Women who are looking to go into competitive bodybuilding have four divisions to choose from. Knowing what division one wants to compete in dictates the type of exercises they do and what muscles they will need to bulk in.
The figure division usually judges a blend between the physique and overall fitness. The women competitors are usually split further into height classes. For this division, muscle separation is expected but there should be no visible muscular striations. Their fat percentage is usually 8-12%.
The bikini division is also split into height classes. Women competing in this category show off mostly their abs and their gluteal muscles. For this reason, their poses are usually limited to the front and back. Their fat content is usually 10-14%.
The physique division involves showcasing the symmetry, muscle tone and flow and is therefore combined with some choreography routine. Muscle separation and striation are desired but not in excess. The fat range is 8-10%.
The final division is the Fitness category. The competitor here combines fitness and gymnastics. The fat range for this division is usually 9-11%.
Deciding which category to compete in is dictated by the current musculature and personal interests. For all divisions however, skin tone and shape is very important.