Experts Explain How to Get a Body Like a K-pop Idol

K-pop, or Korean pop music, has exploded in popularity all over the world in recent years.

K-pop stars like Lalisa, Kim Taehyung (V), and Jungkook are now major, global celebrities.

So it stands to reason that the K-pop idol body, physique, and overall look has also has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, as well.

Tons of younger fitness fans and people just getting into fitness are asking:

How can I get a body like a K-pop idol?

The thin, toned, and not overly muscular physique of a K-pop idol is extremely appealing. And thankfully, it’s not that hard to train for — some light strength training, plenty of cardio and conditioning, and dieting to get to low levels of body fat are really all that it takes.

Let’s take a closer look!

What Are the Hallmarks of the “K-Pop Idol Physique”?

K-pop idol bodies are becoming increasingly recognized.

K-pop idols are very thin, and they don’t have a lot of muscle mass—yet they don’t look weak, and the tall men don’t look lanky.

You can tell K-pop idols are fit and eat well even without knowing the extensive training schedule and strict diet plans they incorporate.

But it’s not all about what’s on the outside.

How a K-pop idol’s body functions is arguably even more impressive than the looks aspect.

K-pop idols spend hours dancing every day. Depending on the company they’re with, some K-pop idols train 9–10 hours per day.

It takes a lot of strength and stamina to dance for 9–10 hours with minimal breaks.

Pair that with singing and rapping, and they need cardiovascular systems made of steel!

Not to mention the choreography they do; it’s intensive, fast-paced, and complex.

Some K-pop groups perform moves that most dancers can only dream of, and it takes a ton of agility and being in tune with your body to get to that point.

A K-pop idol body is a lean and toned one one with tons of flexibility, coordination, strength, stamina, and visual appeal.

Despite this, it’s one of the easier bodies to train for—if you like dancing, stretching, and eating clean.

6 Training Tips for a K-Pop Idol Body

The training regime you’ll need for a K-pop idol’s body is busy, but it’s not too intensive compared to some other workout routines that are out there!

You can work out more or less depending on how fast you want to see results and how much time you have, but don’t push yourself too hard — that’s a good recipe for getting injured.

The tips below are all you need to covet this body, as they’ll keep you plenty fit, and they’re tailored to produce the results for the body type you desire.

1. Stick To A Rigid Diet Plan

K-pop idols are allegedly encouraged to be as thin as possible, and it’s a well-known secret that harsh managers don’t always encourage them to do this in the most healthy way.

If you want to be healthy and strong, you’ll need to craft a nutrition plan that allows you to drop fat without losing athleticism and strength or becoming dangerously obsessed with the scale.

Here’s how you can start.

Determine a Goal Weight

You don’t need to have a goal weight, and you can also just go by what you see in the mirror or how your clothes fit, especially if you’ve had issues with scales in the past.

However, having a goal weight is a good idea since concrete goals are better for keeping you motivated.

Your goal weight should reflect an appropriately low body fat percentage. For reference, it usually takes about 10% or less bodyfat for men to see visible abs, and a little higher for women.

Check out this guide for how to figure out your goal weight based on your target body fat percentage.

Eat a K-Pop Idol’s Diet

If you’re trying to lose fat, then you’ll need to eat in a calorie deficit.

Input your stats in a calorie calculator, and you’ll find out how much energy you burn in a day. Eat around 500 fewer calories than that, and you’ll lose about a pound of fat per week.

An easy way to cut calories is by swapping out what kind of foods you eat. Processed foods have a lot of calories and little nutritional value, so it’s a good call to cut those out.

Cutting out sugary foods and liquid calories while increasing water intake is another good idea.

Technically you can eat anything you want as long as it’s under your calorie limit, but K-pop idols have incredibly healthy diets that help their bodies function efficiently.

Here’s what some avid K-pop body fans have theorized idols eat:

  • Large quantities of steamed vegetables to feel full from the fiber
  • Protein-rich poultry, such as chicken, to feel full and fuel their workouts
  • Sweet potato for healthy carbs and energy
  • Brown rice and vegetables for energy and feeling full

Fruit, eggs, fatty fish, and low-fat dairy are also good to consume.

If you struggle with eating disorders or body image, here are some resources that can help from the National Eating Disorders Association.

2. Dance All Day Long

Okay, you don’t actually have to dance all day.

However, it’s a good idea to incorporate some kind of dance training into your routine!

Other kinds of cardio can burn calories and build your conditioning, but dance cardio is the best way to look and move like a K-pop idol.

Take dance classes in your dance style of choice. All kinds of dance styles help work your body, tone your muscles, and increase your coordination.

