Judge's Table: Relax, You Got This

How to make every second count when you're onstage, and pointers on picking the suit that suits you best.
Per Bernal

 QUESTION 

DO YOU HAVE ANY POINTERS ON “STANDING RELAXED”? I’M NEW TO THE SPORT AND PREPARING FOR MY SECOND SHOW, AND I DON’T QUITE UNDERSTAND HOW TO HANDLE THIS ASPECT OF THE COMPETITION. 

 ANSWER 

STEVE WEINBERGER

Standing relaxed” in the quarter-turns round of bodybuilding is actually a misnomer, as you should never stand relaxed onstage.

During quarter-turns, the judges are looking for the classic lines of a bodybuilder—wide shoulders and back tapering to a small waist. The legs should have a good quad and hamstring sweep. All muscle bellies should be full, a look that’s enhanced by small joints.

To emphasize these qualities, stand with your stomach sucked in and your chest held high. Your back and shoulders need to be spread as wide as possible without lifting the arms too high to the sides, and the muscles in the arms and legs should be held in tension to emphasize the size of the muscles and the separation evident in a flexed, lean body. All this must be achieved while keeping the face and neck relaxed and maintaining the appearance of comfort.

Even while standing on the side of the stage, while other athletes in your division are being compared center stage, you must not let your shoulders slump or relax your stomach. Judges are always looking, so posture and presentation are extremely important as to how your body is perceived.

The most common major errors made while standing during the quarter-turn “relaxed” round are:

  1. Lifting the arms too high to the sides in the front and rear stance.
  2. Letting the stomach protrude.
  3. Placing the feet too wide apart, which makes the body appear boxy.
  4. Not opening the back as wide as possible.
  5. Letting the shoulders fall and keeping the traps high.
  6. Dropping the chest in an attempt to “crunch” the abs. 

 QUESTION 

I’M ABOUT TO BUY A SUIT FOR MY FIRST FIGURE COMPETITION. DO YOU HAVE ANY KEY DOS AND DON’TS AS FAR AS WHAT I SHOULD LOOK FOR IN CUT, STYLE, ETC.? 

 ANSWER 

SANDY WILLIAMSON

Most important, I would simply look for a suit with a cut that fits your particular physique. For example, if your torso is a little long and your legs are shorter, you want your suit cut higher to make your legs appear longer.

Also, under the bright stage lights, pastels often get washed out, so I think a general rule to keep in mind is to go for the darker shades, since you want to create a contrast to your overall coloring— your hair, makeup, and tan. In addition, a little bling is fine if you want it, but too much can actually be distracting. You want the judges to focus on your physique, not your suit.  

Judges Sandy Williamson and Steve Weinberger

 FLEX 

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