11 Hebrew Words to Know Before Your Next Workout

2 min read
Zoë Biehl
Zoë Biehl

With all the delicious food in Israel, it’s important to exercise if you want to stay fit! Here are some useful Hebrew words that will come in handy in Tel Aviv.

1. Fitness

Hebrew translation: כּוֹשֶׁר

Transliteration: koh-sher

You might hear Israelis say: אֲנִי הוֹלֵךְ לַעֲשׂוֹת כּוֹשֶׁר — literally meaning, “I’m going to do fitness.” It means the same thing as “I’m going to work out” in English.

2. A Workout

Hebrew translation: אִמּוּן

Transliteration: ee-moon

The word אִמּוּן usually refers to a workout that you attend with a trainer – whether it’s in the gym, at the park, or at the beach.

3. Gym

Hebrew translation: חֲדַר כּוֹשֶׁר

Transliteration: chah-dar koh-sher (but most Israelis pronounce it cheh-der koh-sher)

In Hebrew, the word for gym literally means “fitness room.”

4. Muscles

Hebrew translation: שְׁרִירִים

Transliteration: shreer-eem

You’ll probably hear fitness instructors using this word a lot. Hopefully, you’ll hear Israelis tell you, “וואוו אֵיזֶה שְׁרִירִים” which means something like: “Wow, look at those muscles!”

5. To stretch

Hebrew translation: לַעֲשׂוֹת מְתִיחוּת

Transliteration: lah-ah-sote meh-tee-chote

It’s always important to stretch before a good workout. In Hebrew, to say “I’m stretching,” you would literally say “I’m doing stretches.” אֲנִי עוֹשֶׂה מְתִיחוּת

6. To run

Hebrew translation: לָרוּץ

Transliteration: lah-rootz

In the present tense, you would say רָץ (male) or רָצָה (female) — rahtz / rahtzah. As in: הוּא רָץ מַהֵר — meaning “He runs fast.” Perhaps the most useful phrase, however, is: אֲנִי שׂוֹנֵא לָרוּץ— “I hate running.”

7. Yoga mat

Hebrew translation: מִזְרָן יוֹגַה

Transliteration: meez-rahn yoga (most Israelis pronounce it meez-rone)

In Hebrew, the word for mat is the same word used for mattress! ????

8. To breathe

Hebrew translation: לִנְשֹׁם

Transliteration: Leen-shohm

Don’t forget to breathe when you’re working out! You may hear instructors say: לִנְשֹׁם דֶּרֶךְ הָאַף— “Breathe through the nose.”

9. Inhalation

Hebrew translation: שֵאִיפָה

Transliteration: sheh-ee-fah

Instead of saying “inhale”, in Hebrew, a yoga teacher will simply say “inhalation.”

10. Exhalation

Hebrew Translation: נֵשִיפָה

Transliteration: Neh-shi-fah

It’s annoying, but inhale and exhale sound very similar in Hebrew. Listen carefully to know which one your instructor is telling you to do!

11. I’m sore!

Hebrew translation: כּוֹאֲבִים לִי הַשְּׁרִירִים

Transliteration: koh-ah-veem lee ha-shreer-eem

If you have a hard workout and want to say you’re sore, you literally say: “My muscles hurt.”


Zoë Biehl is a full-time freelance writer and editor with an insatiable passion for travel. Originally from New York, she now happily calls Tel Aviv home.

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