ANBF Women’s Physique Guidelines


Competitor Rules

Women’s Physique competitors will be judged in two-piece suits that 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. Women’s Physique competitors should display:

  • A the overall aesthetics and look that is found in a figure competitor, however significant level of muscularity which is greater than that of the figure competitor is 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.
  • Significant quad development.
  • Significant 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. Women’s Physique competitors should display:

  • In general, the women’s physique competitor should demonstrate visible muscle separation and some striations and vascularity including:
    • Visible abdominal separation
    • Visible separation between delts, biceps and triceps
    • Visible quad/hamstring separation
    • Round, firm glutes with visible tie-in to hamstrings
  • The overall conditioning should be intermediate to that of a figure competitor and that of a bodybuilder, with some visible striations.
  • These words can be helpful to assess what should not be descriptive to the ideal physiques in this division: Ripped, shredded, peeled, dry, diced, hard, massive, etc.
  • Note: Women’s Physique competitors should not display deeply drawn-in faces or stringy-looking muscularity (an emaciated look).

ANBF Desired Women’s Physique Look

Women's Physique Desired Look photo
Women’s Physique Desired Look photo


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.
  • Mandatory Sculpted Poses – Following the quarter turns, competitors will be asked to display each of the following open handed sculpted poses. Side poses will be performed on both the right and left side. At the discretion of the head judge, competitors may be asked to only display their favorite side for chest and triceps poses.


Front Double Biceps – Open hands displaying flexed biceps with one leg posted to the side and flexed to accentuate the quad.

Side Triceps with Leg Extension – Hips facing the right or left of the stage, with the competitor’s upper body slightly twisted to face the judges. The leg closest to the judges should be extended and flexed to display the quad with the rear leg bent. Hips should be pushed back and chest should be high. Competitors may hold the arm facing the judges by reaching behind the back to display the triceps or they may place the rear hand on the hip and twist forward with the arm closest to the judges flexed with the palm down to display the triceps.

Side Chest with Arms Extended –Hips facing the right or left of the stage with the leg closest to the judges extended and flexed to display the quad and the rear leg bent. Hips are pushed back. Arms are extended out in front of the competitor’s body with one hand placed over the other and the rear shoulder tilted upward to open the chest and display the chest to the judges.

Rear Double Biceps – Open hands displaying flexed biceps with one leg posted to the rear and out to the side and flexed to display the hamstring.

Abs and Thigh – Hands reached behind the competitor’s head and abs flexed (air blown out) with one leg extended forward and flexed to display the quad.

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 Women’s Physique Posing

ANBF Desired Women’s Physique Posing

Individual Presentation Routine

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 routine. Routines should be no more than 60 seconds in length and should be used to show the competitor’s individuality using posing, dance moves, etc. Routines should be done tastefully and be conducive to a family atmosphere. Bodybuilding-type poses and fitness moves (like push-ups) are allowed. Props or costumes are permitted.