Who’s topped heat’s Fit List 2021?

We salute those who are #bodygoals for all the right reasons

heat Fit List 2021

by Nathan Katnoria |
Updated on

Keeping fit and staying positive has been a major challenge this year, so it’s time to salute the celebs who have been a beacon of inspiration for us to treat our bodies the way they deserve – pandemic or not.

Their fitness journeys celebrate mind over muffin-top, and self-love before scales. Our judging panel have studied their attitude to eating, exercising and looking after their mental health to find women who are badass body ambassadors.

We hope that among this roll call of awesome ladies, you’ll find someone who gives you the motivation to move your body and love the way you look in 2021.

Alexa, play Good As Hell by Lizzo...

The judges

Louise Bennett

heat’s Lifestyle Editor and a qualified PT, Louise lives and breathes fitness – whether it’s working out at Pixie Lott’s gym or studying what Beyoncé eats for breakfast. She’s passionate about ensuring that exercise is inclusive to everyone, whatever their body shape or ability.

Natasha Devon MBE

As a mental health campaigner and LBC radio presenter, Natasha is passionate about body positivity and inclusion. She has conducted extensive research on mental health and body image in men and women of all ages.

Cecilia Harris

PT and co-founder of the fitness lifestyle app RWL, with Lucy Mecklenburgh, Cecilia is a ball of positive energy and inspires both the huge RWL community and the many celebs she trains. She describes herself as 49 years young and has abs even Britney Spears would be jealous of.

BEHOLD: heat's Fit List 2021


heat Fit List 2021

Michelle Keegan heat Fit List 20211 of 30

30) Michelle Keegan (33)

Total babe Mich claims not to spend hours in the gym to get her killer abs, saying, "I only set myself a target to spend 45 minutes in the gym, and then I'm done. I think it's important to do everything in moderation." She loves getting out and walking the dogs, and during lockdown, started husband Mark Wright and brother-in-law Josh's new fitness programme to stay active at home. We're signing up immediately.

Amber Gill heat Fit List 20212 of 30

29) Amber Gill (23)

After Amber put on a few lockdown pounds last year, she was targeted by trolls insulting her about her size. Determined not to let them knock her usually sassy confidence levels, Amber vowed to get healthier for 2021. She responded to the haters by saying, "I'm sure the people that commented are the image of perfection, so thank you for that. Whoever put on weight this year, don't worry, I'm with you."

Poorna Bell heat Fit List 20213 of 30

28) Poorna Bell (40)

The journalist and author started powerlifting as a coping technique after she lost her husband Rob to suicide. Poorna believes in the mental health benefits of exercise, but her passion was tested this year when she contracted COVID-19. Sharing her recovery journey with her Instagram followers, she slowly built her strength again. She told her fans she was proud of her body for, "everything it has gotten me through in life – a hole in the heart, its metaphysical breaking when Rob died, and COVID." Dealing with long COVID symptoms, she said it was "humbling" to start at ground zero and encourages people to "do the best and want the best for ourselves".

Louise Thompson heat Fit List 20214 of 30

27) Louise Thompson (30)

Louise's Live Like Louise workout programme is designed to help people get stronger, not thinner, and to develop healthy habits for life. She is proof that you can transform your body and your mind with exercise. She also looks about as banging as is legal in a bikini...

Nicole Scherzinger heat Fit List 20215 of 30

26) Nicole Scherzinger (42)

For ultimate couples' workout inspo, look no further than Scherzy. She can be found cooking up a sweat in her garden with her fitlord rugby star boyfriend, Thom Evans. She says that she loves working out with other people because it allows her to push her boundaries and keeps her motivated. To be honest, if we got to stare at sweaty Thom for an hour, we'd be motivated, too. She really mixes up her routine – from spin classes to hot yoga and hikes in sunny LA, not to mention dancing her socks off on TikTok.

Maya Jama heat Fit List 20216 of 30

25) Maya Jama (26)

Self-care queen Maya really knows how important me-time is, and regularly heads off for solo holidays and spa breaks to chill out. We love how real she keeps her social media platforms. She says, "I post pictures in bikinis, but I also post pictures when I've just woken up. And I don't have a hair and make-up team. I think it's about honesty. I do eat sh-t and I do exercise – I'm not trying to portray something that's fake."

