Create Inspiring Fitness Images with PicMonkey

Everyone needs a little motivation now and then, especially when it comes to working out. Sometimes that couch, that chocolate chip cookie, or those 10 seasons of Friends you’ve got queued up on Netflix look oh so much more inviting than a sweaty gym.

That’s why “fitspo” has become so popular. Also known as “fitness inspiration,” fitspo imagery has helped everyone from serious athletes to dedicated gym rats to occasional Zumba-ers find the incentive they need to reach their fitness goals.

Whether you’re in the business of inspiring others to get active or you just want to galvanize your inner circle, we’ve got some energetic ideas on how to use PicMonkey to produce your very own fitness images.

Fitspo ideals

One of the most common types of fitspo is images of fit people doing physically challenging things. The idea is to inspire yourself and others to get up and get active. Posting these kinds of pics on social media is a great way to let the world know that you’re on a mission to get strong, get healthy, and get in shape.


  • The image on the left can be created with the PicMonkey app. Just use the Draw tool to write your inspirational quote and squiggly lines.

  • For the image on the right, we added a colored triangle graphic, then upped its transparency.

Challenging norms

Fitspo is not without its detractors. Some feel that pushing people to exercise by showing them images of impossibly perfect bodies promotes low self-esteem and sets people on a path to frustration and disappointment when they don’t reach that unattainable goal.

However, there are plenty of ways to create inspiring images without propagating negative feelings. If you’re a fitness pro, try showing pictures of people with bodies of all shapes and sizes, older people, and those who are physically disabled. Emphasize that everyone has their own fitness objectives and ideal bodies, and no one needs to ascribe to any one body type. Or if you’re on your own fitness journey and you want to post pics of yourself, don’t worry if you don’t look like you just walked out of Shape magazine. There’s room for everyone in the fitspo universe.

Tip: The brightly colored transparent graphics in these images give them a light, happy feel. They also make it easier to read the text on top of the photos.

Motivational quotes

While looking at fit people being active is undoubtedly inspiring, so are words of wisdom that capture the importance of exercise. Fitspo quotes range from sassy to profound, it’s just a matter of what gets you revved up. And while sometimes these motivational phrases are placed on top of photos of people in action, they can also be put over plain backgrounds, serene landscapes, or other inspiring images. Here are some examples of quotes we like:

  • Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.

  • The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.

  • You don’t get the ass you want by sitting on it.

  • Making excuses burns zero calories per hour.

  • The hardest lift of all is lifting your butt off the couch.

  • Fitness is not about being better than someone else, it’s about being better than you used to be.

  • Fitness is like marriage. You can’t cheat on it and expect it to work.

Tip: These images use the eraser tool to get that fabulous layered effect. We’ve got a great tutorial to show you how to do it.

Healthy eating

Being fit isn’t just about exercise—it’s also about how you eat. Fitspo aficionados tend to highlight a holistic approach to healthy living that includes diet, food, and nutritional advice. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables, frothy smoothies, grain bowls, and other healthy treats make great imagery for fitspo.


  • The image on the left uses our curved text tool. It’s also a great example of flat lay photography.

  • The image on the right has a subtle pink graphic on top to make the writing stand out and give the entire image a warm, rosy glow.

Body bending

Yoga, pilates, qigong, and tai chi are also a solid part of the fitspo aesthetic. Common shots include people contorted into impressive poses or even just a serene lotus position. You don’t have to lift, grunt, and sweat to achieve your fitness goals. Mastering one of these ancient forms of exercise could lead you to your ideal body as well as a peaceful mind.

Tip: Using shapes in your images is a clever way to call attention to the shapes formed by the human body. In the image on the right, the angles of the triangle are a nice contrast to the gentle curves of the circle and the text.

Fun fitness

Fitspo is full of people sheathed in lycra sitting atop high-performance road bikes or spinning cycles, but you’ll rarely see someone gliding along on a beach cruiser in a flowery summer dress. Why not mix things up by posting some shots with a fun, playful, or silly attitude? Feel free to post pics of yourself and others engaged in low-impact exercise such as walking, softball, or even hopscotch!


  • The image on the left uses the black and white effect, which gives it an old-timey feel. It also makes the text on top more readable.

  • The image on the right uses a graphic from the Postal group to serve as a background for the text and to echo the current of the lake.

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Molly Shapiro

Before joining the PicMonkey editorial team as a senior writer, Molly wrote about topics as varied as politics, finance, global health, and online dating. As a fiction writer, she’s published two books, both available on Amazon through totally non-sketchy retailers. A midwestern transplant who now calls Seattle home, Molly firmly believes that the Space Needle is way cooler than the Eiffel Tower.