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POSEDOWN #8 - The Quarter Turns

by Brandi

In the final installment of POSEDOWN – how to perform the bodybuilding mandatory poses, we are going to take a look at the Quarter Turns.

The Quarter Turns consist of a series of 4 poses; the front relaxed pose, the rear relaxed pose, and 2 side poses (left and right). Bodybuilding Quarter Turns are not the same as Figure Quarter Turns, and the Men’s Quarter Turns are not the same as the Women’s Quarter Turns. First let’s take a look at how the men do it:

Below is a line up of some of the best Professional Bodybuilders in the world:

Body Building Quarter Turn

Starting from the bottom up, feet together and squish your back leg into your facing hamstring to try and “pop” it out. You can play with the positioning of the feet a little bit, as long as it is discreet and not super obvious or exaggerated you can have the toe or heel pointed out slightly to show more of either the quad or hamstring. Straighten your legs, whether or not you lock out your knee is individual, just pay attention to what it does to the definition and lines in your leg as well as thickness. Keep your hips and eyes facing straight ahead. Scoop your rear chest with your shoulder and bicep just like you would for the side chest pose, and rotate your upper body slightly towards the judges. Your front hand should be positioned around the belly button area. Try to bring the front arm behind you, in all of the above photos the competitors are maintaining slightly bent arms, but you may also straighten the arm by your glutes and flex your triceps. Just be careful not to cover up the physique with the arm, try and bring it to the outside of your glutes. Below is an example of a Quarter Turn with one arm straightened.

Body Building quarter turns for womenNow we are going to take a look at how the women do it. Female Bodybuilders, unlike the Figure competitors, do not often rotate their upper bodies. I have seen some do it, but it does not usually create flattering lines, the rotation often makes them look bulky and takes away from their femininity. Most Female Bodybuilders choose to remain totally side facing, so this is the technique we are going to look at. To the Left is an example of what I consider to be a very elegant and feminine Quarter Turn as far as Bodybuilding goes. The subject remains almost totally side facing, with both arms straight and away from the body. Some women choose to open their hands slightly, which can be more feminine, if you do choose to do this I recommend having your nails done and please be sure to relax your fingers, as having a claw like grasp is not pleasing.

The other 2 poses in this sequence are the Front Relaxed Pose and the Rear Relaxed Pose. Please note that there is nothing relaxing about performing these poses! They are quite possibly the most difficult of all the poses to do correctly. Before performing the Relaxed poses, I recommend brushing up on the Lat Spread because if you can do Lat Spread than this will be much easier to learn. We will start with the feet. The feet are approximately shoulder width apart for the men and heels together for the women. Toes are pointed outwards, and knees are pushed outwards over the toes to activate the quad sweep.  Stick your bum out slightly and squeeze the Glutes. Now if you perform a lat spread and when you get it, just let your arms come off your body and hang at the sides, that is pretty much a Relaxed Pose. Below are examples of men and women from the front and back. Pay special attention to the width of the stances for women, it is just my opinion that the wider the stance, the more “butch” or vulgar the pose looks. 

Body Building front relaxed pose

Body building rear relaxed pose

Female Body Building front relaxed pose

Female Body Building rear relaxed pose

The sequence is generally called out in a clockwise fashion. Front relaxed pose, quarter turn to the right, quarter turn to the back (rear relaxed pose), quarter turn to the right (side facing stage right), and quarter turn to the front again. It is a good idea to master all of these poses for when the other mandatories are being called as well. It looks more professional and polished to hit a relaxed pose or quarter turn (depending on which way you are facing) in between call outs than to just stand there and let your physique sag. For example, the head judge will call out "face the rear of the stage", you turn around and BAM hit a rear relaxed pose. Then the judge will call "back double biceps" or "rear lat" or whatever they want. So you just transition from a relaxed pose into whatever has been requested, but you are always flexing, always posing. I hope this series has been helpful to some, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to drop me a line in the comments box below, or send me an email.