With 22.4 million women using the #GirlsWhoLift hashtag on Instagram, now is the time to celebrate the women who are showing us that its sexy to be strong and that lifting is a great way to be physically and mentally fit.
Bodybuilding and fitness expert Erny Peibst has compiled a list of the top 10 female bodybuilders who are seriously ripped. But it’s not all about chiselled abs, these women each have their own inspirational story, from competing in national championships to battling anorexia and alcohol addiction – they’re showing that hard work and dedication pay off and are inspiring women all over the world along the way.
1. Aroosha Nekonam | 32K followers | Instagram: @arooshanekonam
A small town girl from Aberdeen, Scotland, Aroosha is a fitness instructor and bodybuilder who can lift double her weight. She had suffered from anorexia, which left her almost wheelchair-bound, but today, the personal trainer and online coach shares her story and passion with over 32K followers to help those who are struggling like she once was.
“To me anorexia was like an abusive relationship with myself. I knew it was toxic but I felt I deserved no better.“
Follow her for…High energy athleticism and regular video posts documenting her workouts, Aroosha can help you kick your fitness routine up a notch.
2. Melissa Alcantara | 509K followers | Instagram: @fitgurlmel
From an unfit, depressed drinker who yo-yo dieted to training Kim Kardashian, Melissa’s extreme personal transformation and dedication to fitness have led to a huge social media following of 509K.
She put 70 pounds on during her pregnancy and could not shift the baby weight. After weeks of saying ‘i’ll start Monday’ she finally got into a training programme and took control of her body. She documented her dedication on social media and was approached by the Kardashians producers after Kim saw her personal journey and post-pregnancy transformation.
Follow her for…Everything from workout tips to before and after transformations to help you fuel your fitness journey.
3. Lauren Fisher | 931K followers | Instagram: @laurenfisher
Need a reason to pick up the barbell? Look no further than Fishers inspiring instagram posts.
At just 22, Lauren is one of CrossFit’s youngest competitors and is recognised as one of the top up-and-coming athletes in the US. In an increasingly tough field she advanced through the CA Regional again last summer getting her to her sixth Crossfit games.
Follow her for…Sessions that will seriously challenge you and tips to get more efficiency out of your workout
4. Krissy Mae Cagney | 405K followers | Instagram: @krissymaecagney
Creator of Doughnuts & Deadlifts, entrepreneur and professional lifter Krissy is showing more than 405K followers that its sexy to be strong. The fitness guru has dedicated her life to helping others seek fulfillment through fitness and is a role model for anyone facing addiction, as she’s now celebrating being sober for over four years.
Follow her for…Stunning photos and beautiful landscapes from her wild adventures.
5. Dana Linn Bailey | 1.9M followers | Instagram: @danalinnbailey
Competition is what she lives for. An athlete since the age of five, Dana Linn has played the field – first as a starting defender for West Chester University and then as the first women’s physique pro in the NPC/IFBB history. She is a pioneer in the sport of bodybuilding and physique contests, and has 1.9 million followers.
After taking a step back from competing she now focuses on her clothing line and the gym she runs. A fun athlete to follow she will always give you the truth, showing you the good days and bad; never holding back about lack of motivation just makes her more inspiring to follow.
Follow her for…A kick in the ass, her posts will motivate you even on your bad days.
6. Brooke Ence | 1.1M followers | Instagram: @brookeence
Raised by two hard-working parents, Brooke grew up doing gymnastics, softball, swimming and her first passion, dance. While training for the Las Vegas show Le Reve, Brooke took up CrossFit in 2011 and has since appeared as an Amazon woman in the blockbuster Wonder Woman and Justice League films.
Follow her for…Her transformative training program that will get you working up a sweat.
7. Katrín Tanja Davíðsdóttir | 1.2M followers | Instagram: @katrintanja
A native of Reykjavik, Iceland, and former gymnast, Katrin is the two-time champion of the Women’s Crossfit Games (2015/2016) and one of two women to be a repeat champion. She’s also just announced that she’s an ambassador for Reebok’s Be More Human campaign which celebrates women making change.
Follow her for…Just seeing those abs everyday will keep you motivated at the gym alone!
8. Bjork Odinsdottir | 114K followers | Instagram: @bjorkodins
A rare combination of strength and gymnastic ability rarely seen in lifting, Bjork is one of Europe’s fittest women. The Icelandic powerhouse made her début at the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games, placing 19th.
Like any CrossFit competitor her commitment to fitness is unwavering – follow her and yours will be to.
Follow her for…Daily stories revealing what she eats, her training regime and how she coaches are a source of inspiration for her 114K followers
9. Christmas Abbott | 696K followers | Instagram: @christmasabbott
A Big Brother star, fitness guru and soon to be mother, Christmas proves that women can do it all. At 22, she went through an eating disorder and was taking hard drugs but now at 35 she owns her own CrossFit gym and is the only woman to ever work on a NASCAR pit crew.
“I became the leader of my change instead of the victim of my circumstance.”
Follow her for…Her personal story – from battling an eating disorder and drug use to becoming a CrossFit trainer, seeing her results alone will have you packing your bag for the gym.
10. Camille Leblanc-Bazinet | 1.2M followers | Instagram: @camillelbaz
A cover-girl of CrossFit, this Canadian became the fittest woman on Earth in 2014 at the Women’s Crossfit Championship. Not just brawn, she has brains as well, with a degree in chemical engineering she is another example of a powerful woman who is inspiring women everywhere to go after their dreams.
Follow her for…Her motto is ‘strong is the new skinny’ and her inspirational captions will make you rethink your female beauty standards. For great fitness inspiration and the occasional cute dog post give her a follow.