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UNITED STATES BODYBUILDING FEDERATION (USBF) BUILT BY ATHLETES FOR ATHLETES

FIGURE CRITERIA

Judges will evaluate competitors on the following criteria:

Posing/Presentation – Posing/Presentation refers to how well the competitor presents herself and displays their physique on stage as well as adherence to USBF posing guidelines. Competitors should present themselves with poise, good posture and confidence and should utilize posing that enhances their physique (i.e. no overly pointed elbows, arms too far from midline of body, or inability to display symmetry. Competitors should be able to quickly and smoothly transition between poses.

Symmetry – Symmetry refers to the evenness of development of the competitor’s physique and how well the parts of the physique flow together. It includes the balance and proportion of the competitor from side to side, top to bottom and front to back. Symmetry is a measurement of evenness of development between all muscle groups and proportion when viewed from all sides. No body part or muscle group should stand out from the rest.

Muscularity – Muscularity refers to muscle size and development relative to the competitor’s frame, including shape and size. The level of muscularity is determined by the extent of development in relation to the size of the competitor’s skeletal structure. Also to be considered is the shape and contour of the developed muscle and muscle groups. Figure competitors should display: 

  • A degree of muscularity greater than bikini but less than women’s physique is sought; however, excessive mass is not desired.

  • Well-defined muscles that flow evenly.

  • Round, full delts that flow into the biceps and triceps.

  • A taper in the lats flowing into the oblique with fluid lines into the sweep of the upper thigh.

  • Visible quad development.

  • Visible hamstring development.

  • Full, round, firm glutes

 

Conditioning – Conditioning refers to the level of differentiation between adjacent muscles delineating sections or fibers within the same muscle group and the degree of firmness (hardness) of muscle tone.  Leanness is important but an overly dieted appearance is neither advantageous nor desirable. Figure competitors should display: 

  • In general, the figure physique should demonstrate visible muscle separation and conditioning without striations including:

  • Visible abdominal separation

  • Visible separation between delts, biceps and triceps

  • Visible quad/hamstring separation

  • Round, firm glutes with visible tie-in to hamstrings

  • These words can be helpful to assess what should not be descriptive to the ideal physiques in this division: Ripped, shredded, peeled, striated, dry, diced, hard, vascular, grainy, massive, thick, dense, etc.

  • Note: Figure competitors should not display deeply drawn-in faces or stringy-looking muscularity (an emaciated look).

 

Round 1 - Group Comparisons:
Each class is brought out to front center stage as a group and guided through quarter turns to display their physique from all sides.

FRONT QUARTER TURN – This front pose should have the competitor facing front with hands near her side and the heels together. Toes can angle out slightly. Hands should remain at the side.

SIDE QUARTER TURN – Hips should face the side of the stage, upper body can have a slight twist enough to show the rear shoulder. Eyes and toes and should face the side of the stage. Both feet must be flat on the floor. Hand should extend away from the body. The head judge can correct over exaggeration. 

 

REAR QUARTER TURN – Same as the front pose except the competitor is facing the rear or back of stage. Competitor may want to move hair as not to block the judges view of the competitor’s back.

 

Round 2 - Individual Presentation:

Competitors walk out to music of their choice and perform a “T” walk (amateurs are allowed up to 60 seconds while Pros are allowed up to 90 seconds). A T-walk consists of walking out to rear center stage and pausing briefly in a pose of choice. Competitors then walk up to front center stage to pose briefly, then walk to stage left and pose briefly, then walk to stage right and pose briefly, then walk to the front center of the stage and pose briefly, and finally walk off stage diagonally to the side (as instructed by staff). The walk resembles a “T”, which is how it got its name. 

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