Whether it’s Olivia Newton-John getting “physical” or OK Go hopping between treadmills, there is no shortage of music videos featuring exercise motifs. But Miley Cyrus strength training in the video for her new hit “Flowers” just took the workout theme to a much more meaningful place.
“Flowers” is a self-love anthem in which Cyrus declares over joyous disco beats her ability to be her own satisfying life partner. The chorus is all about how “I can buy myself flowers,” and “I can take myself dancing,” ultimately saying, “I can love me better than you can.” Some think it’s a rebuke to ex-husband Liam Hemsworth, flipping their wedding song—Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man”—on its head line-for-line, but that’s another (internet conspiracy) story.
In the video, Cyrus strut-dances up to a house wearing a hooded gold ballgown, and ultimately sheds the dress to take a dip in the swimming pool wearing her black lingerie. Then, she launches into a full-on poolside workout. And while the routine features plenty of shots of Miley, yes, thrusting in her underwear, it’s actually quite an involved workout routine that seems to be about something more than just showing off her body.
Because Cyrus doesn’t just look svelte and sexy in the workout. She looks focused, determined, and strong.
Part of what makes the segment stand out is how detailed it is. Cyrus starts by wielding a pair of battle ropes in an undulating wave exercise, which is a full-body cardio-strength workout. She snarls and at one point seems to let out a yell while maintaining the motion. While doing resistance banded spiderman pushups and then banded knee drives she is digging deep, visibly coordinating her breath with the movement. In a bird dog, she moves with intention and control. All the while she sings about writing her own name in the sand and holding her own hand, before finishing her workout and bopping off in a playful and all-too-relatable joyful dance.
These aren’t sexy moves on a bicycle a la Ariana Grande. This is straight up strength training and HIIT. What the heck are they doing in a music video?
Perhaps Cyrus included them to make the connection between fitness and self-love. She’s showing off her body, but also all the grit she puts into making those gains. She’s getting stronger physically at the same time that she’s declaring her emotional strength and sufficiency. It’s well known that strength training builds brain power. But maybe she is saying it builds something in your soul, and in your heart, too.
It’s clear that for Miley, and maybe for you, getting stronger is self-love.
Want to do your own “Flowers”-inspired workout? Here are the key moves that you can do at home, courtesy of the interactive fitness mirror company Fiture.
1. Mountain climbers: 3 sets of 16 reps.
2. Hip raises: 3 sets of 16 reps. (To make this more challenging, place dumbbells on your hips.)
3. Spiderman push-ups: 3 sets of 12 reps.
4. Lunge with knee drive hop: 4 sets of 10 reps total (2 sets per side).
5. Plank bird dog: 3 sets of 12 reps (alternating sides), holding for 3 to 5 seconds at a time.