Is there a formula for creating high-performing fitness reels? Mastering Instagram’s short-form video format is essential for growing your account. While Reels can take a bit more effort than standard posts and carousels, they tend to get much better results.

In this guide, learn how to create fitness reels that capture your audience’s attention, generate engagement, and perform well on Instagram.

We’re a specialist fitness marketing agency with 15+ years of industry experience, so we’ve tried and tested endless social media strategies. Recently we’ve been doubling down on Instagram Reels for our clients because they perform so well compared to other types of content. Here’s what we’ve learned works well…

Impactful Fitness Reels Guide

Start Strong To Capture Attention

The first thing you need to do is stop people scrolling past your video without engaging. You need to grab their attention quickly by standing out in their feed.

To start strong, hook your audience within the first few seconds. Whether it’s with an exciting exercise move, a bold statement, or an eye-catching visual, make sure those opening moments are impactful. Think about what will make someone stop scrolling and watch your fitness reel.

An effective way to do this is to tell people what they’ll get out of watching your reel. Think along the lines of ‘this one move is going to tighten up your bingo wings’ or ‘want to know how I smashed my PB?’. Intro lines like these spark intrigue and make it clear what viewers will learn from your video.

Another easy way to capture attention is by including movement at the very start. Simple things like turning towards the camera or jumping into the shot will add a dynamic element.

You can also use text overlays, stickers, and animations to add visual movement. Delay their appearance by 0.5-1.0 seconds so that they appear shortly after your reel begins instead of straight away. This trick creates dynamism from the start and can be enough to stop the scroll.

Social Media Engagement Guide Contents

Social Media Engagement Guide

A downloadable guide to boosting social media engagement for health and fitness businesses.

Vary Your Shots & Angles

The best-performing fitness reels usually have a certain level of quality. They don’t have to be super-polished, but they do need to be well put together. This means they should be clear and easy to follow so that viewers want to watch for longer.

High-quality visuals signal professionalism and credibility. When your videos look good, people are more likely to take you seriously and trust your expertise. This is especially important in the crowded world of Instagram marketing, where it can be hard to stand out from other fitness accounts.

So, how do you ensure your videos are top-notch? Start by varying your shots and angles.

Don’t just film yourself straight on talking into the camera or performing an exercise. Experiment with different camera angles to find the most flattering and effective perspectives for your demonstrations.

For instance, filming from a slightly lower angle can make your movements look more dynamic and powerful. Avoid awkward or unflattering angles that might distract from the content.

If you are doing a ‘talking head’ style piece to the camera, then film yourself from two angles and alternate between them when you edit. Or switch between full shots and close-ups using jump cuts to add some variety.

Adding some B-roll into your fitness reels can also make them more interesting and engaging. Add clips that help to set the scene or tell a story around the message you’re trying to convey.

Don’t underestimate the importance of good lighting either. Natural light is your friend – try filming near a window or outside if you can. If natural light isn’t an option, invest in an affordable ring light or softbox light to illuminate your space evenly. Good lighting can make a world of difference in the quality of your fitness reels.

Finally, edit your videos to enhance their visual appeal. Simple edits like trimming excess footage, adding filters, or adjusting brightness and contrast can make your reels pop. There are plenty of user-friendly editing apps available, like InShot, CapCut, or Adobe Premiere Pro, that can help you polish your videos.

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Fitness Instagram Growth Roadmap

Grow your fitness Instagram, increase engagement & generate leads.

Provide Real Value To Your Audience

Creating valuable content is the key to engaging your audience. No amount of style can replace real substance. By providing value, you can position yourself as an authority in the fitness space and build a loyal community.

What do we mean by value? Content that educates, entertains, or inspires.

Fitness reels that provide valuable insights, tips, or tutorials, are more likely to be engaged with and shared. Funny skits that showcase relatable gym humour can quickly go viral. And videos of motivational quotes or inspiring client success stories will help people believe in themselves and take action.

Types of valuable content that you can share in fitness reels include…

  1. Tutorials: Demonstrate how to perform specific exercises with proper form. Break down complex movements into easy-to-follow steps.
  2. Tips and Tricks: Share fitness tips, such as how to stay motivated, how to create a balanced workout routine, or nutrition advice. These small but effective pieces of advice can help your audience achieve their fitness goals.
  3. Challenges: Create fitness challenges that encourage your audience to participate and stay active. These can be anything from a 30-day plank challenge to a week-long HIIT workout series.
  4. Workouts: Provide complete workout routines that your followers can try at home or in the gym. These can be targeted workouts for specific muscle groups or full-body sessions.
  5. Myth-Busting: Debunk common fitness myths and misconceptions. Provide factual information to educate your audience and help them make informed decisions.

