How To Exercise for Your Zodiac Sign, According to a Strength-Specialist Astrologer

Photo: Stocksy/Ivan Gener
While a well-rounded exercise routine will always include some version of cardio and some type of strength-training, the potential options therein are virtually endless. Though you might be able to tell intuitively if you’re, say, a dance-cardio person or a boxing fan, or if you’d take Pilates over running any day, those preferences are tied to aspects of personality and temperament over which astrology often governs. Because of this connection, learning how to exercise for your zodiac sign could point you toward a workout style well-aligned to how you naturally hold and express energy.

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Because your sun sign in astrology (or the sign you'd typically read a horoscope for) is the one most closely linked with your core identity and basic nature, this sign, in particular, can offer some key intel about the type of exercise you’re most likely to vibe with, according to astrologer and certified strength and conditioning specialist Claire Gallagher, author of Body Astrology.

Each sign has a movement gesture, or a word or phrase that speaks to how the sign is most likely to move energetically through space.

To understand how, you might consider what Gallagher has termed each sign’s movement gesture—a word or phrase that speaks to how the sign is most likely to move energetically through space, based on its inherent qualities and the parts of the body over which it rules. (For example, Libra’s movement gesture is “symmetry,” while Taurus’s is “slow and steady.”) “I chose the word ‘gesture’ intentionally here because it’s broad,” she says. “It’s not about making assumptions to inform what somebody’s body experience might be like, but more so about offering a general guide that any person of each sign can follow however they see fit.”

So, learning how to exercise for your zodiac sign isn’t about pinpointing a specific type of workout, like yoga for Cancers or ballet for Virgos, but is instead about finding an exercise modality that embodies your sign’s movement gesture—one that plays to your sign’s energetic strengths, while supporting its natural weaknesses. Read on to find the movement gesture for your zodiac sign, plus Gallagher’s star-sanctioned advice for how to exercise for your sign accordingly.

How to exercise for your zodiac sign's unique energy, according to a movement specialist and astrologer


Movement gesture: Peak

How to exercise: Your energy tends to come in high-intensity bursts, thanks to your cardinal modality and fire element. And "peak" refers to the very apex of that energy, which you might access in a HIIT class, with quick sprints, or in any kind of exercise that gets your blood pumping.

Just keep in mind that for a peak to be a peak, it needs valleys on either side of it—which also means you require adequate recovery and rest to sustain your energy over time, says Gallagher: "In order to reach true intensity, you need periods, both during a workout session and in life, where you're consciously scaling back."


Movement gesture: Slow and steady

How to exercise: As an Earth sign with a fixed modality, you're more like the tortoise than the hare: Slow and steady tends to trump speed and haste in your eyes. In general, that means you could vibe with anything that naturally requires stamina, like long walks or distance running, as well as measured, methodical modalities like powerlifting or CrossFit.

You're also among the most sensory-oriented of the signs, says Gallagher, which means any exercise that incorporates a pleasurable setting, like hiking or skiing, is bound to go over well with you.


Movement gesture: Playful

How to exercise: "Fun" and "mental stimulation" likely rank high on your checklist of things you look for in a workout, given your active air-sign vibe. Just like you, your exercise routine should essentially keep things interesting: "In a gym context, that might mean incorporating lots of pivoting movements, jumping, or multi-step combinations that keep your mental attention," says Gallagher. "And beyond that, it could also mean engaging in totally unstructured movements, like, say, running around outside with your dog."


Movement gesture: Intuitive

How to exercise: Because Cancer energy is, at its core, moon energy (that's your planetary ruler), it tends to wax and wane with your environment. And Gallagher suggests leaning into that fluidity by engaging in an intuitive movement practice: "No matter what modality you choose to do—be it swimming or skateboarding or something else entirely—moving intuitively is about leaving room for the body to shift, and adapting your practice to match," she says. That could mean decreasing or increasing its intensity, duration, or some other element of it, depending on how you feel on any given day.


Movement gesture: Heart-tending

How to exercise: Because the sign of Leo rules over the heart, and the heart can play such an integral role in exercise, it's no surprise that your movement gesture is "heart-tending." While that can certainly refer to something cardiovascular in nature like running or dance cardio or anything else that gets your heart pumping, it can also mean something like hot yoga that dials up your natural heat in a more soulful way.