K-pop stars mostly perform using elements of street dance and hip hop, but if that’s not the dancing you like, then you don’t have to do it. 

Ballet is great for increasing your coordination and balance, tap is great for rhythm and joint strength, and other styles have other benefits.

The general benefits of dancing include: 

  • Improving the cardiovascular system
  • Increasing aerobic fitness
  • Improving muscle tone and strength
  • Strengthening bones
  • Increasing agility and flexibility

It’s the perfect way to work out when you’re striving for your dream K-pop idol body.

3. Incorporate Barre 

Barre is a way of combining stretching, strength training, and dance.

It’s usually done in group settings in a ballet studio or gym, but it’s not ballet. It does, however, use the ballet bar, lots of ballet moves, and other dance-inspired movements.

It’s an incredibly challenging exercise that lets you get to know your body and how it moves, and it’s great for your muscles, joints, and weight maintenance.

There are some elements of strength training in barre, too.

If you don’t have time to incorporate more than one or two activities, then definitely make time for barre.

If you can only choose one activity, it should be either barre or dancing so you’ll reap the most rewards.

4. Do Regular Strength Training

K-pop idols aren’t muscular, but they’re extremely toned.

Muscle tone primarily comes down to being lean enough to see definition. But without any form of strength training, your muscles won’t pop the way you want.

Light strength training with an emphasis on getting stronger over time is all you need. You won’t need to squat 500 pounds or bench press 2 plates to look like a K-pop star.

Your main goal is leaner, not bigger.

Jamie Lloyd, a personal trainer, gave muscle toning tips to a fitness magazine in the UK, and they can apply to coveting a K-pop idol body.

He mentions it’s a popular belief that you need to lift light weights for a lot of reps to tone your muscles and build endurance.

However, he claims it’s both more efficient and effective to lift heavy weights for fewer reps—he suggests 8–12 reps.

Doing this until you’re fatigued is a great way to tone your muscles.

Lloyd then says you shouldn’t worry about accidentally bulking up by doing this exercise, as it’s much harder to bulk up than most people think.

So go to the gym two or three times a week, lift weights until you’re fatigued, and your muscles should start feeling harder and stronger without becoming too prominent.

5. Do Yoga, Pilates, and Stretching

K-pop bodies are delightfully agile and flexible, and your dance training will help with that.

However, yoga, pilates, and any form of stretching you do will help with this too.

Which activity you pick depends on your preferences, but they have equal advantages when it comes to developing your flexibility.

Yoga can help you improve your form regardless of your dance style. It’s great for helping you develop your balance and flexibility while building fluid, functional strength.

Pilates helps elongate and slim your muscles while keeping them toned and strong. It’s also great for building endurance, and we all know K-Pop idols have a ton of that.

Lastly, stretching is good for the muscles and joints, and it helps minimize the risk of injury when you’re training. 

Doing a yoga, pilates, or guided stretching workout at least once a week is a fantastic idea when building a K-pop body, but incorporating them more often will be more beneficial.

6. Do HIIT For Extra Cardio

Finally, let’s not forget that you need the cardiovascular system of a superhero to have a K-pop idol body, so you’ll need to do some cardio outside of just dancing.

Dancing is great cardio, but it’s good to supplement it with some HIIT cardio workouts that you can do at home on your days off from classes and the gym.

Lucky for you, you can take your workout routine right from a K-pop idol himself:

BTS’s Jungkook revealed his workout routine in November of 2021, so following it will surely help you get and maintain the K-pop body you want.

This is a long workout, so you could do it slowly with a rest period between each move.

On the other hand, you could pick and choose different exercises from this routine to create shorter HIIT workouts that you cycle through.

If you’re really up for a challenge, you could do the whole thing as a long, high-energy, fast-paced HIIT workout.

Here’s what he does:

  • 20 pushups
  • 20 pike pushups
  • 20 squats
  • 20 jump squats
  • 10 planks (presumably 30 or 60 seconds)
  • 20 mountain climbers
  • 15 burpees
  • 20 crunches
  • 20 leg raises
  • 20 superman’s exercise

Wrapping Up

There you have it.

Building a K-pop idol’s body takes a lot of time and effort, but it’s not as brutal a training regime as some other body types require.

Your main goal will be to get lean and toned. That requires discipline in the kitchen to lose fat, regular cardio and dancing to burn calories, and strength training to ensure your muscles pop.

Just don’t forget about the function of a K-pop physique! Sure, it looks great, but it’s also nimble, fluid, and extremely athletic. Dancing, yoga, barre, and pilates can help you achieve this balance.

Easier said than done, but totally doable. So get to work!

For other similar body types, check out:

Hope this helps!