Six Badass Black Women Who Are Changing the Workout Game

Six Badass Black Women Who Are Changing the Workout Game

Illustration for article titled Six Badass Black Women Who Are Changing the Workout Game
Photo: Africa Studio (Shutterstock)

One of the key issues we see in workout culture is the lack of representation. Many of the advertised programs feature white women—which isn’t necessarily a problem, except it doesn’t show a range of trainers (or culturally relevant bodies, music and styles) in the videos or classes they produce. It can be very discouraging to have to type something along the lines of “Black women workout videos” in order to get results—much like needing to type “Black girl curly hairstyles” into Google Images—and it began to feel like finding these trainers was going to be a task that was next to impossible.

But these badass women do exist!

Now that going to the gym isn’t really an option, a lot of health, fitness and workout programs are online—and a lot even offer a free.99 alternative. These videos live rent-free on Instagram and YouTube, which is a great way to ease into that (repeated) New Year’s resolution of getting into shape.

I will be the first to say that I don’t have New Year’s resolutions because I feel like I let myself down by the end of January and spend months after wallowing in my own self-pity and lack of follow-through. Rather than finding myself back there again at the end of this month, I decided to search out Black women who exude the strength and confidence I’m trying to embody in 2021. After trying about five or six different types of workout videos from different trainers, I was able to find a collection of programs that will be on a heavy rotation.

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Brittne Babe

Brittne Babe

Type of workout: Full body, broken down by target area

Brittne has nothing but glowing reviews when it comes to her workouts. Her most recent release is a “21-Day Challenge” with a new challenge each week. The program entices people to complete it by offering over $5000 in cash and prizes by completing the challenge of the week. There is a small fee to join the challenge, but it is a “no gym required” workout which is perfect for those of us who aren’t going to the gym, and the next challenge starts on March 23, 2020. Most of the workouts don’t require equipment; however, some suggest dumbbells or a workout mat.

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Keaira Lashae – superherofitnesstv

Keaira Lashae – superherofitnesstv

Type of workout: Dance

Some of these workouts kicked my ass. Granted, the last time I had done a dance workout was probably never, so it makes sense that I had trouble moving in the days following. Keaira Lashae or “superherofitnesstv” offers two types of programs: videos on her YouTube channel and a subscription service from her website. Lashae’s YouTube also has many videos that are health and wellness-focused, including clean eating. Dance workouts have skyrocketed since the beginning of the pandemic, since they both require no equipment and you can make an absolute fool out of yourself without anyone judging you.

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The BKBooty Fitness

The BKBooty Fitness

Type of workout: Pilates

Y’all ever watch the “Buss It” challenge and go “why doesn’t mine move like that?” Just me? Okay. But for real, BKBooty Fitness is a high-intensity workout that combines pilates with cardio and emphasizes tightening the butt, thighs, calves and core. Probably the best part about the workouts is the music. All ‘90’s and ‘00’s hip hop and R&B that lets you get really into it. Like others, BKBooty Fitness has both a YouTube channel with free videos and paid classes through their website. The videos on the YouTube channel consist of daily blogs, inspirational conversations and short, yet intense, workout videos. The website also sells small, at-home workout equipment and different 12-week exercise programs.

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Koboko Fitness

Koboko Fitness

Type of workout: Full body, broken down by target area

Kola Olaosebikan, founder of Koboko Fitness has one of the more populated YouTube channels since all of her videos live there rather than on a separate platform. She provides challenges on her website that are more intense and offer a greater number of perks, including access to an exclusive Facebook community. There are tons of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts as well as ones that target any specific area from calves to shoulders and everywhere in between. None of the videos require any gym equipment and are another great option for at-home workouts.

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Jessamyn Stanley

Jessamyn Stanley

Type of workout: Yoga

Jessamyn Stanley is a yoga instructor, body positivity advocate, writer and inspiration. Her area of expertise is in vinyasa flow, which is a more intense yoga flow that emphasizes strength and stability as well as breath work. This particular type of yoga is great for mental health as well as physical health because of the amount of time spent holding positions and then exhaling any pent-up thoughts and feelings. Frankly, I live for vinyasa flows but hadn’t found an online instructor that I could connect with until I came across Jessamyn’s Instagram page. She has IGTV videos with different flows and a YouTube channel that is organized by target area and skill level. She also offers personal yoga training and group classes on her website.

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Toni Mitchell

Toni Mitchell

Type of workout: HIIT (high-intensity interval training)

If I told you I felt like I had gotten hit by a truck after the “9 min. Fat Burning Morning Routine” I would be lying—because I felt like I had gotten hit by two. Toni Mitchell’s YouTube channel is full of different HIIT exercises. Some of the videos are as short as nine minutes and some are up to a half-hour. In addition to her YouTube, Toni posts photos or short videos on her Instagram page and gives viewers the details in the caption.

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