So here we are, about a month or more (depending on where you live) into stay-at-home orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Some days I feel like I’m good, and other days I feel like I am barely hanging on! Maybe you can relate?
It’s been a stressful time trying to navigate life during a pandemic. I personally rely heavily on exercise for stress management. Movement helps me get through difficult times. When stress in my life feels like a dark storm, a good workout helps me feel like I’m on the other side of it, where the sky is clear and the water is calmer. Lately though, relying on workouts has come with some obstacles. Gyms and recreation centers are closed, and finding space to work out safely outside can be tricky.
In response to the numbers of people who are trying to figure out how to work out at home, tons of instructors have come out of the woodwork to help others move their bodies and adapt to the new situation. It’s just another way I see the amazing beauty of humanity through this situation!
But because people of all body types are likely feeling stressed and looking for workout options, it’s important that we shine a light on some size-inclusive options for folks who may need it.
Some people appreciate the specialized approach of size-inclusive fitness so they can have options to work out sitting down or follow an instructor who understands how larger bodies experience movement and the potential spatial differences with respect to range of motion. Others might be more motivated by someone who resembles their body type producing movement that is attainable without diet-culture syntax.
If you are looking for fitness at home that represents size diversity, works for larger bodies, and celebrates size inclusivity across the board, here are 12 of my favorite options out there.
Get to know these beautiful people and their amazing services, all currently available online!
1. No BS Active
No BS (which stands for body shaming, by the way) Active is the project of Whitney Way Thore, the star of the TLC show My Big Fat Fabulous Life. If you’ve watched the show, you will see that her personality is infectious. No BS Active offers five workouts per week, all focused on strength, stamina, and confidence. You also get access to the No BS Active community. And through April 26, you can get a month free.
2. Yoga for Everyone
Dianne Bondy is a seasoned yoga practitioner and author of Yoga for Everyone. She’s also a good friend of mine and a fellow Canadian! Her inclusive approach to yoga empowers people to practice regardless of their shape, size, ethnicity, or level of ability. She shares a ton of free content on her YouTube channel, or you can buy unlimited access to all of her content at yogaforeveryone.tv. You will definitely want to check her out.
Cost: $15/month or $147/year after 30-day free trial
3. Curves With Moves
Jessie Diaz-Herrera is the founder of Curves With Moves and The Body Positive Dance Class. She produces step-by-step instruction to make dance accessible and fun. She offers both live dance and prerecorded classes, and they can be found for free on YouTube and Instagram, as well as on Patreon for $5 per class. I am looking forward to trying her next class!
Cost: $5 per class
4. Fat Kid Dance Party
Bevin Branlandingham says that she started the Fat Kid Dance Party after years of childhood bullying that kept her off the dance floor. But when she discovered body liberation activism, “the idea that all bodies are worthy changed her life.” She’s bringing that energy and those values to every video she offers.
Cost: You can buy four videos to stream anytime for $42, and for $25 per month you can get access to four classes every month: a 10-minute class, a 20-minute class, a 45-minute class, and a 50-to-60-minute class
5. The Fitness Marshall
The Fitness Marshall was founded by Caleb Marshall, whose YouTube channel has about 2.5 million subscribers. I love his workouts because they are fun but also keep you on your toes. I love his commitment to inclusivity—he features plus-size dancers and offers options for different fitness levels with his routines. Definitely check them out, they are super fun!
Cost: The Fitness Marshall has three tiers of membership on YouTube starting at $5; you can also find free weekly workouts in his YouTube channel
Joyn is a fitness app that offers fat-positive, joyful movement for everybody. They offer workouts that can be done lying down, seated, or standing and range from 10 to 20 minutes long. I have many clients who really enjoy this app. If you are looking for variety and accessibility, Joyn is a great option.
7. Big Fit Girl
I am proud to include my own fitness app along with these other amazing professionals. My app was designed to be weight neutral, body positive, and inclusive. I offer both seated and standing options and a range of workouts with various types of equipment for all bodies. These workouts are designed to make you sweat! The app membership also includes other perks, such as live coaching and workouts on Zoom. Check it out.
Cost: App access and membership to live workouts and coaching calls is $10 per month or $109 per year after a seven-day trial
8. More to Love Yoga
Rachel Estapa is the founder of More to Love. I’ve been a fan of her and her passion for empowering people to love and appreciate their bodies for several years. As she says on her website, after yo-yo dieting as a teenager and into adulthood, Rachel took stock of her life and realized she wasn’t happy. Part of her journey to body acceptance was taking up yoga.
Cost: Starting at $10
9. Decolonizing Fitness
Decolonizing Fitness was founded by Ilya Parker, who identifies as a fat, black, nonbinary trans masculine person. Parker is a physical therapist assistant and an ACE-certified medical exercise specialist with more than 13 years of rehabilitative and functional training experience. Decolonizing Fitness offers online training that is weight neutral (no diet or weight-loss talk), trans friendly (no gendered assumptions), and disability friendly.
Cost: Videos starting at $2/month
10. Morit Summers
I have personally just hired Morit as my strength coach! Morit is helping me build on my Olympic lifts. I hired her because of her experience and the physical strength she demonstrates in her own workouts. We also have similar body types, and that is important to me. Morit has been a personal trainer since 2007. She’s a CrossFit level 1 trainer and is a certified personal trainer. She currently offers a free weekly class through Instagram and personal training services through her website.
11. Roz the Diva
Roz “The Diva” Mays has dedicated many late nights at the gym to becoming a stronger and healthier athlete. Pole dancing is her sport of choice, followed by TRX, strength and conditioning, and flexibility. Roz’s self-proclaimed training style is to be your cheerleader twerking from the sidelines. If you are looking for an experienced trainer with a large dose of fun and hilarity, check out Roz’s online personal training and community.
Depending on which tier you choose when you sign up, you’ll have access to workouts, discussions, and check-ins from Roz.
Cost: From $10 to $30/month
12. Fat Girls Dance Movement
Fat Girls Dance Movement was founded by Cathleen Meredith, whose Instagram bio really says it all: “Trashing Stereotypes through the Universal Language of DANCE.”
I’ve been following the FGDM for a couple of years on Instagram, watching how Meredith is helping people of all sizes learn to move like the pros. She’s currently offering a daily Gratitude Dance Party live on Instagram at 9:45 a.m. ET. If you are looking for a fun and inclusive way to start your day, you have just found it.