While the front double is indeed the mark of a bodybuilder, it’s still pretty much an arm pose. The rear double is much more than merely the front double from the back. The back double biceps shot is actually a back shot. Coupled with the rear lat spread, these two poses essentially highlight half the body, from head to toe. Since bodybuilding contests are won and lost from the back, you could conceivably believe that hitting this shot right is going to account for 50% of whether or not you win the show. So, make sure you have this pose down before you ever even dream of stepping on a stage. For that matter, you have to have them all down before you ever enter a bodybuilding competition.

back double bi
Chris Nicoll / M+F Magazine

As with every other mandatory pose, remember, the idea here is standardization for the purpose of judging. While you should always strive to make each pose your own, don’t over do it. Hiding your weak points is acceptable and a little flair is ok, too much is not. Pay attention to the athletes who win and use them as guide for how far you can take it. And, of course, common sense goes a long way. Save the theatrics for your routine.

classic back double
Chris Nicoll / M+F Magazine

Hitting the Rear Double Biceps Pose

  1. As with all poses, start at your feet and work your way up. I
  2. Instead of both heels close together as in the front double, drop one leg back and slightly out to the side, with your knee rotated slightly inward. This is where you’ll present your hamstrings, glutes and calves. A lot of guys make too much of a show when they plant their back leg – stomping, rotating their knee in and out, running their hand up their hamstrings…. Too much. If you’re in shape, none of the crap is necessary. You’ll pop all on your own.
  3. Flex your calves (the rear one is heel up, the front is heel on the floor and tensed with the hamstring), squeeze your hams and glutes.
  4. At the same time, stretch your arms out to each side, pull your elbows back as you rotate your elbows and your fists coming to a stop just above your ears. If you have a Christmas tree, this would be a good time to light it up.
  5. Pull down slightly with your elbows as you flex your biceps, along with all the muscles of your upper and middle back.
  6. Finally – my pet peeve – TURN YOUR HEAD! Doesn’t matter which side, just turn it.  Doing so elongates and highlights one trapezius muscle and bunches the other up into a fascinating knot. For some reason, guys started omitting the head twist. Huge mistake.

Finding a top pro or pros you’d like to emulate here doesn’t always have to be the same guy for all poses. If you like the way Ronnie Coleman poses his arms, copy his posing style. Doesn’t mean you have to copy his lat spread when you favor Joel Stubbs’.

For stellar rear doubles, look to, Kai Green, Ronnie Coleman, Samir.

Jay and Ronnie-Dobbins

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Founding editor Bill Dobbins breaks down the bodybuilding posing rounds.

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