Demi Lovato heat Fit List 20217 of 30

24) Demi Lovato (28)

The Confident singer admitted that while struggling with mental ill health, she became addicted to exercising. But after working with therapists and medical professionals, she now focuses on "expressing gratitude in health and reality in accepting yourself". Part of her recovery has been doing exercise she enjoys. She says, "I feel sexiest when I'm doing jiu-jitsu, because I'm not thinking about my body. I feel sexy when I'm showing my strength and intelligence.

Fleur East heat Fit List 20218 of 30

23) Fleur East (33)

Hits Radio breakfast show presenter Fleur, 33, has been keeping active this year doing boxing workouts and using her own multi-fuctional W8 GYM. A true ambassador for strong bodies, she told us what body confidence means to her."It's when you can walk down the street with your head held high and feel confident in who you are, embracing all of you – flaws and all. When you can own every part of you, that's body confidence to me. I used to worry a lot more about my body, and as I've got older, I've learned to accept and celebrate my body. I now focus on what my body allows me to do. I'm grateful that I get to exercise, take on new challenges and build strength, rather than focusing on what it looks like. Particularly in a year like this, health is so important and it makes you grateful to be healthy and fit."

Lizzo heat Fit List 20219 of 30

22) Lizzo (32)

"It's lazy for me to just say I'm body positive," the singer said in her Vogue interview last year. "I want to normalise my body. And not just be like, 'Look at this cool movement. Being fat is body positive.' No, being fat is normal." She shares workout videos with her followers, and went vegan last summer.

Emma Willis heat Fit List 202110 of 30

21) Emma Willis (44)

The TV presenter is a stalwart of reformer Pilates and recently admitted, "I just want to live as long as possible, because I have three children and a husband that I don't want to leave." Emma is a fan of boxing, HIIT workouts and weight training. And after being told in 2019 that she had high cholesterol, Emma revamped her diet.

Holly Willoughby heat Fit List 202111 of 30

20) Holly Willoughby (39)

The This Morning presenter has refused to talk about her fitness regime in the past, explaining, "It's a personal thing, and I think people get obsessive with it." But whatever she's doing, it's definitely working, and it's been widely rumoured she's partial to a bit of kickboxing, Pilates and a balanced diet – which means she never denies herself the odd treat. And we all know that she and Phillip Schofield don't shy away from a cheeky cocktail or three on a night out. Holly, we like your style.

Bryony Gordon heat Fit List 202112 of 30

19) Bryony Gordon (40)

This author, journalist and mental health campaigner is a great advocate of exercising for both your head and your heart. She has completed a marathon in her underwear, and her Instagram is a great source of inspo if you're talking yourself out of going for a run. She approaches body confidence with a raw vulnerability and a great sense of humour – perfect if you need to focus on what your body can do, instead of what you think it can't.

Leigh-Anne Pinnock heat Fit List 202113 of 30

18) Leigh-Anne Pinnock (29)

The Little Mixer made it her goal to get seriously strong during quarantine, telling fans, "If I have to stay at home, I'm getting fit!" And judging by her Instagram stories, she succeeded: she was soon squatting 80kg in her home gym like an absolute boss. And with a wedding to prep for (to Watford FC player Andre Gray), it's no surprise that Leigh-Anne wants to be looking and feeling her best. She and Andre also do couples' workouts – and even use each other as weight-bearing props (get your minds out the gutter, guys).

Serena Williams heat Fit List 202114 of 30

17) Serena Williams (39)

Do we seriously need to explain why this woman is a fitness icon? Not content with being a warrior on the tennis court, Serena's also a powerhouse in the gym – plus, she mixes things up with dance and Zumba sessions, cycling, running, swimming and yoga. It's her dedication to mental and physical strength (and running around after three-year-old daughter Olympia) that keeps this world champ at the top of her game, and looking abs-olutely fabulous.

Adrienne Herbert heat Fit List 202115 of 30

16) Adrienne Herbert

Known to her followers as Adrienne LDN, this fitspo is not only an in-demand PT and a devoted marathon runner, but also a motivational speaker, podcast host, Adidas Global Ambassador, and a mum to eight-year-old Jude. She's also been named "the face of wellness" by Vogue magazine, and is a big believer in the phrase "Health is wealth". According to her, she only works out to feel good, but looking that good must be a bonus.

