The gym is a place where many women feel comfortable but also intimidated. From subtle pressure to free up equipment to intense observation when they wander into a men’s room, women often find that their exercise experiences in coed gyms have left them feeling unsafe and unwelcome.

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Despite this, the idea of setting up and maintaining an all-women gym is gaining popularity. Increasingly, people are turning to ladies-only fitness spaces as an effective way to combat discrimination and harassment.

Women-only Gyms: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

While gym for women are a great option for many gym-goers, they’re not for everyone. For instance, some have pointed out that women-only workout zones can violate state laws against gender discrimination. They also lack access to the same level of equipment as their coed counterparts, which some women complain about.

But women-only gyms are becoming more popular, largely due to the growing concerns around sexual harassment and objectification in coed gyms. They’re not the solution, of course; gyms still need to tackle sexism at the individual level by hiring and training more male personal trainers.

Moreover, women-only gyms are a more supportive space for women’s lifestyles, including on-site childcare and key access so that working moms can come in and out as needed. They also offer classes geared to specific female health and fitness needs, like core work or thigh toning exercises. And, as a bonus, they’re usually less crowded when it comes to cardio equipment, making them a great choice for busy women.