Workouts That Make Me Feel Confident in My Plus-Size Body
Posted On July 21, 2020
There’s nothing worse than a workout rut, and lately, I’ve been in a big one. Normally I work out one or two times daily, and that routine helps me feel strong, happy, and comfortable in my body. However, once in a while I get in a mood where I literally have no motivation to put on workout clothes and sweat. If that’s not relatable, then I don’t know what is.
When I get into these ruts, I default to a few of my favorite workouts to excite me and make me move again, and I’m about to spill my secrets.
Before we dive in I just want to note a couple things:
It’s OK to not want to work out sometimes! Even the best athletes take breaks.
Like Nike says, “If you have a body, you’re an athlete” and I strongly believe that my plus-size body can do anything any other body can do. That being said, in my mind, there’s no such thing as a “plus-size workout,” but there are workouts that make me feel strong and confident in my plus-size body, and these are a few of them.
Alternatively, this can serve as some at-home workout inspiration if you’re getting tired of those neighborhood walks. OK, let’s get started!
1. Cardio Dance
I really miss going to different workout classes; there’s something about sweating in a room full of strangers that really encourages me to work hard. However, I don’t know when I’ll feel comfortable going to a studio or gym again, so I’ve had to learn how to recreate some of my favorite studio classes from home—one of which is cardio dance.
I’ve loved dancing my whole life, and was even in ballet for some time as a little girl. Unfortunately, there was a point at which I started to tell myself that I was too big to be a dancer. I now know that dancers don’t have to be a certain size, height, or weight, thanks to Misty Copeland and all of Beyonce’s body diverse dancers.
I love dancing workouts because they feel less like a vehicle for burning calories and more like an ability to feel beautiful and in control of your body. I recommend letting your hair down so you can whip it around Willow Smith style, and wearing clothes that are comfortable but also make you feel sexy. Trust me on this one.
Here are some of the YouTube Cardio Dance workouts I’ve been doing:
2. Boxing HIIT
The first time I tried a boxing workout, I was having one of those days where I needed to let out frustration in a productive way. I booked the class, called my best friend, and because she’s the amazing friend that she is, we were at the Rumble studio in West Hollywood an hour later.
Listen, Rumble kicked my butt in the best way. This workout blends boxing techniques with interval training that will get your heart rate up. Moreover, the thing I love about these workouts—and the reason I’ve included them on this list—is because there’s not one way to accomplish your goals in this space. It’s all about pacing yourself and leaning into your strengths and weaknesses.
Bonus: If there’s something that’s making you upset, a boxing HIIT workout is a great way to exhaust the anger out of your system.
3. Modified Yoga
My first experience with yoga was so stressful to me because it felt like my body just didn’t want to move in the ways that the instructor was teaching. But, after a couple more classes and some different instructors, I learned that your yoga practice isn’t about looking like the people around you. It’s not about attempting to achieve perfection, it’s about finding alignment within yourself and with your body.
If you’re a practicing or aspiring plus-size yogi, don’t be afraid to take modifications. Use pillows, blocks, and balancing techniques to find your edge instead of being pushed past it by way of unhealthy comparison. One of my favorite yoga instructors once reminded me that, “When it comes to yoga alignment, the first thing to note is that poses don’t have ‘proper’ alignment, bodies have proper alignment. Each body is different, so poses should and do look different, depending on who is doing them.”
Pro Tip: When practicing child’s pose, open your knees and let your belly rest between your thighs instead of on top of them.
4. Interval runs on the treadmill
You know what I hate about the treadmill? Everything. I’m only half kidding, I seriously don’t know why I ever get on it. Running for long periods of time is not only arduous, but to me, it’s honestly kind of boring. So, if you’re like me and you absolutely abhor the thought of going for a jog, here’s a way to get in your cardio via treadmill without having to just run.
Start: Walk at a speed of 2.5 or greater for 2 minutes to warm up.
High-Knee Skips: At a speed of 2.5 or greater, skip in place. Start by hopping on your right leg while bringing the left knee up to your chest. Switch legs and repeat. Do this for 30 seconds.
Side Shuffle: At a speed of 3 or greater, turn to the left and hold onto the treadmill bar with both hands. Bring your feet together, then hop to separate them as you shuffle to keep up with the speed of the treadmill. Do this for 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.
Climb: Reduce the speed of the treadmill to a 3 or less, increase the incline to a 5 or more, and rise on your tiptoes. Climb this incline for 30 seconds before reducing the incline and increasing your speed.
Sprint: Increase the speed to a pace that feels like a slightly arduous running pace and sprint for 30 seconds.
Walk: Take a one-minute recovery break then start again.
Repeat these intervals three times for a robust treadmill workout!
I would say “Thank me later!” but something tells me that you won’t want to thank me directly after these workouts! I hope that if you’re in a workout pothole like I am, these help you to climb out and put in work. If you’re new to working out, I hope these inspire you to try new things, and if you have ideas to share, leave your tips in the comments below!