Snap While You Sweat: The World's Gym Selfie Hotspots

Did you even go to the gym if you didn’t take a selfie? Since the inception of Instagram, many of us have taken more of an interest in documenting and sharing our lives with our family and friends. Whether you’re posting a pic of your brand-new wheels, your summer holiday or a selfie in your new gym gear, it’s easy to get excited about updating the ‘gram.

With over 3.3 million posts under the hashtag #gymselfie, the online photo sharing platform has become the go-to place for fitness inspiration, training advice and, for many users, is where they document their fitness journeys too. With this in mind, we wanted to investigate which cities around the globe are the most snap-happy when it comes to their workouts. Which countries, and locations in particular, enjoy posting a snapshot of the time they spend at their local gym? We set about evaluating the number of Instagram posts for gyms in over 500 cities around the world against each city’s population, to reveal which residents take the most photos while they work out!

Jump to Top 10 British Gym Selfie Hotspots


We may speak different languages, but the gym selfie is universal, with cities from different continents across the globe finding themselves in our rankings for the most snap-happy fitness enthusiasts. The top spot was filled by Spain’s Marbella, with a high score of 68.3 - making its gyms the most photographed in the world. The UAE’s Dubai followed closely behind with a score of 67.8, and the UK’s city of Norwich came in third, scoring 48.5 points.

The UK came out on top as the country where gym users are most likely to snap while they sweat, with eight British cities featuring in the top 25 alone. Australia followed, with seven of its cities in the top 25 and the United States is third, featuring four cities partial enough to a gym selfie to land in the top 25.



With over 9,000 hashtags and a population of just 134,000, the sunny coastal city of Marbella on Spain’s Costa del Sol ranks as the number one gym selfie hotspot of the globe with the highest score in our rankings. This is no surprise considering the city is home to around 4,350 health clubs; which includes two popular and Instagrammable spots, the M13 Gym and the Real Club Padel Marbella, where gym users (and even celebrity fitness influencers) love to document their workouts.



Sweeping into second place is luxury emirate Dubai. A population of almost 3 million, and just under 200,000 gym hashtags on Instagram, cements it as its own gym selfie hotspot; quite predictable given the city’s commitment to fitness, where residents take part in an annual fitness challenge involving 30 minutes of exercise every day for 30 days. For the most Instagrammable gym in the area, head to Barry’s Bootcamp, a boutique fitness studio hailing from the US.



Norwich, the UK’s highest appearance in the line-up, packs a punch in third place, with just over 10,000 gym hashtags and a population of 213,166 people giving it a score of 48.5 in our rankings. Personal trainers and fitness enthusiasts alike post on the photo sharing app from all over the city, with gym Hustle Norwich providing a very Instagram friendly background for the gym selfies of Norwich residents.



Britain takes the podium as the global gym selfie hotspot, with eight of the top 20 places filled by cities in the UK. Norwich celebrates first place, scoring 48.5 points, with Wigan and Leeds following behind.

With six northern cities in the top 10 alone, and a combined 65,000 hashtags, the country’s Northerners just edged in front of their southern counterparts as most likely to post their gym pics on Instagram. While Edinburgh is the only Scottish city, and Cardiff the only Welsh, to feature in the top 20 rankings.

Perhaps surprisingly, neither Londoners nor Mancunians are amongst the most snap-happy gym goers, ranking 35th and 44th respectively.



Norwich is front of the pack when it comes to taking gym selfies, not just in the UK, but also globally - ranking third worldwide. A population of just over 210,000 have posted 10,346 hashtags on the ‘gram, proving the picturesque East Anglian city is full of social media savvy fitness lovers.



Wigan also boasts an impressive #selfiescore globally, ranking fourth worldwide and second in the UK. Over 8,440 posts have been uploaded by those from the Greater Manchester town, which has around 175,000 residents.



Yorkshire city Leeds has 17,729 Instagram posts under its gym-related hashtags, bringing the city in as the fifth most fond of a gym selfie globally, and third most likely to post a workout snap in the UK.



We counted over 1.5 million hashtags on Instagram, looking at #[city]gym and #gym[city] along with their translated counterparts for over 500 cities around the globe. We then analysed the data against the population sizes of each city, in order to give each location a score and reveal which city is most likely to take a photo while at the gym. All data correct as of December 2021.

Looking for some training tips and advice? Then head over to our Training category where our athletes and experts explain everything you need to know.


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