When it comes to the back double-biceps shot, the judges are looking at more than just the backs of your biceps. They want to see the width and muscularity of your lats, the thickness all the way down the middle of your back and the development of your lower back and rear delts. And, of course, they’re not going to overlook your glutes, hamstrings or calves.
Because they’re all muscles that you can’t see, posing to show them off becomes a little more difficult. I suggest you practice with a double mirror and memorize the way it feels when you hit the pose just right. You don’t have a mirror onstage, so you really should memorize how all of your poses feel.
The first thing to do is to position yourself. Place one leg behind you and slightly to the side as you flex your calf. Support your weight on the other leg. Point your toes slightly outward to give your quads more sweep. You want to flex from your calves up. Start with the lower legs, then flex your hamstrings, then glutes.
The lower back presents a quandry. You flex your lower back by arching your back; however, it’s very difficult to arch your back while you’re contracting your glutes. You have to make a choice. If you’ve got a good lower back, arch it slightly’the key word being slightly. If you have striated glutes, squeeze them together instead. With practice you may be able to flex both bodyparts at the same time.
The final move is to bring your arms into the double-biceps position. Your arms should be parallel or just higher than parallel to the floor. Don’t pull your arms forward or your rear delts will relax. You want to form a straight line from elbow to elbow. I always try to hold my arms slightly behind my upper body and force my shoulder blades down, rather than together, which sacrifices width. Also, remember to hide your thumbs inside your palms. My final suggestion is to angle your forearms forward or back, depending on your physique. If your biceps are weak, angle them back to show more biceps. If your triceps are weak, angle your forearms forward to show more triceps.
Here’s a rundown of my suggestions for hitting a perfect back double-biceps pose:
1) Position yourself with your weight balanced on the sole of one foot, with the other leg back and to the side.
2) Flex your calves and your hamstrings, then either squeeze your glutes or arch your back.
3) Bring your arms into a double-biceps position, forming a straight line from elbow to elbow and contracting your rear delts.
4) Force your shoulders down to spread your shoulder blades while holding your arms parallel or just above parallel to the floor.
5) Angle your forearms forward or backward to emphasize more biceps or triceps.
Editor’s note: To contact Russ Testo for exhibitions, posing seminars or personal posing choreography via videotape, write to 3 Oxford Road, Troy, NY 12180; call (518) 274-0952; or send e-mail to [email protected] IM