Do Plus Size Models Work Out? (Types of Exercises & Sample Workout) may earn a small commission when you use one of the links on this page to purchase.

Do Plus Size Models Work Out

Even though plus size people make up a large percentage of the population, there are still a lot of (incorrect) stigmas that people just assume are true.

For example, many people believe that because someone is carrying extra weight, they don’t eat properly or lead a physically active lifestyle- even if they work in the modeling industry.

So, do plus size models work out to maintain those curves?

Yes, plus size models absolutely work out. Even though they are curvier, standards for plus size models are as strict as they are for thinner women. Often, modeling contracts require a plus size model to maintain the body that they had when signing their contract. They do this by eating well and working out. 

Below, I’ll talk a little more about how plus size models maintain their hourglass shape, as well as the exercises they do and a sample workout routine.

Do Plus Size Models Exercise?

Yes, plus size models exercise. Even though it’s easy to look at these hourglass-shaped women and think that they hit the genetic lottery for body shape, the truth is that they have to put in work like anyone else to maintain their physique.

That being said, the workouts that plus size models do might vary based on their specific body type and their goals. Exercising isn’t really one-size-fits-all, especially when you’re looking for specific results.

In addition to exercising for physical reasons, working out regularly helps boost your energy levels. When models are working, they might show up to work at 5 in the morning, spend hours having hair and makeup done, and then still have to pose for shoots or get ready to rock the runway.

Regardless of what anyone thinks, being a model takes a lot of energy!

Do Plus Size Models Work Out a Lot?

While I cannot speak for every plus size model, it can be assumed that they work out on a regular schedule.

This likely happens at least 2-3 days per week, but it could be more or less depending on the model, what they eat, their typical metabolism, and the work that they need to do to maintain their body. It’s different for everyone!

How Do Plus Size Models Stay in Shape?

Plus size models work hard to stay in shape and maintain an hourglass figure with wider hips and breasts, and a flat stomach. They often use a combination of watching the foods that they eat and staying physically active.

That being said, keep in mind that this isn’t the only way that curvier models (or even models in general) alter their bodies for runways and photoshoots. It’s not uncommon for plus size models to wear shapewear, have their bodies padded to change their proportions, or even use airbrushing or body contouring to get that perfect shape.

I say this because it’s important when you’re trying to reach a certain goal that you have realistic expectations for your own body.

So, if you are working out and eating right and don’t look like the models in the magazine, keep in mind that the beauty industry has harsh standards even for plus size models and a lot of women don’t just look like that. Don’t get discouraged and let it affect how you are taking care of yourself.

What Types of Exercises Do Plus Size Models Do?

The types of exercises that plus size models do vary depending on the woman’s specific goals and the areas of their body that they focus on most.

That being said, there are a lot of exercises that work well for bigger bodies, model or not. Let’s jump in.

Modified Exercises

By modified exercises, I’m basically talking about taking any exercise or workout routine and then adjusting it as needed so it works better for your body. Sometimes when you are plus size, it’s just not possible to bend your body a specific way or you might notice that your thighs or belly get in the way when doing certain exercises.

This doesn’t mean that the movement isn’t possible. Instead of getting discouraged, learn to adapt the exercise in a way that does work for your body. Remember, as long as you are being physically active, you are still getting the benefit.

For example, let’s talk about calisthenics. Calisthenics are exercises that include things like push-ups, pull-ups, and planks- basically, exercises where you are using your own body weight to work out.

For a thinner person with less body weight, something like a plank is going to be easier because they aren’t supporting as much body weight with their wrists, which are one of the smaller bones in the body.

Instead, a plus size model might do a modified plank. They can do this by resting their body on their entire forearm by keeping it parallel to the ground and resting on their forearm/elbow. Planks can be further modified by putting knees down instead of keeping feet straight out.

I’m mentioning this because as you learn about these various exercises, keep in mind that they can be modified to fit your body type. After all, we don’t all look like plus size models when we start working out.

