) and bring symmetry in line from top to bottom in a fitness and bikini competitor.

To execute the lat spread correctly I worked with Bec and was able to identify:

  • The easiest way for her to execute the lat spread
  • Where her arms needed to be positioned to enhance the width of their lats
  • How to relax the trapezius in order to enhance the deltoids (shoulders)

If You Are Going To Compete:

  • Find out exactly what the judging criteria is for that federation
  • Go see those shows as a spectator for several different federations and see which one your physique, style, etc will fit into best
  • You have to decide if you truly have the athletic abilities to compete in a fitness competition


Group posing pic with logo

This is just the beginning. There is much more to female bikini and fitness model posing technique but this should get you started toward improving your understanding and confidence!

Bikini Posing Routine

You’ve got the body – now get the trophy!

bikini model posing tips

Learn how to look good in swimwear competitions! Train with tailored bikini posing tips for your figure, your look and build the competitor-crushing confidence you need in order to win your next comp! See our next bikini posing classes and enroll today!


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