What’s a body positive workout?

Note: This blog was originally published on my old website on 6/28/2017

A body positive workout is a way of moving your body that feels good – It’s really that simple!

We hear over and over that to get an “effective workout” we have to push ourselves till we puke, burn as many calories as possible, and build long, lean muscles.

But exercise doesn’t need to be punishment for what you ate, nor does it need to change your body.

It’s ok to exercise just because it feels good!

With an open mind and some experimentation, you too can find ways of moving that help you take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Below is a strength workout using your own body as the resistance; walking, yoga, dance or any activity you enjoy can be a body positive workout too.

BoPo Strength Workout

Prisoner Squat

Strengthens your lower body muscles (quads, glutes, hamstrings), and because your arms keep your torso upright, it also strengthens your mid and upper back muscles (rhomboids, lats, traps, spinal erectors)


When performed with a neutral spine (no butts sagging or up in the sky!), pushups strengthen both your upper body (chest and shoulders) and your core muscles.

Single Leg Deadlift/Reach

This exercise incorporates both balance and strength elements. Start with a target that’s waist level, then as you advance, reach closer to the ground.

Bird Dog

An alternative to the plank, bird dog strengthens your core, while also working your glutes and upper back/shoulders. As you progress, you can try with your knees hovering 1 inch off the ground.


Beginner: Perform each exercise for 8 repetitions; rest 60 seconds in between exercises; repeat for 3 total rounds.

Intermediate: Perform each exercise for 15 reps; rest for 45 seconds; repeat for 5 total rounds.

Advanced: Perform each exercise for 20 reps; rest for 30 seconds; repeat as many rounds as possible in 20 (or more) minutes.