Strength Training

Much of what a plus size model includes in their workout is strength training. Strength training describes exercise that helps build muscle mass and tone your body. It won’t help you lose weight so much, but it does improve your muscle-to-fat ratio and the overall health and appearance of your body.

Some upper body strength training exercises include seated dips, push-ups, barbell rows, dumbbell curls, resistance band pulls, pull-ups, and similar exercises.

Some lower body strength training exercises include lunges, squats, deadlifts, and leg lifts. Fortunately, as a bigger person, your legs and calves also get a workout when you are just moving around- this is one of the reasons that fat people are strong.

Burpees are also something great to add to your exercise routine. They are calisthenics exercise that works out your entire body. In addition to building muscle, they help build stamina.

Strength training is also a great way to increase the intensity of your workout routine. Plus size models often work out using dumbbells or a strength training ball that adds something extra to their exercise routine.

Core Muscle Exercises

Something else that is really important for plus size models is exercises that benefit their core muscles. Core muscles are really important, especially for a heavier person that relies on their body to support more weight. Additionally, they help with that flat stomach that plus size models often have.

Some good core muscle exercises include planks, the V-sit, crunches, modified crunches, bridges, leg raises, and toe taps, to name a few. Yoga also works well to engage the core muscle groups (we’ll get to that next).


While yoga isn’t the first thing that pops into my mind when I think about working out, it is a great low-intensity way to exercise. In addition to helping build lean muscle mass, yoga also increases flexibility (yes, it’s possible for a fat person to be flexible) and has tons of benefits for your mental health.

If you are starting out with yoga for the first time, keep in mind that you might need to alter some of the exercises so they work for your body. There will likely be poses you won’t be able to do (and there’s nothing wrong with that!). Do the best you can to work the muscles and eventually, you’ll have the flexibility to do those poses.

Do Plus Size Models Do Cardio?

You may have noticed that I didn’t really mention a lot of cardiovascular exercises like running, jogging, or climbing on the elliptical. With plus size models, they are likely to focus on maintaining their shape and weight, rather than trying to lose.

Cardio burns a lot of calories, which makes it a good choice for people trying to lose weight. Plus, it does have a lot of benefits for the body.

While plus size models may do some cardio, it generally isn’t the focus of their workouts. Instead, they are more likely to do strength training exercises that help build muscle mass and tone their body- without affecting their weight.

That being said, they don’t usually shy away from cardio completely. Low impact exercises like dancing, jogging, jumping rope, or cycling might be used. However, the focus isn’t on burning calories for these types of exercises- it is building stamina.

Sample Plus Size Model Workout Routine

Perhaps one of the most intense plus size model workouts that I’ve seen comes from Ashley Graham. If you don’t know who she is, she was the first size 16 model to rock the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine in 2016.

She has a Youtube channel where she posts workouts like this. I chose day 4 because it’s a good sample of how to exercise your abs and your butt (and I know I could tone those areas for sure!).

Of course, there is more than one way to go about exercising as a curvy or plus size woman. You can follow along with workouts or make up something all on your own.

Getting a personal trainer is an option for people who are really serious about learning the diet and exercise routine that will work best for their bodies.

Final Word

Surprisingly, there are a lot of people that wonder, whether plus size models workout. Even though plus size models weigh more and are bigger than the average model, they do have to work hard to maintain their body shape.

Some exercises plus size models commonly do include core muscle exercises, strength training, and yoga. They may also do some cardio to build endurance, but do not usually do a lot of cardio because their focus is building muscle and not burning calories. Additionally, plus size models may modify exercises in a way that makes them work better for their bodies.

That being said, exercise is something that isn’t one-size-fits-all. It’s important to learn what works for your body and your goals. If you have a curvy or full-figured body like these ladies, though, then some of the exercises I mentioned might be a great place to start if you’re working toward a specific fitness goal!

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