If you’re one of the many women out there who has to psych herself up to get to the gym because you’re intimidated, you’re not alone. More and more women are switching to “shy girl” workouts for this very reason.
The trend hasn’t exploded by accident. It taps into a common feeling of “gymtimidation,” a slang term for feeling anxious and self-conscious in public exercise spaces.
And the shy girl workout is gendered for a reason. A recent poll suggests that at least 67% of women report having gym anxiety compared to just 35% of men. It’s all about not wanting to elbow your way up to the weight machines around the intense gym rats.
Enter TikTok and the shy girl workout. The hashtag #shygirlworkout has more than 200 million views and counting.
These workouts tend to be simple.
The focus is on the basics that can be done in one place — like core work, chest presses, rows, squats and lunges to build a solid foundation. If you’re new to the gym, try going off-peak hours to get a feel for the gym without the crowds.
One example of a shy girl workout follows: Grab a set of dumbbells, a few bands and a mat for this full-body routine in your little corner of the gym. Perform 10 reps of each and repeat for three rounds:
- Narrow row
- Reverse fly
- Alternating hammer curls
- Conventional curls to overhead press
- Alternating forward lunges with a twist to the side
- Romanian deadlift
- Overhead extension
- Chest press with leg raise
- Chest fly
- Planks (work up to 1 minute)
There are many videos out there on social media to help with your workouts. Long-term, it’s best to consult an expert to make sure you’re making the most of your workouts. You’ll want to increase your weight and/or reps as you challenge your muscles.
Having the education and confidence to head to the barbell rack or machines will inevitably improve your progress over sticking with shy girl workouts in the long term.
But it’s also important to remember that women don’t only deserve the corner. Once you are confident in your workouts, you may feel much more at ease and own the gym in your own right.