ANBF Figure Guidelines

Competitor Rules

Figure competitors will be judged in two-piece suits and clear high heels. Suits may be of any color, pattern, and style. Suit should cover at least 30% of the glutes and should crisscross over the lower back, with the straps hooked into the bottoms. Suits should be in good taste; no thongs/T-back bottoms will be permitted. ANBF promoters reserve the right to disqualify a competitor from competing in a specific show if their suit is inappropriate. Competitors are advised to bring two suits to check-in to avoid this. Jewelry and hair ornaments will be allowed during all rounds of judging. 

Judging Criteria

Judges will evaluate competitors on the following criteria:

Posing/Presentation – Posing/Presentation score is a measurement of how well the competitor presents herself and displays their physique on stage as well as adherence to ANBF 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 score is a measurement of 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).


ANBF Desired Figure Look

ANBF Figure Desired Look
ANBF Figure Desired Look


Group Comparisons

After the individual presentations for each competitor is complete, the class is brought to front center stage and is guided through quarter turns to display physiques from the front, left, back, and right. Quarter turn transitions should be fluid with no stiff, jerky, military-style or overly suggestive movements.

  • Front/Rear Stance – The front and rear stances are to be with head and eyes facing the same direction as the body, heels and toes together, knees can be soft, but should not be overly bent. Arms should be no more than 2 inches from the competitor’s hip (front and side) and should be relaxed from the elbow down through the fingers. Lats should be spread wide as to accentuate the v-taper. Shoulders and chest should be high, but not hunched toward the ears.
  • Side Stance – In the side stances (left and right), the head and eyes are facing the same direction as the body (to the side), heels are together or front foot may be shifted slightly forward of the rear foot (no visible space between the feet). Both legs should be straight and competitors should not bend one knee (front or back). Competitors may twist slightly at the waist, while keeping in mind that the twist cannot be overly done. Twist only slightly enough that that the rear shoulder (furthest away from the judges) can be displayed. The front arm (closest to the judges) must not be moved any further than the midline of the hip.

NOTE: Competitors who are overly twisted or not following other ANBF posing guidelines may, at the discretion of the head judge, be corrected. If the competitor fails to adjust when corrected, the judges are instructed to address this in their scoring. Failure to comply with ANBF posing guidelines will result in a lower placement in the presentation/posing round. Competitors are permitted to utilize other posing during their individual stage walks.


ANBF Desired Figure Posing

ANBF Figure Desired Poses
ANBF Figure Desired Poses


Individual Presentation Stage Walk

The presentation portion will immediately follow group comparisons for the class. After a class files off, the first person in the class will return to the stage to perform their individual stage walk. The competitor will walk out to music of their choice. The stage walk will consist of the following: walk to center stage and perform two poses of the competitor’s choice, then proceed to the same side of the stage they entered from and display two poses of their choice, then proceed to the opposite side of the stage where they will perform two poses of their choice. To complete the walk, the competitor will return to center stage and perform a final pose and wave/curtsy before exiting the stage. 

Individual presentations should be done tastefully and be conducive to a family atmosphere.  Bodybuilding-type poses and fitness moves (like push-ups) must be avoided. Props or costumes are permitted.