90s workout trends we want to come back
The 90s were a magnificent time to be alive! From girl power (#SpiceGirlsForever) to Justin Timberlake’s glorious bleached curls…
Image credit: mtv.com
… the 90s gave us so much. When it comes to health and fitness, there were some pretty great (and hilarious) trends born too. I spoke to Sally Symonds, personal trainer and Director of Love Your Weight Loss, about the best workout trends from the decade of double denim. Prepare to see a LOT of spandex...
The supplement creatine became super popular in the 90s as a training aid, however Sally was never a fan. She rarely recommends supplements as, “All too often, supplements become something that people rely upon to train and creatine is already found naturally in our bodies.” The only people who would benefit from creatine as a supplement are bodybuilders, which is probably why this trend was also popular in the 90s...
Firstly, apologies for the disturbing image above! Secondly, Sally explains that bodybuilding was not actually born in the 90s, it’s been around since the 19th century. She reckons Hollywood is responsible for its resurgence though. “It was really only when the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme began to regularly [appear on] our movie screens that bodybuilding became really cool.” Men weren’t the only stars who put bodybuilding on the map either, “Let’s not forget Linda Hamilton’s arms in Terminator 2 – they inspired a lot of women!”
Image credit: youtube.com
The 8-Minute Abs workout released in the 90s had a fabulous video of an ab workout that takes only (you guessed it…) eight minutes. But is it effective and should you give it a go? Quite simply, no and no. Sally explains that while it’s a good basic workout, there are a lot of crunches involved “which can be harmful to your lower back”. And of course, there’s the questionable notion that you can get rock hard abs in just eight minutes a day. Sally tells us what we already know but hate to admit – there’s no such thing as a magic exercise! If you’re a beginner looking for some ab exercises, Sally recommends Pilates-based workouts. “[They’re] low impact, there is very little chance of injury and most can be done without any equipment.” She suggests trying toe taps, leg extensions, hundreds, roll ups, criss-crosses and planks, which are all great for beginners.
When I asked Sally about the benefits of step aerobics she replied cheekily, “There are benefits to a step class?” Back in the 90s though, women went crazy for this group exercise and it still exists today. Sally says it is certainly good for cardiovascular training but it won’t do much else. Plus, she reminds us that it’s a nightmare if you’re uncoordinated (ah, the humiliation!).
Image credit: itstimetexas.org
Right behind step aerobics on our 90s fitness list is the glorious phenomenon Jazzercise. Sally describes it as, “The mother of [activities] like pole dancing (for fitness) and Zumba.” She explains the trend got people into exercise who otherwise wouldn’t and interestingly enough, it’s resurging. Quick, pull out your sweat bands and grab anything fluoro!
Speaking of sweat bands, Richard Simmons was pretty much the face of 90s fitness. A fun fact? He, like Sally, knows what it’s like to have been overweight. He lost more than 45kg and has kept it off for close to 50 years. Sally explains that Richard actually began his career “because he was fed up with the weight loss and fitness industries only catering for people who were fairly fit and not all that overweight”. This relatability would definitely have contributed to his success! And we have to admit, his (over) enthusiasm is kind of contagious, right?
Image credit: ebay.com
Ah, the Thighmaster, the original tool that supposedly helped women exercise their way to the perfect ‘thigh gap’. These days people use circles or balls to do the same thing (essentially squeezing the legs together and releasing with a heap of repetition). Sally spills on this 90s device, saying the activation exercise is ineffective for losing fat and toning up and because of its repetitive nature, “your body will quickly become used to these exercises and adapt so it won’t have to work as hard”. The best exercises for slimming and toning your thighs are “compound exercises like squats, lunges and deadlifts”. And remember – variety is key!
Image credit: thelifeandvibesofdotcom.wordpress
Okay, this is just here for our amusement – and we REALLY hope they don’t make a comeback… or do we?
What trends (fitness or otherwise) would you love to see come back from the 90s?