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6 Women Who Inspire Us to Work Out Harder

These fierce, fit female athletes prove that strong is the new sexy
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Forcing ourselves to hit the gym is not always an easy feat: Who actually wants to pound the treadmill after work when we could settle down on the couch with some wine and Netflix? Sometimes we need a little extra nudge to get us to set down the vino and lace up our shoes.

So we take our fitspiration wherever we can get it, whether it be these inspiring fitness mantras, or the following female athletes with incredibly fit bodies. They're fierce, fit and driven: all qualities that earn them front-and-center placement on our Pinterest fitspiration board.

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The Ballerina With Killer Calves
Though she's tiny and ripped by normal-person standards, Misty Copeland was deemed curvier than your average ballerina and was told she needed to "lengthen" (ballet code for "lose weight").

Copeland ignored the criticism and persevered to become the second black female soloist in the history of the American Ballet Theater (ABT). She is also the first black woman to play the Firebird at a major ballet company.

You may have seen her ads for athletic wear company Under Armour, where her inspiring story is summed up in a rejection letter, and her powerful, graceful dancing is on full display.

And now, she's noted, people have stopped telling her to "lengthen."

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The 'American Ninja Warrior' With Serious Guns
The petite Kacy Catanzaro shocked and awed people with her performance on "American Ninja Warrior." She became the first woman to complete both the preliminary course and semi-finals course -- and she made it look easy. Don't even get us started on her impressive run up the Warped Wall (a 17-foot high curved wall that contestants get over to get to the next stage of the course. Considering she's only five feet tall, this is a most impressive feat).

Unfortunately, she didn't make it through the finals course, but the former gymnast definitely left her mark. She trains by doing bodyweight circuits and cardio (and, of course, practicing on the "Ninja Warrior" obstacle course she has in her backyard).

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The Crossfit Games Champ With Toned Thighs
There's not a single part of Crossfit Games champion Camille Leblanc-Bazinet's body that we don't envy -- but her toned, ripped quads are some serious "leg day" inspiration (and they cause us to use the term "quadzilla" in a completely serious, non-ironic way).

The 26-year-old Canadian Crossfitter kicked some serious butt in the Crossfit games this year, earning her the title of the Fittest Woman on Earth. The 5'2" 125-pound powerhouse trains hard; she works out at least twice a day three times a week. While she is religious about what she puts in her mouth (clean foods only -- and she weighs her food), it's not because she's watching her weight. Beauty, she says, isn't about being skinny. It's about confidence and accomplishing your goals.

But Leblanc-Bazinet's not all about lifting heavy weights and doing impossible-looking gymnastics feats -- she's also studying to become a chemical engineer. Talk about brawny and brainy.

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The Boxer With the Abs of Steel
Every inch of Danyelle Wolf's 6-foot-tall frame is taut muscle, but it's her abs that are seriously enviable (and force us to admit that we may need to put some extra effort into our core work).

The Olympic hopeful is also proof that it's never too late to start on your dreams: she'd never even touched a pair of boxing gloves until she was 25. Now, she's a two-time USA Boxing Champion and is on Team USA, thanks to a lot of hard work (think two to three hours of training a day, plus cardio). And even though she's ripped, tough and sporty, she also makes it a point that she likes fashion and other so-called "girly" endeavors, because the perception of a female boxer is quite the opposite of that. See, muscles and high heels don't have to be mutually exclusive.

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