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35 Black-Owned Fitness Companies to Support Now and Always

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Key Takeaways

  • The Black Lives Matter movement has made people realize how much anti-racism work there is to be done in all aspects of our lives.
  • Despite progress made, white voices still dominate the wellness industry, and this needs to change.
  • You can help change the narrative by supporting Black-owned businesses.

In May 2020, it became excruciatingly clear that in all industries exists a gaping racial disparity. As May turned into June and June turned into July, it was increasingly apparent that everyone had a lot of work to do. The fitness and wellness industries were no exception.

Maillard Howell, owner of The Beta Way in New York City, has seen it and felt it throughout his professional career: “It is hurtful and spoken a lot about amongst minority trainers.” Howell goes on to explain that his business, a Black-owned CrossFit gym in NYC, is “an island.” 

There aren’t many fully Black-owned or minority-owned fitness and wellness businesses in NYC, Howell explains, a fact that’s tinged with hurt because NYC has become an ecosystem of wellness and fitness, yet racial inequalities persist.

The truth is, it shouldn’t have taken the unjust murder of George Floyd — or anyone else — for people to realize that the wellness and fitness industries haven’t ever been extraordinarily inclusive. The very fact that the disparity went largely unnoticed until Black Lives Matter campaigning peeled back the curtain shows how ingrained racism is in all industries and systems.

The Way Forward

The first step to a more equal future was cultivating awareness — getting people to understand that this problem exists and it has existed for, quite literally, forever. And while the real change lies in the C-suites, Howell says, individuals can collectively produce change, too. 

One thing everyone can do right now and forever is to support Black-owned businesses with your money. Not many people fully grasp the power of the consumer decision. You have the power to use your wallet to decide which brands thrive and which brands don’t. Vote with your dollars. You get to use your money to support Black business owners and stop supporting businesses with a history of racism. 

To help, Verywell has put together this list of Black-owned fitness companies you can start supporting right now. 

Obviously, this isn’t an exhaustive list of Black-owned fitness companies — while there are nearly 40 brands compiled here, we know this is only a fraction of the incredible Black-owned fitness companies out there. If you know of one that should be on this list, please let us know! You can reach us by emailing feedback@verywell.com.

That said, here are 35 amazing Black-owned fitness brands to support now and always, from apparel to apps and online coaching to traditional studios.

Black-Owned Workout Clothes

You can always use some stylish new athleticwear, right? If you’re on the hunt for new workout clothes, now’s the perfect opportunity to use your consumer dollars for social good. 

Instead of heading out to the Nike outlet or your usual sporting goods store, consider shopping one of these Black-owned workout clothes brands instead. You might just find your new favorite brand while supporting a Black business owner. A win-win, right? 

CultureFit Clothing

CultureFit Clothing's tagline is “Activewear for the culturally conscious woman.” Founded in 2018 by a group of women from West African descent, CultureFit Clothing features flattering, high-waisted, African-inspired designs in moisture-wicking material. These threads are absolutely the epitome of stylish and functional. 

Lukafit

This Black-owned fitness clothing brand was founded by Mbali Z. Ndlovu, a South African fitness enthusiast who wanted to create an empowering brand for women. The name Lukafit is partially derived from the Zulu word “juluka,” which means to sweat.

PRU Apparel

PRU stands for “Power + Representation + Unity.” PRU Apparel was founded in 2014 after Ebonique Hewing “felt a desperate need for safety, freedom, and peace.” Hewing created PRU as a vessel for sisterhood and community, featuring vibrant and culturally-inspired prints on all PRU designs. 

Kemetic Knowledge

Kemetic Knowledge is a high-performance athletic wear and swimsuit brand that makes functional, flattering apparel that honors African culture and ancestors. The brand aims “to draw attention to Africans’ significant role by honoring them through our line of clothing.”

Vero Mastodon

Vero Mastodon is a military-inspired, Black-owned apparel brand for men and women. The line features hoodies, sweatpants, athletic shorts, tank tops, hats, leggings, T-shirts, and zip-up jackets. 

