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Dynamic Akimbo

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"I'm Barack Obama, and I approve this pose."

Keanrick: Why, your very posture tells me, "Here is a man of true greatness."
Blackadder: Either that or "Here are my genitals, please kick them."

This one is Older Than Feudalism.

The Dynamic Akimbo Pose is used so often in media that it's considered something of an Undead Horse Trope. It's something so Campy, so over-the-top ridiculous, that it's typically only used as satire or for characters saved by the Grandfather Clause.

The pose itself is used to draw attention to the upper body, to indicate how large, imposing, or confident the subject is. Once upon a time, this trope was Always Male, but female characters later began using it as well. In either case, the trope usually invokes an impressive, or large, chest along with powerful shoulders, biceps and abs. Sometimes, the trope may be done from the back to demonstrate that the character is so awesome or mysterious that their focus is on something or someone other than you. Women typically get a gender-specific variation of that which may be combined with Boobs-and-Butt Pose, where she does this pose, but at an angle where you can see her sexy parts.


Expect to see lots of this for any Superman Substitute. It should be noted, however, that villains often like to pull off this pose, too, when they're confident or intimidating enough to do so.

See also V-Formation Team Shot, where this is often used. Compare Badass Armfold, which has a similar, though not identical, effect.

Not to be confused with Guns Akimbo, which is about Dual Wielding guns.


    open/close all folders 
  • Metro Manners: At the end of her Transformation Sequence, Super Kind strikes a variant of this pose where she stands with legs apart, one arm on her hip, and the other hand making a V-Sign. This alludes to her status as a superhero, but the V-Sign makes her more cute and less confrontational than the usual superhero, fitting as her goal is to get people to be respectful on the bus.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Dragon Ball, the pose is both played straight and satirized.
    • Powerful characters, such as the Z-Fighters, often pull off the pose in true dramatic fashion.
    • Comedic characters such as Mr. Satan/Hercule, Captain Ginyu, and the Great Saiyaman all do this in a satirical, over-the-top manner as well.

    Comic Books 
  • Superman:
  • Shazam!: Captain Marvel, the rest of the Marvel Family, and even Black Adam like to pull this off.
  • Iron Patriot and Venom (Mac Gargan) of Dark Avengers do it in a team shot.
  • The Incredible Hercules, being a Boisterous Bruiser with a huge ego uses this trope very often, as seen in his profile pic on this very site.
  • The Cyberdemon does this in the Doom comic as "Doomguy" tries to "RIP AND TEAR" his guts out. Tries.
  • Nightshade is fond of posing with a grin on her face and her hands on her hips.
  • While Wonder Woman's most famous pose has her wrists crossed in front of her, she does like posing confidently with her hands on her hips as well as it really gets across that she has nothing to fear from an opponent's weapons, and puts her hand right on her lasso of truth.
  • Wonder Woman 600: In Phill Jimez's two page spread Donna Troy is depicted standing confidently with her hands on her hips.

    Fan Works 
  • X-Men: The Early Years gives a comedic example: Jean Grey takes this stance when Cyclops insinuates her driving skills are non-existent.
  • My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic: Lightning strikes this pose when dealing with a biker gang in Starpops.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Dev-Em adopts this stance to highlight how absolutely unamused he is when Superman and other heroes' sudden appearance disrupts his and his girlfriend's quality time.
    "El, you need to quit butting into our business without an invitation," said Dev, standing up and putting his fists on his hips. "And we aren't issuing any invitations to you!"
  • Humorous example in Worm crossover Echoes of Yesterday. Kara puts her hands on her hips when PRT's fashion designer tries to argue against her wearing a cape.
  • Rocketship Voyager. Captain Janeway adopts this pose when meeting the Hirogen, because as well as projecting authority it also puts her hands conveniently close to her holstered sidearm.

    Film — Live-Action 

    Live Action TV 



    Visual Novels 


    Western Animation 
  • Freakazoid! villain Arms Akimbo has arms that are permanently in this position due to his work as a model. One might well wonder how he manages to dress himself.
  • In the title sequence of T.U.F.F. Puppy, Kitty Katswell is seen doing this pose.
  • The Powerpuff Girls are known to assume this pose, most notably on the print material for their movie.

    Real Life 
  • The Renaissance era copied the muscular style of Ancient Grome and cemented this visual.
  • Circus strongmen were often posed like this on posters in the 19th and early 20th Centuries.
  • A famous study found that doing this and other "power poses" could raise your confidence and testosterone levels, but it turned out that the study had extremely faulty methodology and was non-replicable. Despite being debunked, it was spread widely enough that it's something of an Urban Legend.
  • The front lat spread is an established Bodybuilding pose and one of the eight mandatories in the men's open division, which involves placing one's fists against either side of the stomach while rotating the elbows and shoulders forward, in order to flare out the lats as wide as possible. Check out Lee Haney for a version with crazy V-taper, or Dorian Yates for sheer muscularity and width through the lats. Besides the lats themselves, pectoral and leg development also displayed. The rear lat spread is basically the same pose turned around to display the width and density of the back, as well as the development of the glutes, hams, and calves.
  • Il Duce himself, Benito Mussolini, adopted this pose at least once during the March on Rome. Given that Italian Fascism was built around male machismo, this isn't surprising.
  • Bethany Joy Lenz of Guiding Light and One Tree Hill has her hands on her hips all the time. Seriously. When standing, walking, sitting, even running her hands her glued to her hips. This trait has been passed down to her characters as well. The normally agreeable Joie Lenz (as she's known to fans) once refused to wear a costume that would prevent her from posing this way during a taping of One Tree Hill. Her character, Haley, was given a different costume to wear that allowed her hands to rest on her hips.
    • One time during an interview before an awards ceremony, some of her hair blew in her face and she kept tossing her head and blowing her hair, trying (and failing) to get it out of her face, never once taking her hands off her hips to do so. You could tell the interviewer was clearly getting increasingly annoyed with her and cut the interview short.
    • Another time when asked by David Letterman if she ever took her hands off her hip, she said "no" and laughed, eliciting awkward laughter from Dave.
  • Pedro Pascal often assumes this stance, and not just when acting.


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