11 Highly Effective Vintage Exercise Moves We Need To Bring Back Right Now

I'll never forget my mom doing those Denise Austin exercise videos in our living room when I was growing up. As a little girl, I used to work out to them with her (which could've planted the seed for my passion for health and fitness). I loved those videos, and the aerobic moves were super fun. My 7-year-old self would jump around the room with my bouncy blonde ponytail doing my best to mimic her every move in all their '90s cheesiness glory. But '90s cheese aside, we should really bring these 11 highly effective vintage exercise moves back soon. Because the truth is, they work! As a personal trainer and fitness instructor, I know that for sure (see, all those living room workouts with mom really did influence my future). And while some of these exercises are still commonly seen today, they nevertheless deserve some added recognition for their longevity.

I still remember some of Denise Austin's moves from her workout videos, even today. But, fast forward to 2018: With so many fitness trends that have come and gone, others seem like they're here to stay. Today, let's get back to basics. These moves are awesome even though they're totally vintage. Some of these may even be forgotten. And I guarantee if you do these exercises back to back, three times through, you'll feel like you never need to step foot in a gym. Get ready for a total body workout, throwback-style.


Wall Sit

Ready to burn out those thighs? I remember always having to do these in soccer practice and they kill. The Wall Sit is an isometric hold targeting all the muscles in your thighs and glutes. Try it for 10 seconds and make sure you're pushing into the wall with your weight in the back of your feet. Keep adding 10 seconds to each round until you reach one minute. Can't make it to a minute yet? Aim for 30 seconds to start and build your way up to a full minute. Your legs will be on fire and the results are addictive.


Mini Trampoline

As a young girl, my mini trampoline was one of my absolute favorite things and thanks to this video, now I remember why. The mini trampoline became super popular as a workout in the '80s, as Shape reported, and is making a comeback with trampoline workouts popping up all over. These workouts are awesome for cardio and sculpting and are especially good for people who need a low impact exercise.


Water Aerobics

Think water aerobics are just to a way to pass the time after retirement? Think again. While doing water aerobics is definitely a great option for people who need low impact workouts, it doesn't mean you won't be challenged. Any exercise done in water is hard. The water acts as your resistance, so you can make your workout as easy or challenging as you'd like.



Back in elementary school, this was one of the standard exercises we had to do during our physical fitness tests. If you're looking to increase ab strength, the basic sit-up is super old school, but definitely a throwback worth mentioning.



An oldie but goodie — the basic push-up. You'll still find these in CrossFit WODs (Workout Of the Day) and sometimes in some of the trendiest bootcamp style fitness boutiques because they're challenging and effective for working the whole body.


Side Bends

It's important to do this one slow and controlled while keeping your abs engaged with your belly button toward your spine. It feels super easy while you're doing it but trust me, your sides will be sore for days.


Leg Lifts

If you're looking to target the lower abdominals, then this is one exercise you need to try. Make sure you keep the small of your back on the floor throughout the whole motion. Can't get your feet to the floor while keeping your back in place? No problem, just bring your legs down as far as you can (while keeping your lower back pushed into the floor) and work up from there.



Another exercise that has been around since basically the dinosaur age: the pull-up. This exercise gets great upper body results, because it's very challenging, but it takes a lot of practice... so be patient. If you're still having trouble mastering your pull-up game after a while, check out some modifications.


Side Leg Lifts

I never see this exercise anywhere anymore and I don't know why. This type of leg lifts help strengthen the hips and tone the side of your butt, giving it a nice firm shape. I mean, that's the goal right?


Dynamic Stretches

Dynamic stretching, like these vintage gems, is a great way to warm up and cool down muscles to help prevent injury and increase flexibility, according to CrossFit Committed. Dynamic stretching is stretching that incorporates movement, as opposed to static stretching (which is stretching in a fixed position).


Jumping Jacks

One of my all time favorite exercises to warm up the muscles and get your heart rate up? Good old jumping jacks. Some safety tips: Land softly on your feet and keep your abdominals tight. Want to spice up this exercise? See how many you can do in 60 seconds or add a burpee in-between.

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