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What are Bikini Competitions Judged On?

What are Bikini Competitions Judged On?

Dec 21, 2023

Dive into Bikini Competition judging criteria - Muscularity, Conditioning, Symmetry, and Presentation. Learn from Ms. Olympia insights, like Laura Lie's feminine physique, and discover pitfalls to avoid. Stay tuned for case studies and updates!

Hi Guys, in this blog we’re going to talk about one of the most searched and sought out topics, which is, the judging criteria for the Bikini Division.

We’ll break down and explore the criterias that judges are looking for as well as what you should and shouldn’t be doing to maximize / hinder your scores on stage.

2023 Season Recap: Navigating the Bikini Competition Judging Landscape

This is the perfect time to recap the Bikini Division criteria, as we’ve officially wrapped the 2023 Season. We’ll be using examples from Ms. Olympia, the pinnacle of our sport, highlights these criterias so you can understand clearly what the judges are looking for, especially going forward into the 2024 season.

These criterias translate across all Bikini Competition Divisions, not just olympia levels, so no matter what level you’re at, first-timer or seasoned IFBB PRO, if you’re a bikini competitor, this applies to you.

If it’s your first competition and you’re going on stage for the very first time, judges are still judging in the same criteria as set by the NPC and IFBB Pro League. So this is a very relevant blog for all you ladies out there trying to learn, trying to be your best competitor moving into the 2024 season with your own goals, whether it be to win your show, win a Pro Card, it’s well worth a read!

We at Competition Suit Shop want to provide the best, up to date, most in depth knowledge and support for everything Bikini Competition related so do subscribe to our newsletter to get the most comprehensive updates. You can subscribe by emailing us at

The Criterias For Bikini Competitors

Blue was the dominant color for 2023! Let’s see what y’all pick for 2024! Chanelle in her gorgeous Light Blue Micro Competition Bikini at the CPA Vancouver Naturals!

The NPC and IFBB PRO LEAGUE have four key criterias when judging female physiques across all Divisions (Bikini, Wellness, Figure, Physique). These are Muscularity, Conditioning, Symmetry and Balance and Presentation (Posing).

For Bikini Competitions Athletes should display:

  • Muscle Foundation that compliments or gives shape to the female body
  • Full round glutes with a slight separation between the hamstring and glute area
  • Small amount of roundness in the delts
  • Conditioned Core
  • Overall beautiful look for presentation - Hair, makeup, Competition Bikini and tan.

Bikini Athletes Should NOT Display:

  • Muscular density seen in a figure physique
  • Squared glutes
  • Muscle separation seen in figure competitors
  • Graininess
  • Striations anywhere

Nandini posing at Amateur Olympia as a figure athlete showing more Muscle Striations and Density as compared to Bikini Division’s Denisse and Chanelle.

What the Judges are Looking for: A Study of The Top 5 featuring Laura Lie

Let’s look at this year’s Ms. Olympia Bikini first callouts to see how the judges are judging these top athletes who are so dialed in they are on the Olympia platform.

Individually they are a perfect representation of what Bikini Athletes should look like and conforms perfectly to the NPC and IFBB description of “a nice hourglass silhouette that displays muscle fullness. Overall presentation that exudes health and femininity, as well as the correct posing for the division’ to the tee.

But there can only be one Olympian and even the best are put through the test with the criterias mentioned above. We can see why Laura Lie (center stage in her beautiful blue micro bikini competition suit), is scoring the best and placed center of the first call outs (which puts her straight in the top five). It’s because she has the most feminine body while retaining muscle mass that is not as dense, grainy or striated as her competitors - which is something the judges do not want to see in this division.

Issa (highlighted above in purple competition bikini) got the perfect symmetry and hourglass figure, but scored less because of too much conditioning in her physique, showing more cuts and denser muscle, thus pushing the limits of the Muscularity Criteria of the Bikini Division.

Amy (highlighted above in red competition bikini) scored less because judges viewed there was an imbalance in the Symmetry of her presentation. The upper-body is too big and in Bikini Division Symmetry is everything. It is the King (or rather the Queen) that will place you directly in call outs, so don’t mess up the Symmetry!

Stay tuned to the series…

In the next blogs we will dive deeper into more case studies highlighting what the judges are looking for when judging the back, lower back, glutes and legs of competitors. We will shine a spotlight on this year’s Ms. Olympia Jennifer Dorie (who successfully defended her title) and do a full breakdown on the top three finalists, and what you can learn from them! So stay tuned!

Curious about the perfect competition bikini? Explore 'Why Buying a Competition Bikini is Better than Renting It' in our latest blog. Elevate your competition experience and make the winning choice! Stay connected and stay tuned!

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