Home fitness has become insanely popular due to the COVID-19 outbreak. With fitness centers closed and social distancing restrictions lasting for months — not to mention, a heightened awareness around health — many have turned to YouTube for new workout routines. Asian fitness YouTubers, in particular, have gained recognition for their workout videos, which offer quick yet efficient workouts that promise results. Here are a few of the amazing women who have changed the fitness space.
Cassey Ho, better known as Blogilates, is an award-winning, certified fitness instructor with a focus on Pilates. Based in Los Angeles, CA, she is the creator of POP Pilates and the Pilates Intense Interval Training (PIIT) program. Over the past 10 years that Ho has been on YouTube, she has garnered over 5.3 million subscribers and 2.1 million TikTok followers. Her fun and inspiring videos consist of different challenges and workout series. On TikTok, she debunks fitness myths and motivates people to do short five-minute-or-less workouts. Ho has even created a Blogilates app that includes a workout calendar, full-length workout videos, and various fitness challenges!
Everyone has heard the name Chloe Ting at least once since March. Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, the Brunei-born Australian fitness model has gained over 13 million subscribers. Her “Get Abs in 2 Weeks” workout challenge video has over 200 million views alone! In addition to her workouts, she does reaction videos to people trying her workouts, and she also often recommends healthy and delicious recipes to try. Ting works to help boost her followers’ self-esteem throughout this difficult time.
Nicole Kastoun, also known as Move With Nicole, is a Barre and Pilates instructor and yoga/fitness enthusiast from Australia. Her workouts are of much lower intensity, and she strives to create a peaceful, zen environment for her videos. As a recent YouTuber, Kastoun has already accumulated over 67,000 subscribers. She has videos ranging from 15 to 40 minutes to accommodate those who are pressed for time, as well as those who are able to set aside more workout time.
Emi Wong is a lifestyle and fitness vlogger based in Hong Kong. She gives her 2.8 million subscribers more than just diet and fitness tips. Her YouTube channel consists of workout routines, travel vlogs, practical food and exercise advice, beauty and fashion recommendations, and more. Some of her most popular videos consist of arm stretches, K-Pop cardio workouts, and ways to lose belly fat. However, it’s through creating videos about her life that Wong is able to establish a more personal connection with her subscribers.
Based in Gurgaon, India, Anwesha Mukherjee, also known as SimpleTips Anwesha, has amassed over 890,000 subscribers as a fitness, beauty and lifestyle YouTuber. Some of her most watched videos focus on self-care, such as improving hygiene and improving digestion. Her channel doesn’t just focus on working out, but learning how to live an overall better lifestyle by taking care of your skin, your body, and your mind. Mukherjee covers all of the important habits a person should develop to becoming healthier!
Being an Asian woman in the fitness industry doesn’t come easy. There has always been an assumption that Asian women have to be petite and fragile, reflecting traditional standards of beauty and gender roles. It can be difficult for these YouTubers to break that stereotype, especially when it comes to strength training. Strength training helps the body become stronger, increasing muscular definition and bone density, a direct opposite of the stereotype placed on Asian women.
On the other hand, many critics have also accused women in the fitness space for encouraging extreme dieting and quick weight loss through exercise. Chloe Ting recently uploaded a video addressing the recent criticism she’s been getting and how body shaming can lead to lower self-esteem. However, many of her subscribers mentioned in the comments how she has been helping them become healthier and more confident. In the fitness industry, it’s easy to compare yourself to workout instructors, but remember, they are professionals who have been researching the best exercises for years! Everyone has to find a workout routine that works for them as an individual, and consistency is what creates results. While fitness videos can make working out seem easy, they help people gain the motivation they need to get a workout going.
It’s also important to keep in mind that these fitness YouTubers encourage healthy eating and doing things in moderation. Cassey Ho reminds her TikTok followers that losing weight and eating healthy can be challenging, but that motivation and determination are needed in order to develop healthy habits. Similarly, Emi Wong reminds her viewers to remember their personal goal and that they can do it if they put their minds into it. Maintaining balance is also of importance. Anwesha Mukherjee tells her subscribers that “taking care of yourself” doesn’t just include working out and eating healthy. It involves taking care of your body and giving it time to rest and rejuvenate.
All in all, the diversity in the fitness industry is truly abundant, and there is something for everyone! While these women are often criticized and accused of exaggerating results, they inspire so many people to work out and motivate their watchers to stay consistent. After the COVID-19 pandemic is over, people may stray from the home fitness routine. However, these workouts will stick with them when they go to the gym, and they will be reminded of their journey to a healthier lifestyle.