Because wellness shouldn’t be synonymous with whiteness.

By Kylie Gilbert
Jun 09, 2020 @ 11:20 am
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Credit: Bobby Quillard

Portrayals of wellness often center around women who are white and thin, but the space is as diverse as the world we live in — and it's time our Instagram feeds represent that reality.

Whether you're into yoga, running, or strength training, the trainers on this list are a valuable source of workout advice and inspiration. They're also sharing what it's like to be a Black woman in the fitness industry, and in this country, right now.

While far from a comprehensive list, these are a few of the Black female trainers to start following (if you don't already) and supporting by signing up for their programs and classes.

Jessamyn Stanley

Yoga teacher and body-positive advocate Jessamyn Stanley's advice will resonate with anyone who has ever felt out of place in a yoga class. In addition to her tips for practicing yoga at any size, you can expect stories and posts filled with Stanley's hilarious and honest take on a range of topics, from cannabis to being in a polyamorous relationship. Buy her book, Every Body Yoga, and listen to her podcast, Dear Jessamyn.

Traci Copeland

A former professional dancer and gymnast turned yogi and runner, Copeland offers a bit of everything on her IG, whether you want to finally learn how to do a handstand or run your first half-marathon. The Nike Master Trainer's workouts are available on the Nike Training Club app, but you can also check out her live-streamed dance cardio workout on YouTube and Instagram highlights for more at-home workouts.

Brittany Watts

Performix House trainer and Precision Nutrition coach Brittany Watts is always posting her impressive workouts on Instagram (like this one, where she thrusts 555 pounds... mind blown) — plus beginner-level workouts you can do at home using your own bodyweight. Watts also offers one-on-one FaceTime training, Zoom group classes, and nutrition coaching via her website.

Lauren Ash

If you're in need of some uplifting content at the moment, turn to Lauren Ash, a yoga and meditation teacher and the founder of Black Girl In Om, a wellness website for women of color. Tune into her Black Girl In Om podcast where she focuses on topics like self­-care and self-­love for women of color, and check out her guided meditation videos here.

Selena Watkins

If you prefer dance workouts over dumbells, Selena Watkins is a must-follow. The fitness coach and dancer toured with Nicki Minaj and performed in J.Lo and Shakira's Super Bowl half-time show, and has her own Caribbean-inspired workout program, Socanomics, combining dance cardio with choreography.

Ally Love

Ally Love has many titles, including model, adidas ambassador, host for the Brooklyn Nets, and founder of Love Squad. If you're a fan of cycling, you'll want to check out her classes on the Peloton app — her dance background also makes her one of the platform's most beloved instructors.

Monica Jones

Even if you have no idea how to hook or jab, boxing coach and Under Armour trainer Monica Jones is worth the follow for her workout motivation alone. Take her at-home boxing-inspired workout on YouTube and tune in for her free, donation-based live Zoom workout through Bash boxing, to help support Black Lives Matter.

Chrissy King

If you're looking to follow a body-positive trainer with a focus on strength training, meet Chrissy King. The fitness coach believes in the transformative power of lifting weights and is giving back through Women's Strength Coalition, a nonprofit that increases access to fitness and movement, through advocacy, education, and scholarships. King has hosted webinars about tackling the lack of diversity and inclusion in the fitness spaces and has a new course about anti-racism practices that you can sign up for now.

Jeanette Jenkins

Founder of the fitness program Hollywood Trainer Club, Jeanette Jenkins has worked with celebs like Alicia Keys and Serena Williams. Luckily, the trainer and health coach also regularly shares her easy bodyweight circuits workouts on her Instagram account so we can all reap the benefits.

Elisabeth Akinwale

Elisabeth Akinwale is an accomplished weightlifter, Under Armour athlete, and co-owner of @13thflow, a strength and conditioning gym in Chicago. As a five-time CrossFit Games Athlete, she also brings much-needed visibility to the Black athletes competing in a sport that has historically lacked diversity.

Lita Lewis

In addition to sharing at-home bodyweight workouts, fitness and life coach Lita Lewis also provides plenty of wisdom about sustaining your dreams, trying new things, and prioritizing self-care. Sign up for her online training programs and e-books and subscribe to her YouTube channel.

Roz 'The Diva' Mays

As evidenced by the video above, Roz is vocal about the intersections between fitness and race, wealth, weight, and more. In addition to personal training (her clients include "plus-size athletes, clueless gym virgins, and other misfits"), the certified trainer also teaches live pole dancing classes online through Body and Pole, and hosts 'organized rants' and 'formal tirades' that you can sign up for via Patreon.

Chelsea Jackson Roberts

You may know Chelsea Jackson Roberts as a yoga and meditation instructor for Peloton or a Lululemon ambassador, but she also uses her passion for education (she's a former school teacher and has her Ph.D. in Educational Studies) to create Yoga, Literature & Art Camp. The tuition-free camp offers a place for teenage girls to read, write poetry, practice yoga, and build a community. (You can donate or provide support here.)