Health

The rise of retrocise

Fasten your Reebok Pumps as we visit some of the big exercise trends of the '90s
Loading the player...

From rollerblades to the rise of celebrity workout videos, fitness reached a whole new zenith in the ’90s. Some of these trends have survived better than others, but they’re all still available and many are gaining a second life.

So let’s take a step back in time and look at some of our favourites!

Watch Below: How to keep fit at any age

Step Aerobics

If the ’80s was all about Jane Fonda’s aerobic workouts (right), the ’90s was an era when many people stepped up their workout game – literally! Light, adjustable and easy to fit under the bed, the aerobics step soon became a must-have for every home. 

Another huge benefit of this kind of workout is it provides a high-impact routine that’s also gentle on your joints, giving you the best of both worlds. 

These days you can find modern variations of step aerobics, with workouts like Les Mills Bodystep still available in many gyms (as well as online).

Or if you want to go completely old-school, head to YouTube where you can find routines by the likes of Jane Fonda, Cher and Kim Kardashian.

Related: The Best Workout Apps

Exercise
(Credit: Getty)

Rollerblading

Blame the new Barbiecore trend if you will, but inline skates are having a moment. Rollerblades became popular in the ’90s, hot on the heels of the ’70s and ’80s rollerskate craze. 

Thanks to cult skating brands like Impala, they’ve been making a gradual return to popularity for the last few years. Of course, the real test is likely to be the release of Greta Gerwig’s new Barbie movie, which is set to hit cinemas next year. 

Already the internet has been swept by pics of Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling rollerblading through Venice Beach, clad in full-body ’90s neon. We can’t wait!

Exercise
(Credit: Getty)

Home Workouts

If there’s one workout trend that defined the ’90s, it’s this one. Cindy Crawford, Jennie Garth, LaToya Jackson – it was hard to find a star who didn’t have their own workout video.

The pandemic has brought home workouts back into favour and this is one trend that’s likely to stick around. That’s partly because of the WFH revolution, but it also has a lot to do with the wealth of choice made possible by the internet. 

Thanks to a host of apps, streaming services, on-demand classes and YouTube, there’s no shortage of options so you no longer have to keep wearing out that same DVD or VHS tape over and over again.

Tae Bo

A combination of aerobics, martial arts and boxing, the California workout sensation Tae Bo was as iconic to the ’90s as hypercolour T-shirts and banana clips.

While it may have fizzled out of the mainstream, Tae Bo has never really gone away and it has been enjoying a new lease of life over the last couple of years. 

Now 67, creator Billy Blanks still runs regular online classes, which you can participate in from anywhere in the world. 

Exercise
(Credit: Getty)

Jazzercise

This heart-pumping workout trend is synonymous with the ’80s and ’90s, and it’s been kicking around ever since. 

A sort of big sister to Zumba, this jazz dance extravaganza consists of choreographed routines that are designed to keep you fit.

It was created in 1968 by dance teacher Judi Sheppard Missett, who still runs classes in California at the age of 78!

Like many aerobics-based workouts, it’s ideal for doing at home. But if you prefer to workout with others, there are still a number of Jazzercise studios that can be found in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Hobart.

Related stories