TikTok's 'Shy Girl' Workout Trend Is Perfect For Gym Introverts

Health and fitness videos make up a huge portion of the content uploaded to TikTok each day. Whether creators are sharing their favorite pre-gym snacks, demonstrating how to use equipment, or showing off their gains, one thing is for certain: viewers love wellness content. 


Consuming this content and acting on its recommendations are two very different activities, though. While we might all be inspired by fitness videos, becoming a regular at the gym is a challenging task. If you find yourself experiencing #gymtimidation, you're not alone. A study suggested that up to half of all Americans feel anxious in a fitness environment when surrounded by other people. 

The prospect of exercising in a public space can be especially daunting for women. Among all the fitness content on TikTok are many videos of women catching creepy lurkers on camera. Fortunately, TikTok's gym content has evolved to include even those who would typically scroll past in fear. Introducing GymTok's new favorite trend: the shy girl workout. 


Shy girl workouts build confidence

If you've ever wondered how to get started in the gym, "shy girl workouts" are here to help. These routines are optimized for those who might be new to the gym, or less comfortable using fancy equipment. "It's essentially bridging workouts to encourage women to feel more confident taking up space in the gym," said Soph Allen, trainer and creator, in conversation with Stylist. The hope is that eventually these new-to-the-gym women will feel empowered to try out new machines or rank up to heavier weights


Content related to "shy girl workouts" has garnered more than 350 million views on TikTok. Videos like one from Emily Hottinger show off moves and reps that can be completed "without even moving from one corner of the gym." 

These introductory routines and encouragement have been game-changing for many women. Speaking with Women's Health, Sarah Bannerman shared, "I'd always felt like I was the only one who has no idea what they're doing, so seeing millions of women doing their own shy girl workouts on TikTok made me feel better." 

How to overcome 'gymtimidation'

Shy girl workouts might motivate you to take on the gym for the first time, but they won't completely eliminate the fear. As you begin your fitness journey, it's essential to remember that your feelings are valid and you're not alone. HuffPost sat down with psychologist Erika Vivyan, who noted that, during the pandemic, people became used to avoiding strangers. "Our comfort zone shrunk down to our at-home gym or small group," she explained. "We have to build up that comfort zone by expanding it again." 


There are many small things you can do to get back into working out after time away. Creating a routine and being able to visualize where you'll stand in the gym and what equipment you'll use is helpful. If you're able to go to the gym at the same time each week or day, you'll likely begin to see familiar faces and won't have to confront strangers each visit. 

Remember: the gym is about personal growth and wellness. Everyone's focused on their own journey, and those buff gym regulars can serve as inspiration, not intimidation!