Today the fitness women leading the charge on Instagram couldn’t care less about achieving a certain body ideal. Their metric for success isn’t the number of abs you can achieve but learning more about what makes your body feel good and what makes you feel good in your body. Sure, exercises to get your endorphins pumping and eating in a way that fuels your body (which, spoiler alert, is not just salads 24/7) will remain a staple of the best female fitness accounts on Instagram. But as these fitness women prove, health and fitness are best when paired with a whole lot of self-love.
As the temperatures continue to cool, we’ll be spending more time indoors and will need to be especially mindful that we’re getting our heart rates up and stretches in—even if it’s around the living room. To help you get in the mood, we’ve rounded up our favorite accounts focused on promoting holistic fitness. Sound mind, sound body.
1. Traci Copeland, @traco4
The Nike Master Trainer and yoga instructor at the Broadway Dance Center in NYC is a pro at blending energizing movement into daily life. Whether it’s a quad stretch along the waterfront or a a playful high knee down the street, Copeland shows that being active is a lifestyle, and a fun one at that.
2. Joan MacDonald, @trainwithjoan
Age is but a number—and an irrelevant one—when it comes to fitness. MacDonald, who took up bodybuilding at 70, is a prime example of how changing your mindset can happen at any point of your life and that, while slowing down is a part of growing older, life doesn’t come to a complete halt. “People think, Oh, Grandma, what does she know? But you’d be amazed at what Grandma can do,” the 74-year-old icon told Glamour. The drive runs in the family—the fitness influencer is also the mother of bodybuilder Michelle MacDonald.
3. CeCe Olisa, @ceceolisa
CeCe Olisa and Chastity Garner Valentine founded Curvy Con to bring plus-size influencers and brands together in one place where they could trade inspiration and collaborate, while doing some shopping in between. Olisa’s account features a healthy dose of outfit inspo, relaxing with a glass of wine, and clips of her making sure she gets moving with exercise that never feels forced.
4. Nesrine Dally, @nez_healthhub
The Nike trainer and Muy Thai instructor holds degrees in sports science and biomechanics. Her focus on empowering young women through sports, along with encouraging young girls to feel confident in exploring the martial arts, is the type of uplifting fitness content we need.
5. Tamara Pridgett, @tamsgoinham
Pridget is a trainer and sports journalist who founded The First podcast, which features interviews with some of the top athletes in the world, like Nzingha Prescod. Whether she’s hitting the track or throwing punches in the ring, she’ll make you want to get up and move, stat.
6. Roz the Diva, @rozthediva
Self-proclaimed nontraditional athlete Roz’s platform inspires other women to not let the idea that only a certain body type can be active keep them from trying new things. Her honest humor and fearless attitude keep us coming back for more.
7. Oenone Forbat, @oenone
Podcaster Oenone Forbat (she’s behind the wildly popular Adulting show on Apple) originally started her IG account to document her weight-loss journey. But after years spent grappling with body image and eating disorders, it has evolved, like her approach, into a platform for holistic fitness and mental health, with a heavy dash of humor.
8. Tally Rye, @Tally Rye
Tally Rye’s approach to fitness starts with the mind. She prioritizes intuition and health first, encouraging followers to be gentle with themselves along their fitness journey and listen to their body—feeling tired doesn’t make you lazy! With all the pandemic fatigue, this is an approach we can all get behind.
9. Latoya Shauntay Snell, @iamlshauntay
A chef, activist, and fitness guru, Latoya Shauntay Snell is all about looking out for your body’s needs while eating well. Her Swedish meatballs and blackened fish and shrimp tacos make for the perfect recovery meals.
10. Britney Vest, @fittybritttty
Britney Vest performs quick HIIT routines to get your muscles fired up, all while boosting your energy and self-esteem. She founded WVVY, a size-inclusive fitness brand that has plenty of cute threads—think leopard print, metallics, and colorful plaid—to have you looking good along the way.
11. Jessamyn Stanley, @mynameisjessamyn
Jessamyn Stanley is one of the OGs when it comes to creating an online community to spread body positivity in a fitness world where being plus-size wasn’t exactly welcome. She’s also the founder of The Underbelly, a series of virtual yoga classes, and author of Everybody Yoga.
12. Mikelina Yonas Belaineh, @mickey.belaineh
Mikelina Yonas Belaineh is a nonbinary powerhouse—and not just because they have been powerlifting for years. The athlete also holds degrees from Texas A&M and Harvard Law and is the director of criminal justice law and policy at the Last Prisoner Project.
13. Ariel Belgrave, @gymhooky
When lockdown first hit, Ariel Belgrave’s Zoom workouts kept me moving when I could have easily spent hours just lying down in existential dread. A key part of her practice is coupling exercise with nutritious meals that are easy to make without skimping on the flavor.
14. Julia Parzyck, @fitfatandallthat
Julia Parzyck is an eating disorder recovery coach. Knowing firsthand how challenging eating disorders can be to overcome, her account offers a refreshing take on healing and self-care. We can’t help but share in the genuine enthusiasm she exudes while working out and spending time with her friends and loved ones. It’s the inner glow for us.
