By Janet Marsico

Slide55As we all are aware, the Bikini division is not only one of the newest but at present the most popular division that seems to have the largest amount of competitors at the shows today. This being said, there are quite a few areas I wanted to touch upon in this article.

Being not only a Stage Coach, Pageant Consultant and one of the most well known “go to people” in the industry with over 25 years experience, I have always had a certain mindset when it comes to posing and preparing my clients for their shows. For me, first and foremost, the most important thing is to always be as professional and positive as possible

”1 still, to this day, do not understand why the girls continue to do this.”

Slide56     As we all know, this division can be tricky because we constantly hear “these girls don’t train and diet as hard as Figure, Physique and Bodybuilders,” they “don’t have to work as hard” or the most popular one “they are just booty and boobs in stripper shoes” (to me that is the most offensive and improper one I constantly hear). And, for the record for those who do not know, Bikini competitors train, diet and practice their poses just as much as anyone else. They are not born this way nor do they have it easier just because it’s “Bikini.” All of these assumptions are way off and incorrect. In fact, you would be shocked how heavy many of these girls train and could run circles around many. I have wondered for a long time why people felt this way about us Bikini gals and what made them come to these conclusions? I can now see why, but still I do NOT agree.

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It seems that when Bikini first came to be, and I myself did the very first Bikini competitions with a few organizations, we took Figure poses and simply made them softer with more of a softer stance, and less of a “posed” look. There was one show in particular where a stunning Bikini competitor won the first Pro show with an organization and she did this rear pose with her elbows cocked back, feet crossed and glutes exaggerated by bending forward where the judges actually could see the front of her as well as the rear. This caught my eye and I knew what would happen next. The good old “domino effect” and the thinking that if this competitor won doing this pose, I too would be a winner. This is simply not true.


Slide57    She happened to win because her physique was stunning, her symmetry was properly balanced and her conditioning was amazing with very conditioned glutes. It was not because of that back pose that in my mind didn’t even accentuate or flatter the competitor’s physique. I still, to this day, do not understand why the girls continue to do this. After all, the back pose in any division is to display the back of the physique, symmetry, conditioning and balance.

Forgive me for saying this but the judges and audience do not need to see your front of your body from the rear pose. I think you all know what I’m getting at. Once you have one or a few doing something that stands out (even if it is distasteful), and if they place well, then all the new girls that are in the beginning phase assume that they too need to pose this way. The other pose that is exaggerated and actually hinders the physique, and is also not permitted in many organizations is the front pose where the competitor twists one shoulder all the way to the other side pushing their chest way out. This is another pose I find hinders the competitor’s physique and it also appears to look like a side pose, not a front pose.

I do believe that there are ways to avoid all the negative comments and impressions and that is up to the coaches to educate the girls on how to pose “tastefully and classy.” They also will be able to stand next to any other competitor and still be able to hold their own and feel comfortable and display their physique at its best. If more competitors clean up the poses, then more competitors will follow and create a new domino effect. First and foremost, I have coached many clients from all different organizations and I have them all do the same three rear poses no matter where they are competing. The difference is I only teach them tasteful and proper ways of posing.


Slide58     To show them the difference, before I even begin, I will show them the three poses that I do not like and ask them (while I am doing the poses) “would you be comfortable with your father, husband, boyfriend or significant other watching you on stage doing this.” I will show them first with my legs wide open bending forward and looking back shimmying my shoulders (which by the way most of the judges do not like the shoulder shimmy just a FYI). Then I show them what I call “criss cross” pose where I cock my elbows back and cross my left leg over the right and bend forward again. Then lastly I do the “t-footing” pose which is heel to ball, feet together, and then bend forward cocking my elbows back again.

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Now most of my girl’s reaction is this “Oh, God no, and if that’s how I have to pose I won’t be comfortable.” So you see, many are not comfortable doing these three rear poses this way but do this because they are not instructed to do it in a classy or tasteful manner. And that, my friends, is the job of your coach to show you. Now I’m not saying that there are some who don’t mind doing these three and actually want to but the majority are actually not comfortable and are relieved when I tell them that I do teach the classy and tasteful poses where even their grandfather would not be uncomfortable watching them. So how is this different, you ask? Let’s go over all poses as reference and let you know the different way you can execute them and feel very classy.

“Again, you do not have to twist completely to the opposite side popping your chest out…”

Slide59The first mandatory pose a Bikini competitor will execute will be “face front” or “front pose.” This is where the competitor can do two different front poses, the what I call “Betty Boop” or “left leg extended to the side.” Both of these poses can look very classy and tasteful if executed properly.

There is no need to twist your shoulders to the opposite side sticking your chest out. You can simply step your left leg extended to the side with the left arm hanging freely and right hand on hip. And chest facing the judges. Now I have a very special way of going into this pose as with all of the poses and cover this in my Workshops. But if you have a coach already he or she can go over this with you.  Again, you do not have to twist completely to the opposite side popping your chest out and do not need to do the shoulder shimmy. Also you can switch sides but don’t do this too much as it can distract the judges from seeing your front pose correctly.



JANET_BIO_NBM_SITEJanet Marsico | Contributing Editor

Janet  has been in the fitness circuit since 1991. She has competed in fitness, Best Body/Swimsuit, Figure, Ms. Fit Body, and Bodybuilding. She coaches for over fifteen different organizations. Contact Janet at – 914-391-0913 –


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