Nothing gets us in the mood to work out quite like a well-timed play of “Eye of the Tiger,” whether it’s blasting in our boot camp class, or blaring from our headphones. Who hasn’t run up some stairs and mentally recreated that classic “Rocky” scene? Fictional boxers aren’t the ones we look up to, though–we can think of at least 12 Muhammad Ali quotes that have helped us get through a tough workout class, and we seriously admire Floyd Mayweather’s swagger.
That said, just because these guys dominated the game in the past doesn’t mean ladies aren’t getting in on the fun, too. There are tons of serious bad-ass female boxers that are killing the game right now–showing us how to eat right, crush it in the gym and deal with adversity, all while making it look easy. And with a few of these ladies sporting some new hardware after kicking ass and taking names in Rio, we’re even more intrigued. Read ahead to learn more about these Instagram-crush worthy athletes and pick up some tips that you can apply in your own workout regimen.
Laila Ali (@thereallailaali)
They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and in this case it’s 100% true. The daughter of Muhammad Ali is known for taking adorable gym selfies (those abs!) and throwback pictures of her with her dad. Though she has retired from boxing, Ali keeps busy with a slate of hosting gigs and a lifestyle website, where she shares wellness and health tips. As an added bonus, on her Instagram, she often shares snaps of her adorable children—perhaps the next generation of fighters?
Marlen Esparza (@marlen_esparza)
In addition to her grit, determination and can-do attitude, we love Marlen’s uplifting, motivational quotes. The athlete, who snagged bronze at the Olympic Games in London, is a trailblazer in her sport. Follow her not only for her body-positive snaps, but for a peek into her recovery regimen (think cupping and dry needling).
Cecilia Braekhus (@ceciliabraekhus)
They don’t call her “The First Lady” for nothing. The professional boxer, who boasts a 28-0 record, shows off her ridiculous workout routines, outdoor snaps and photoshoot behind the scenes on her feed. Currently, Braekhus is prepping for an October fight against rival Ann Sophie Mathis, the first professional boxing event in Norway since the 1980s.
Claressa Shields (@claressashields)
Claressa had us glued to our TVs while she was in Rio, securing gold once again in her weight class. The athlete, who also snagged gold in women’s middleweight boxing in London four years ago, is the first U.S. boxer to win an Olympic title two times in a row. Not only is she supremely confident—after her latest medal, she said she’s one of the greatest boxers to ever live—she also just beams. We love seeing her huge smile when she’s training, but we love seeing it even more when she’s on top of a podium. Keep an eye out for a movie about her life coming from Universal Studios.
Estelle Mossely (@estelle.mossely)
The French boxer also brought home some gold from Rio—and won the medal on her birthday, no less. Her colorful personality is on full display on her Instagram; she wove some red, white and blue into her hair to show some national pride for the Games, as well as her relationship with fellow boxer Tony Yoka. The couple both brought home some hardware from Brazil and are super supportive of one another. Talk about #relationshipgoals.
Nicola Adams (@nicolaadamsmbe)
Im In @britishvogue magazine August issue, don’t forget to get yourself a copy and check out the website ??vogue.uk/6JYvQa??? ➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖#vogue#voguemagazine#fashion#cool#model#fitnessmodel#modeling#modeling#boxer#boxing#gym#fit#training#flex#sport#fitnessjourney#fitnessmotivation#athlete#rio#riodejaneiro
We’ve fallen in love with the Brit’s huge smile and kind demeanor. (The two-time Olympic gold medalist says her mom is hanging on to her gold medals.) Though Adams, who is bisexual, says she’s still mulling whether she’ll try for a three-peat in Tokyo, we’re sure she’ll continue to be an inspiration to the LGBT community. She calls it an “honor” to be considered a role model. Love that.