Lydia Endora

If you want bold, beautiful, and comfortable, you want Lydia Endora. This clothing brand was founded by Chicago-based designer Lydia Endora Thompson who saw a need for high-quality, fashion-forward at affordable prices. 

ABA Fitness

ABA Fitness was founded by Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Harley Wiltz. Wiltz is a personal trainer who operates by his company’s brand name, Anything But Average (ABA). His personal training studio and style truly are anything but average.

ABA Fitness apparel includes limited-edition collections only, so make sure to follow on Instagram to know when the next collection drops. 

P-X-W

P-X-W makes workout clothes for men and women with a focus on function, style, and comfort. P-X-W also operates on minimal waste policies and procedures, which is a bonus for those looking for a sustainable, Black-owned athletic wear brand.

VizFit Apparel

VizFit Apparel was founded by MIRROR founding trainer and Equinox personal trainer Gerren Liles. VizFit is short for Vision Fitness. VizFit Apparel offers graphic tanks and tees, as well as leggings and hats. 

EleVen

EleVen by Venus Williams makes stylish everyday athleisure wear, as well as tennis-specific apparel inspired by Williams’ lifelong pro tennis career. Venus founded EleVen to create an athletic wear line that empowers women to get on the court — or wherever fitness takes them — and bring their best every time.

Just Lift

Just Lift brings you a variety of joggers, leggings, tanks, T-shirts, hoodies, and accessories. Just Lift also offers a selection of fitness gear and equipment, including weightlifting belts, wrist wraps, elbow and knee wraps, shaker bottles, and gym bags.

Yema

Yema Khalif, who grew up in Nairobi, Kenya, founded the Yema apparel line after coming to the U.S. to study communications through the Road to Freedom scholarships program. Co-founder Hawi Awash was born in Ethiopia and was a refugee in Kenya before moving to Minnesota at age eight. The duo now creates bold and culturally inspired activewear through Yema, which donates 20% of all purchases to orphaned children in Kenya and Ethiopia.   

Roam Loud

Roam Loud was founded by Toyin Omisore, a Liberian-Nigerian American who loves fitness and travel. Omisore creates vibrant workout clothes in colors and styles intended to unapologetically flatter brown skin. The line features high-waisted leggings, long-line sports bras, and much more.

Ju'Nae Fit

Ju'Nae Fit creates to-die-for matching workout sets, including long-sleeve crop-tops, sports bras, tank tops, high-waisted shorts, and leggings. The brand also makes fitness accessories and some gear, including mini resistance bands and head ties.

Sankofa Athletics

Founders Khalia Ervin and Brianna Relefrod promote unity and peace with this African-inspired fitness brand. Sankofa Athletics encourages a high-performance lifestyle and living with purpose. 

Beach Hours

If you’re looking for light, beachy, relaxing vibes in your activewear, head to Beach Hours, a Black-owned and woman-owned business that promotes female strength and empowerment. Beach Hours offers matching sets, high-rise leggings, sports bras, tops, and jumpers. 

Ascot Manor

A tennis-inspired brand, Ascot Manor makes windbreakers, skirts and skorts, shorts, sweat suits, and even its own line of shoes. Not only is Ascot Manor Black-owned, but it’s the only tennis apparel line designed specifically to provide skilled but under-resourced tennis players with gear, apparel, and scholarships. 

Barbell Commission

“Made by lifters. For lifters” is Barbell Commissio's tagline — and it’s evident that the company operates by it through-and-through. Barbell Commission manufactures durable shorts, pants, leggings, and tops that can keep up with even the most advanced lifters. 

Glamourina

With a size range of S-3XL, Glamourina positions itself as a woman-first brand. Glamourina makes stunningly gorgeous activewear with a focus on women of color. The brand also runs Black Girl Healthy, a blog dedicated to providing health information and tips for women of color.

Black-Owned Fitness Apps

Now that at-home fitness is on the rise, try one of these at-home fitness apps founded by Black fitness pros.