15. Jaimmy Koroma, @jaimmykoroma
Jaimmy Koroma, an art director from Austin, can’t help but stand out thanks to her love of bold colors and inspiring confidence. As she reminds us, normal bodies have lumps, bumps, rolls, and jiggles: “It’s common. It’s usual. It’s normal.” Amen.
16. Jesse Benjamin, @melgignatfit
What image comes to mind when you think of a fitness influencer? Or a woman on a wellness and health journey? Jess Benjamin is on a quest to dispel any notion that limits your potential to live your truth while promoting Indigenous visibility in the fitness space.
17. Bri Hamlet, @justbrifree
You can catch this health educator and yoga teacher practicing in front of some pretty scenic views. Let Bri guide you on a holistic journey to greater flexibility with the added bonus of a visual vacation.
18. Raquel Benitah, @bettersorethansorry
This nutritionist in training is all about documenting her life in the health and fitness world as a curvy girl. Colorful, printed, and bold, Benitah’s workout gear is just as fun as her bubbly personality, so you’ll definitely want to tap in if you’re looking for the perfect leggings to match your fitness routine.
19. Minh-Thu, @minhtwo
Minh-Thu is another dancer who turns the streets into her personal studio. The captured movements the athlete shares are a reminder that our bodies are truly the greatest works of art.
20. Sarah Taylor, @the.sarahtaylor
Sarah Taylor is a plus-size model and fitness instructor who wants you to look in the mirror and know your worth. She’s also a motivational speaker, so all her posts leave you ready to kick off a new goal thanks to her charged-up energy.
21. Kanoa Greene, @kanoagreene
Kanoa Green doesn’t just promote a healthy, balanced lifestyle and lead virtual movement classes. She is also the founder of Plus-Size Adventure Retreats, through which she offers people the chance to switch up their views to uncover new perspectives on self and acceptance. Next up on the travel list? A surf retreat in Oahu come 2021.
22. Sarah Boatright, @sarahboatright
Sarah Boatright is a personal trainer and fitness instructor offering socially distanced workouts that are accessible regardless of your financial circumstances. The pandemic has called in to question job security and income for many, and money shouldn’t be a barrier to exercising your right to a healthy lifestyle.
23. Erica Jasmine Moon, @decolonizemovement
Erica Jasmine Moon is a fitness instructor on the path to further decolonize the wellness space. She frequently calls into question the stereotypes that serve to undermine our ability to love our bodies and where we come from, all while encouraging PoC to get up and get moving.
24. Angelica Coleman, @angieidunno
Need the mental cleanse of the great outdoors? If you can’t safely venture out just yet, take a look at Angelica Coleman’s mountain-packed feed. The social community manager posts quick and easy workouts, sometimes with the help of their partner and friends, so you can follow along wherever you are.
25. Teresa Ellis, @pilatesbarreandjams
Teresa Ellis is the founder of Pilates Barre + Jams, a studio “centering BIPOC, Queer, Fat identified, Trans & Sex Workers.” If there’s one takeaway Ellis wants you to have while you scroll, it’s that everybody is welcome on this journey and she’s here to support.
26. Alycia, @thefunsizedyogi
The Fun Sized Yogi’s page is minimal, but that’s what makes her yoga poses all the more striking. You’ll find yourself mesmerized by the grace and form of the human body. You won’t find preachy rhetoric here, just a yoga instructor who wants to inspire you to explore your limits while enjoying every moment of it.
27. Nicole Ruach, @nicolemruach
Nicole Ruach is one of the fitness influencers pushing us to honor our bodies and to strive for gaining strength, not losing weight. And we can’t get enough of it.
28. Tiffany Ima, @tiffanyima
Tiffany Ima is a wellness content creator, meaning she creates exactly what you need to feel inspired on your journey to a healthier lifestyle. Let her remind you that there isn’t one way to “look healthy”—healthy humans come in all shapes and sizes.
29. Jessica F., @alltherightbites
Jessica F. is a holistic nutritional coach, and her page is filled to the brim with mouth-watering dishes and savory treats—think cheesy stuffed tomatoes and chocolate sea salt cookie dough bars—that will leave you feeling happy, full, and nourished.
30. Sarah Greaves, @jetsetsarah
Sarah Greaves is the “stylish perennial” all about getting out there (when safe to do so) and enjoying the best that life has to offer. Luckily for us, she documents all her Technicolor experiences, which includes gorgeous hikes at Mount Scenery, paddling in Miami, and a 5K marathon run on an airport runway (a product of pandemic safety precautions) with a gorgeous blue skies in the background.
31. Amber Frazier, @trainwith.amber
Let this ATL-based personal and performance trainer remind you: Fitness doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Amber is all about celebrating those healthy fitness goals we make and ultimately achieve. Here’s to shaking it out and getting energized for the next session.