Vicky Pattison heat Fit List 202116 of 30

15) Vicky Pattison (33)

Her dedication to keeping it real on social media means that Vicky, 33, is a girl we can totally relate to. She's had a love/hate relationship with exercise and, like so many of us, this year has been no exception, as she told us when we spoke to her recently.

Ferne McCann heat Fit List 202117 of 30

14) Ferne McCann (30)

A previous Fit List champ, Ferne took her health and fitness up a notch this year after launching Embodyment – an online platform that offers subscribers everything from dance, yoga and HIIT workouts, to meal plans and seminars about maintaining a healthy body and mind. She's also taken it upon herself to destigmatise conversations around incontinence and prolapsed bladders, which she's struggled with in the past. Speaking to heat last year, Ferne told us, "I want to give women more confidence – we need to cut ourselves some slack." Hear, hear, Ferne.

Gabby Allen heat Fit List 202118 of 30

13) Gabby Allen (28)

This pocket rocket dancer and PT burst onto our screens in Love Island and has been a leading light in the fitness industry ever since. She launched her four-week fitness plan Shape Up With Gabby Allen and became a FIIT app trainer for all your sweaty home workout needs. She has a booty to die for and abs of steel – not to mention being flexible AF.

Jada Sezer heat Fit List 202119 of 30

12) Jada Sezer (31)

When model Jada isn't bossing it in front of the camera, she's promoting mental health awareness and body positivity – and we're here for it. She encourages her 295K Instagram followers to look beyond appearance, saying, "Think about the mental strength you can gain rather than the calories you can lose." Running is her go-to exercise, as she loves getting her heart racing and boosting her mental health.

Lucy Mecklenburgh heat Fit List 202120 of 30

11) Lucy Mecklenburgh (29)

This TOWIE gal-turned-fitness guru recently welcomed a baby son with fiancé Ryan Thomas, and has been keeping it real when it comes to "snapping back" after giving birth. She says, "Since having Roman, I don't get time to work out like I used to. Some weeks I'm lucky to get in one or two 15-minute workouts, but taking away the pressure has helped me appreciate them when I get the chance. We mamas rarely sit still, so don't be too hard on yourself for not eating a perfect homemade diet or fitting in regular exercise." Yes, Lucy.

AJ Odudu heat Fit List 202121 of 30

10) AJ Odudu (32)

She presents on TV, makes docs and runs marathons – is there anything AJ can't do? Oh, she's also a qualified sports nutritionist and PT – and was a finalist on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, of course. This badass northern lass is a skipping queen, too, and can be found in her garden with the music pumping to get the blood flowing and good vibes going. Our girl crush is real.

Maisie Smith heat Fit List 202122 of 30

9) Maisie Smith (19)

Maisie said she actually gained weight and grew stronger while dancing on Strictly – and had so much fun doing it. But she's been working on her toned bod for years (and even Khloé K has championed her muscular legs). After meeting Fit List judge Cecilia on hols, Maisie began training with her, and now she's dedicated to helping teens get active. "It all started with a couple of training sessions that I posted on Instagram, which got hundreds of comments," she says. "It was then I realised that so many teens struggle not only with how to keep fit, but also the confidence to join in group classes." Cecilia says, "As well as being a very talented 19 year old, she is a beautiful human."

Davina McCall heat Fit List 202123 of 30

8) Davina McCall (53)

Who doesn't love this ludicrously likeable, inspirational and relentlessly positive woman? If you need some workout motivation, she's your answer – or if you're after some life advice or a chat, she's got you sorted. This fitness powerhouse recently started her own YouTube channel to empower older women. It's bursting with how-to videos from her Own Your Goals workouts, so you can nail that perfect press-up or squat. But, honestly, just by watching and listening to her, your day will be instantly lifted.

Jennifer Lopez heat Fit List 202124 of 30

7) Jennifer Lopez (51)

When we grow up, we want to be J-Lo. Each year, she manages to look even more age-defyingly awesome, and did you see her naked album cover? Jaw drops She kills it in the gym to get those sculpted abs and didn't let lockdown get in the way of her workouts, taking to the garden with her dumbells. Last year, she learned how to pole dance for her role in Hustlers (note to self – add pole dancing to 50 things to do before 50 list), and whether on the red carpet or hanging out make-up free in her joggers, the woman looks UNREAL. Earlier this year, an Instagram post in a white bikini inspired the #JLoChallenge – where women of all sizes, shapes and ages shared their own selfies celebrating their strength.

