Bikini Wellness Division: Competition Requirements

The IFBB & NPC recently introduced a new competitive category, the wellness division, to the lineup of already impressive bodybuilding categories. Along with the introduction of the new bikini women’s wellness division comes the wellness suit requirements. and new poses. Not sure what the differences are between bikini and wellness? We’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in!

Bikini Wellness - Who Can Compete

The new bikini wellness division was introduced in 2020 for competitive female athletes. The desirable look and aesthetic goal for this division are focused around physiques that have a developed upper body, but a very muscularly developed lower body. The torso of the athlete is similar to the bikini division requirements, while the lower body requirements are more similar to the physique division, with greater definition and size specified in the thighs, glutes, and hip areas.

While any female can compete in the category, due to the larger muscle requirement size, it may be more ideal for female bikini competition athletes who have a more muscular lower body than the bikini division is looking for. It is also ideal for women who naturally hold more muscle in their legs and have a desirable look for the women’s physique level, without the desire to dive in that far, so to speak.

Wellness Division Aesthetics

The ideal wellness division aesthetic goal is a muscular, athletic body, with slightly more muscle than the bikini division and quality lower body development. Wellness competitors will have more body fat than bikini competitors and there will be a slight muscular separation, but no striations are encouraged. Abs are defined as they are in the women’s bikini division.

With respect to shoulders, they should not be as defined as the women’s physique category but should be more developed more than a bikini and just under that of the development of the figure division.

Lower body development should display separation with no striations. Full, round glutes, with a slight separation between the hamstring and glute areas, are encouraged, but again, no striations. Glute development should be more than the bikini division without being as lean as a figure and women’s physique.

There are no rules or restrictions on jewelry. The same rules that are currently in place for both Figure and Bikini divisions will be carried over into the wellness division. There will be no allowance for posing oil, but you can opt for getting ‘glazed’ which is seen in the bikini and figure divisions currently.

Bikini Wellness Suit - Rules

The good news for wellness competitors is that both the NPC Wellness division and the IFBB Wellness division both have the same rules and regulations around competition suits.

Here are those wellness division suit requirements:

  • All competitors must compete in a two-piece suit that does not connect the top to the bottom

  • The suit can absolutely be customized with bling, and how much bling depends on the athlete’s preference

  • Suits must sit high on the hips with no connectors

  • You can wear a competition bikini-style bottom that has connectors and will not be scored any differently if you do

  • The bottom piece should be V-shaped in the front

  • The top piece is the same cut standard as the bikini division suits

  • No thongs or T-back suits are allowed into the wellness division

  • Athletes are encouraged to bring two (2) suits to check in with

All suits will be inspected at check-in’s and it’s always suggested to bring a backup in the event that your first chosen suit is not approved. It’s also important to note that if your suit is not inspected, you cannot compete in the competition. There are no exceptions on this one. In the event that you decide to change your suit from prejudging to finals, and the judges do not approve that the suit meets the suit rules, you will be asked to leave the stage.

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Bikini Wellness Posing Requirements

There are four (4) different poses that will be performed at an NPC Wellness Division competition by athletes on stage. These are the front, quarter turn right, quarter turn rear, and a second-quarter turn right. Let’s break those down into each category, shall we?

  • Front Wellness Pose:

    Facing the judges, athletes will have one hand on the hip with one arm straight down. One leg will be slightly extended, which is similar to the bikini division front pose. The biggest difference between wellness and bikini front posts is that the front leg should be flexed and slightly forward.

  • Quarter Turn Right Wellness Pose:

    Similar to the side pose that you’ll see some bikini competitors present during competition, wellness athletes will turn, slightly facing the judges. The right hand will be on the hip and the left arm will be straight down. The right leg should bend at the knee.

  • Quarter Turn Rear Wellness Pose:

    Facing the rear, the wellness quarter-turn rear pose is the same as the bikini division back pose. It’s important not to lean forward too much, but to arch the lower back, pushing the glues towards the front of the stage.

  • Quarter Turn Right Wellness Pose:

    This is the same as the aforementioned, just with the other side of the body.

A major difference to note between wellness and bikini posing is that the NPC does not want to see the competitor’s arm off to the side with the elbow bent and the wrist bent upwards. You’ll see this done in the bikini division and is quickly becoming a very big no-no in the wellness division. Performing this will result in a deduction of points right away.

Women’s Wellness Division Height Classes

There are a variety of height classes for the women’s wellness division competition which include the following categories.

  1. Two classes:

    Class A – Up to 5’4”
    Class B – Over 5’4”

  2. Three Classes:

    Class A – Up to 5’4”
    Class B – Over 5’4” up to including 5’6”
    Class C – Over 5’6”

  3. Four Classes:

    Class A – Up to and including 5’2”
    Class B – Over 5’2” up to including 5’4”
    Class C – Over 5’4” up to and including 5’6”
    Class D – Over 5’6”

The same shoes and heels that are required by the bikini division are carrying over in the wellness division shoe requirements.

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