In any case, just like fellow fire sign Aries, it's important for you to temper your natural affinity for hotter, sweatier, or faster movements with a recovery counterpoint, says Gallagher, so you're effectively toeing the line between "just intense enough" and "too intense."


Movement gesture: Awareness

How to exercise: The realm of your ruling planet, Mercury, includes the nervous system—which has both parasympathetic (rest and digest) and sympathetic (fight or flight) states. That's why exercise modalities that allow you to regulate your nervous system, tune into an awareness of your body, and find structural alignment (in line with your methodical nature) are often the ones you'll vibe with, says Gallagher. Yoga, Pilates, and calisthenics are likely fits, but in general, Gallagher recommends "going back to basics and focusing on being present in your body."


Movement gesture: Symmetry

How to exercise: As an equinox sign—your season happens during the fall equinox when the hours of lightness and darkness in a day are equal—you're likely to appreciate balance in a workout routine. As with Aries, that could mean pairing high intensity exercise with slower, restorative movements, or even more literally, being careful to strengthen and stretch paired muscle groups in balance with each other, says Gallagher.

One point of caution: "Given your sign is ruled by Venus, it's possible for you to get sidetracked by some of the surface-level Venusian things, like appearance," says Gallagher. "So, it may be important to accept that perhaps appearance is something you value—which is totally fine—without feeling the need to align your movement with some sort of societal standard of 'looking good.'"


Movement gesture: Power

How to exercise: Ruled by intense and fiery Mars, you may be a powerful force to be reckoned with in the gym, when you want to be. But, it's important to unpack your movement gesture of "power" from a "non-fitness-culture or pain-as-gain perspective," says Gallagher. Sure, powerlifting or HIIT or CrossFit may be a crucial component of your fitness equation, but it's not all about sweating a ton or huffing and puffing, she says: "What this sign really thrives off is transformation, which you can certainly find outside of these high-intensity cycles, too."


Movement gesture: Locomotion

How to exercise: You're as explorative as they come, Sagittarius. And your mutable-sign energy translates to a similarly on-the-go movement gesture: locomotion. "This is about not being afraid to take movement outside or to break out of the mold that exercise has to look like a particular workout routine," says Gallagher. "Allow yourself to have a movement appetite that changes, and create space for spontaneous movement, too." In particular, because Sagittarius rules the lower limbs, you may find it easy to regularly go on runs or walks. That's great, but don't forget to explore diverse planes of motion, adds Gallagher, like diagonal lunges and pivotal and side-to-side movements.


Movement gesture: Longevity

How to exercise: You love crossing things off a checklist, thanks to taskmaster Saturn's influence as your ruling planet. But, the repetition and structure of traditional workout programs isn't often sustainable for you—and a diversity of movement is what may actually help keep your bones and joints (Capricorn-ruled body parts) in good shape for the long haul.

That might mean incorporating mobility or stretch breaks throughout the workday or going on short walks to get the blood flowing, rather than relegating your workout to a single hour per day of regimented movement.


Movement gesture: Pressure/release

How to exercise: Your dual rulership by structure-oriented Saturn and innovative Uranus is the inspiration behind your movement gesture of "pressure/release." This encompasses the inherent tension between these oppositional planets and a way to powerfully break through it, says Gallagher. In exercise terms, that could mean you enjoy plyometric movement (which involves jump training in fast intervals), or, in terms of sports, anything that requires you to pivot quickly—like basketball or dance, she says: "The idea is to use these kinds of explosive or ballistic movements to release pressure and get the body circulating energy."


Movement gesture: Fluidity

How to exercise: As a mutable water sign, you have a go-with-the-flow vibe that lends itself well to the graceful, connected movements typical of Tai Chi or ballet. "Pisces often derives a lot of meaning from unhurried and even hypnotic movements," says Gallagher. Because your sign rules over the feet, balance may be a particular strong suit (making you potentially well-positioned for something like water skiing or surfing), and from a more literal sense, foot-dominant activities, like soccer or tap dancing, could certainly find a spot within your exercise repertoire, adds Gallagher.

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