Clara Amfo heat Fit List 202125 of 30

6) Clara Amfo (36)

A dedicated runner, Clara, 36, has completed the Paris Half Marathon and made a documentary about how she used running to help her deal with the grief of losing her father. She regularly hits the pavement when her busy schedule allows – no wonder she could keep up with all those kicks and flicks on Strictly! Clara also does boxing and resistance training, and is proud to rep fitness not just for skinny girls. She says, "I'm very lucky to have two good friends who are down to train me. They make me appreciate my body as a machine. They're not about trying to be skinny. There are certain fitness collectives that have 'skinny' names and that's not my vibe."

Gemma Atkinson heat Fit List 202126 of 30

5) Gemma Atkinson (36)

Gemma has one-year-old Mia with Strictly pro Gorka Marquez, and her journey from new mum back to gym-honed has been inspirational – with lockdown workouts in her garage gym and long walks with her toddler in tow. It's no surprise that the 36 year old is already working on her second fitness book. We can't wait!

Rebel Wilson heat Fit List 202027 of 30

4) Rebel Wilson (40)

After declaring 2020 her "Year of health", Rebel, who turned the big 4-0 last March, has slowly and steadily undergone a transformation, losing 60lbs over the last 12 months. The actress admits that dealing with fame led her to head straight for the doughnuts. She says, "I never really focused on my health, which was probably obvious. I was going all around the world jet-setting everywhere, and eating a ton of sugar. That was my vice." Although she had a weight loss figure as an end goal, Rebel's journey has been focused on living a healthier lifestyle. She's done this by overhauling her nutrition and gut health, following an alkaline diet after a stay at top Austrian clinic VivaMayr and training with her PT Jono Castano regularly. "I love my curves, I don't think I'll ever go too skinny — but I feel so much healthier," she admits.

Oti Mabuse heat Fit List 202128 of 30

3) Oti Mabuse (30)

The popular Strictly pro is a poster girl for positivity, with curves to cha-cha-cha for. Last year, she made the cover of Women's Health, before waltzing to the final for the second year in a row. When she's not on the dance floor, she loves hardcore cardio on the assault bike, functional training and weights. But Oti hasn't always been body-confident, even considering a boob reduction after her first Strictly fitting left her in tears. Now she says, "It's important we all celebrate the skin that we're in." We love her.

Beyoncu00e9 heat Fit List 202129 of 30

2) Beyoncé (39)

As Queen Bey prepares to turn 40 this year, she admits that she has come to a new understanding about her body. "Children and maturity have taught me to value myself beyond my physical appearance," the mum of three explains, "Giving zero f--ks is the most liberating place to be. Also, knowing that true beauty is something you cannot see." Last year, the superstar focused on self-care, discovering acupuncture, meditation, visualisation and breathing exercises to achieve calm in her chaotic life.

Frankie Bridge heat Fit List 202130 of 30

1) Frankie Bridge (31)

All rise for Queen Frankie! When it comes to fitness, she has been a lockdown legend. And we're not talking boasting about thousands of burpees or showing off her six-pack. We mean keeping it real when she's struggling to find the motivation to work out; juggling kids and work commitments, but pushing through and proving that movement does just as much for your mind as it does for your abs. However, Frankie's six-pack is looking spectacular at the moment, too – a side-effect of her consistent routine of home workouts throughout the year. Frankie has spoken openly about living with anxiety and depression, and when she's feeling like she has to drag herself onto the mat, she's totally honest about it. In a year when so many of us have turned to exercise to keep our mental health in check, there is no more deserving winner...

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Frankie Bridge heat Fit List 2021 winner
©Marco Vittur/heat

Frankie’s Faves: the essentials that keep her feeling fit as f**k

Fave brand: “Lululemon leggings are unbeatable. Free People’s gear is made with such soft material and the waistbands are really high, and I like that Sweaty Betty organises everything together in outfits.”

Fave equipment: “I really like the step and also my Bala Bangles from Free People. You can put them on your arms and your ankles, and if you’re feeling like you need to push yourself, you can whack those on and it makes it more intense.”

Fave body part: “I’m quite lucky with my abs. I had them when I was young, and I feel like it’s the part of my body that takes the least amount of work.”

Read the full interview with heat Fit List 2021 winner Frankie Bridge in the latest issue of heat magazine - OUT NOW.

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