Check out our article on health and fitness-themed video ideas for more inspiration.

Providing value through your fitness reels will help you build a dedicated following and position yourself as a trusted resource. By sharing tutorials, tips, challenges, and motivational content, you can offer real benefits to your viewers, so they’re more likely to engage with and share your content.

Instagram Content Guides
Our Fitness Instagram Growth Roadmap includes step-by-step guides and practical resources.

Use Trending Audio

Using trending audio in your fitness reels can significantly boost the visibility of your content. When you use a popular song or sound, your reel is more likely to appear in the feeds of users who have engaged with that particular audio. This increased exposure can lead to more likes, comments, and shares, helping you reach a broader audience.

To find trending audio, keep an eye on the Instagram “Explore” page (or “For You” section if you’re on TikTok). These areas often feature popular content, and you’ll notice recurring audio tracks.

Following popular fitness influencers and paying attention to the audio they use can also give you insights into trending sounds.

Or you can simply scroll through the audio tracks when creating your reel and look for the ‘trending’ symbol. It’s a little arrow pointing diagonally upwards which shows a particular audio sample is popular.

The latest releases by big-name music stars are usually a good bet. Beyonce’s ‘This Ain’t Texas’ and Dua Lipa’s ‘Houdini’ are both examples that trended when they were released.

Sports-specific audio can also be perfect for fitness reels. At the time of writing (early July), the Wimbledon TV theme tune and England football (soccer) anthems are trending as competitions for both are underway. Overlaying your reels with these can help them get seen by more of your followers and new people too.

Social Media Engagement Guide Contents

Social Media Engagement Guide

A downloadable guide to boosting social media engagement for health and fitness businesses.

Include a Clear Call to Action to Engage

Including a call to action (CTA) in your fitness reels is crucial for driving engagement. A well-placed CTA can encourage viewers to interact with your content, follow your page, or even take further steps like signing up for a newsletter or visiting your website.

CTAs guide your audience on what to do next, increasing the likelihood of interaction and engagement. Whether it’s liking a video, leaving a comment, sharing the reel, or following your account, CTAs create a clear path for your audience to follow.

Here are some examples of effective calls to action for fitness reels…

  • “Double tap if you found this helpful!”: Encourages viewers to like the video, signaling to the platform that your content is engaging and worth promoting.
  • “Save this workout for later!”: Motivates viewers to save your reel, increasing the chances they’ll return to it and boosting its performance in the algorithm.
  • “Comment below your favorite exercise!”: Prompts engagement through comments, sparking conversations and increasing the video’s reach.
  • “Tag a friend who needs to see this!”: Encourages viewers to share your reel, helping you reach new audiences.
  • “Follow for more fitness tips!”: Directly asks viewers to follow your account, aiding in audience growth.

How can you incorporate CTAs seamlessly into your content? Well, you can mention it verbally during the video or display it as text on the screen. For example, after demonstrating an exercise, you might say, “Try this move and let me know how it goes in the comments!”.

You can also use visual cues like arrows or highlighted text to draw attention to your CTA. This is especially useful in text overlays. We like to add stickers and animated arrows to draw attention to CTAs in reels for our fitness clients.

Strategies For Creating Engaging Fitness Reels

Boost The Performance of Your Fitness Reels

Learning how to make engaging fitness reels can significantly boost your social media presence. They’re a fantastic way to capture attention, share your expertise, and grow your audience on social media. With the popularity of short-form video content skyrocketing, fitness accounts need to leverage reels effectively to stand out in a crowded market.

By having a strong opening, switching up your shots, providing value, including trending audio, and incorporating CTAs, you’ll be set up for success. These strategies will have you well on your way to creating reels that resonate with your audience and build a loyal following.

Get The Fitness Instagram Growth Roadmap

Grow your fitness Instagram, increase engagement, and generate leads with our comprehensive roadmap bundle. It includes video training, practical guides, 4000+ ready-made fitness posts, and more.

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Fitness Instagram Growth Roadmap

Grow your fitness Instagram, increase engagement & generate leads.

Grow Your Fitness Instagram & Get Genuine Engagement

Tap into Instagram’s full potential to grow an engaged community, generate leads, and get customers.

  • Do you want to grow your Insta following and build a larger audience?
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  • Would you like to generate more leads and sales through social media?
  • Do you struggle to create and post content consistently?

Our Fitness Instagram Growth Roadmap is the solution… Learn more here.

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Categories: Social Media

Caroline @ Wellness Creative Co

Qualified personal trainer (BSc Sports Science) & nutritionist (MSc Human Nutrition) with 15+ years of fitness & wellness marketing experience working with global brands.