Justine Nagra shows off the logo for her workout organization PowHERful Movement. (Dekko U Studio/Special to The Star)

Justine Nagra shows off the logo for her workout organization PowHERful Movement. (Dekko U Studio/Special to The Star)

Aldergrove kinesiologist empowers women to feel strong and safe during workouts

The PowHERful Movement aims to help girls lift weights in encouraging, male-free environment

Justine Nagra, a 26-year-old Aldergrove resident, thinks the reason she focuses so much on the rehab aspects of fitness is because of her own injuries.

Nagra tore her ACL on her left knee twice in five years and have had multiple surgeries and extensive rehabilitation to help it heal.

Through that, she not only gained experience, but the desire to help others in their pursuit for a safe workout.

Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Nagra graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Victoria.

“I grew up around fitness,” she told The Star. “My dad opened up his first gym on the island when I was six years old. He is also a personal trainer and used to be a competitive power lifter, so I think a lot of my fitness influence came from him.”

The PowHERful Movement was inspired by a time she was working out at her dad’s gym.

“I was in the free weight section and realized that most of the people in this section were men,” Nagra recalled. “I remembered how uncomfortable and self-conscious I felt growing up as a woman and trying to make my way into this section – even though I grew up in my dad’s gym.”

Nagra said she remembered thinking to herself how unfair it was that the weight room section was dominated by men, while stereotypically, the cardio machines were dominated by women.

“I want to see more women dominating the free weights! I want women to be empowered by how strong they are physically and mentally,” she explained.

By launching a non-profit group of females consisting of kinesiologists, kinesiology students, and fitness enthusiasts all on the collective mission to empower young girls – Nagra believes she is creating a more comfortable space for girls to feel confident and grow.

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She also noted that The PowHERful Movement is growing in size and popularity, with Ivneet Lidder and Gurpreet Kaur serving as a volunteer kinesiologists and Ravneet Sohal running social media.

“I hope that by providing knowledge in the weight room, we can create more healthy individuals in the world who have the tools to work out safely and effectively,” Nagra added.

Originally, The PowHERful Movement was offering free strength training sessions to high school girls after class at the school weight rooms around the Fraser Valley.

Nagra was able to only get a couple sessions in when first launching the organization in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down.

“We’re hoping to get back to doing this in September! For now, we are just posting tips and workouts over on our Instagram,” Nagra noted.

People can follow tips and workout inspiration @thepowHERfulmovement or visit www.facebook.com/The-Powherful-Movement.

“If you are a kinesiologist or fitness professional looking to get involved in the community, feel free to contact me,” Nagra encouraged. “If you are a high school student and you’d like us to come into your school send me an email. If you are not of high school age but are still looking for some personal training or injury rehab services, I also provide free consultations.”

People can contact Nagra by calling 604-338-8893 or emailing justinenagra@hotmail.com.

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