5 Powerful Female Fighters on Instagram to Inspire Your Workout

Related Article
We Asked Two Women to Share Their Tips for a Healthier Ramadan
Read Article
Marlen Esparza
Photo: Courtesy of Marlen Esparza

If you watch professional boxers and fighters on TV, it becomes quickly apparent that they operate in male-dominated disciplines. But while fighting may be seen as traditionally “male”, there’s a growing number of strong women keen to change this outdated stereotype. And fighting – a term used here to refer to sports like boxing, MMA, Jiu Jitsu, and other martial arts – really is one of the best total-body workouts out there.

Feel like you’re stuck in a bit of a gym rut? Look to the many talented female fighters on social media for inspiration. Not only will they show you fighting-specific skills like sparring and kicking, but perhaps more importantly, they’ll provide a whole lot of inspiration for new and challenging exercises you can do at the gym.


Marlen Esparza

American boxer Marlen Esparza won bronze at London 2012, where she was the first female boxer to represent the US at the Olympics. From there, her career has gone from strength to strength – and you can be sure the intensity of her workouts match up to the level of her success.

She posts a fair few sparring videos on Instagram, and it’s truly amazing to see how quick her fists are and just how light her footwork is.

To keep herself fit, Esparza also works out using equipment like medicine balls and ladders. Her skipping-rope work might look insane, but it will definitely inspire you to give something similar a go yourself.





Estelle Mossely

Estelle Mossely is another Olympic champion, but she competes as a lightweight as opposed to Esparza, who is a flyweight.

Boxing is well and truly a total body workout, and Mossely shows how important it is to train and strengthen every muscle. This involves some exercises you might not have considered before – like weight-training for your neck.

Even if you can’t quite translate her French captions, it doesn’t really matter; workouts are universal.




Claressa Shields

Claressa Shields is the undisputed middleweight champion – no biggie. She claims to be the GWOAT (greatest woman of all time) and, whether you agree or not, you can’t deny that Shields is a boxer at the top of her game. She’s hungry for success – and the videos she posts on Instagram show the true extent of this.

Sure, Shields’ fitness routine might seem like another world to more regular gym-goers, but it’ll provide you with plenty of inspiration nonetheless.



View this post on Instagram


No slacking in my world! 15 days I will make history #Beast😈 #soontobeundisputed #claressashields #shieldshammer #GWOAT

A post shared by ClaressaUndisputedShields!!! (@claressashields) on


Safiyyah Syeed

One thing that is really refreshing about the world of female boxing and MMA is just how diverse it is. Safiyyah Syeed is a young amateur boxer from Bradford, England who also happens to wear a hijab.

She speaks a lot about the positive mental impacts of boxing and told the BBC, “Honestly, I could have the worst day in the world but when I walk through those doors, I just forget.”

A lot of the fighters on this list are daunting because they are seasoned pros at the top of their game. While Syeed is undoubtedly talented and fit, she’s also an amateur, so a lot of the workouts and exercises she posts on Instagram will be easier to achieve.



View this post on Instagram


pad work 🥊👏🏼 #hijabiboxer

A post shared by Saf (@thehijabiboxer) on



Jay Sanchez

If boxing doesn’t do much for you, there are plenty of other disciplines to check out, from mixed martial arts (MMA) and kickboxing to Jiu Jitsu and Thai boxing, which are growing in popularity and will leave you feeling just as sweaty.

Brazilian Jaydine Sanchez is a kickboxer, boxer, and MMA and Taekwondo fighter, and the workouts she posts on Instagram are pretty jaw-dropping. Whether she’s sparring with a friend or punching and kicking a bag, her videos are inspiring for anyone who wants to give a new type of fighting a go.

View this post on Instagram

So often I get asked how do I stay so positive and motivated all the time. Well, there’s days where I lack motivation and feel down, like I don’t want to continue anymore. (I’m sure we all had those days before.) This is where self discipline and surrounding yourself with positive people comes in. Yes, I know it’s not always easy. . Every time, when I feel like I’m lacking motivation or a bit negative towards my goals, I always remember why I’m doing it in the first place, I surround myself with people who work harder, who pushes me and want to see me succeed. (I even watch videos of industrious people and look for small inspirational posts.) . One small endeavour can make a vast difference. 😊♥️ . . Wearing @wildcat_official_ Fueled by @bodybywild With @sassyxshay . . #kickboxer #kickboxinggirl #choosekindness #ultimatewildcat #jay_al #boxinggirl #boxing #boxer #taekwondo #taekwondogirl #muaythaigirl #supplements #fitnessapparel #fitnessgirl #fitfam #girlswhogym #gymgirls #heavybag #healthylifestyle #happylifestyle #stonggirls #matiesgym #inspo #boxingtraining

A post shared by Alex Jay| Fighter (@jay_al__) on