Sworkit

Sworkit has been around for a while: It’s one of the first comprehensive, customizable fitness apps to surface. Sworkit was founded in 2012 by Ben Young and Greg Coleman, and since then, the brand has grown to encompass two apps, a corporate wellness program, and more.

Sworkit also spearheads a youth initiative program that brings free fitness technology to underprivileged children and teens.

GrpFit

GrpFit is an online fitness community specifically for Black fitness enthusiasts. The app includes guided workouts, a community feed where you can share your successes, and an article library that includes posts on health topics specific to the Black community. 

Black-Owned Fitness Studios and Gyms

Though many, if not most, gyms and fitness studios are still closed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, you can still support these Black-owned companies through donations or through their new virtual offerings. Plus, you can keep them on your radar for when brick-and-mortar gyms start to reopen.

AARMY

AARMY offers bootcamp classes, cycling, weightlifting, and stretching programs. Pre-coronavirus, AARMY primarily offered classes at their Los Angeles and New York City locations. However, for the last few months, AARMY has been offering free virtual sessions through Instagram Live.

Harlem Cycle

Harlem-based Harlem Cycle offers a jam-packed schedule of spinning and sculpt fitness classes online. When you sign up for a membership, you also get access to the Harlem Cycle community where you can connect with others on the same journey.

E.F.F.E.C.T. Fitness

E.F.F.E.C.T. Fitness is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and offers bootcamp, spin classes, and small group training, as well as women’s and men’s specialty classes. For virtual on-demand fitness classes, download the E.F.F.E.C.T app on Android or iPhone.

Brownstone Wellness

From yoga to martial arts, Brownstone Wellness offers both private and group classes online. Founder Steven Rousseau is a certified personal trainer, holistic nutritionist, and kemetic yoga instructor, so you know you’re getting the best of the best. 

Trillfit

This Black-owned and woman-owned fitness business offers dance and sculpt classes — think of it as a hip hop workout party. Trillfit offers group classes and private training sessions, as well as at-home programming and a digital studio membership. 

Brukwine

Search the hashtag #sexiestworkout on Instagram and you’ll find riveting videos of men and women sweating it out through dance cardio. Brukwine offers these Caribbean-inspired dance classes through Instagram Live and Zoom for $5 to $10 per class.

Gloveworx

Gloveworx is a boxing and athletic training facility that offers high-intensity fitness classes with an emphasis on human performance. Founder Leyon Azubuike,­ a former US Nationals Heavyweight competitor, thinks everyone can train like an athlete and that everyone deserves personal attention from coaches, even in group classes.

Boombox Boxing

Another boxing-inspired fitness studio, Boombox Boxing offers cardio boxing and strength training all wrapped up into one functional, fat-blasting workout. Founders Reggie and Angela created Boombox Boxing with the intent to bring the health benefits of boxing to all fitness levels and backgrounds.

Tone House

Tone House is a TK-based fitness studio aimed at “unleashing the inner athlete in everyone.” This is the place to go for team-oriented, competitive, and high-energy strength and circuit training sessions.

Sweat Pilates

With locations in Las Vegas and the Los Angeles area, Sweat Pilates offers 45-minute Proformer classes with upbeat playlists.

Trifecta Strong

Trifecta Strong offers more than 100 fitness classes per month online. You can tune in on Zoom or Instagram Live, and head to the brick-and-mortar gym in New York City when it reopens after coronavirus restrictions loosen.  

RydeFYR

The indoor cycling boutique studio, RydeFYR, brings you a “fully immersive multi-sensory full-body workout.” Founder Chevy Laurent is a former competitive dancer who turned her love for dance athleticism into a love for fitness. 

Stretch22

Workout recovery is just as important as the workout itself. Recover strong and smart with Stretch22, which offers flexibility and mobility classes developed by a former Olympic athlete and a sports medicine practitioner.

The Beta Way

The The Beta Way is Maillard Howell’s CrossFit and functional fitness gym in New York City. The Beta Way is known for competitive yet friendly, high-intensity classes.

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