The ‘90s workouts worth revisiting now

Just like slip dresses and matte lipstick, these ‘90s fitness fads are trending again.

Photo: Clueless

Oh, the ‘90s. It’s a decade most of us thought we’d seen the back of – sure, ‘40s-style midi skirts and ‘70s suede fringing might make a comeback, but body glitter and bum bags? Not a chance.

And yet, here we are: signing up for step class and wearing chokers again. And with good reason (at least as far as step is concerned… chokers, not so much): the below ‘90s workouts aren’t the one-hit wonders you might think. Unlike other fitness fads best left forgotten (Cardio Slide and Prancercise, we’re looking at you), these beauties are back because they actually work. Read on for the highly effective ‘90s exercises worthy of reintroducing to your routine – spandex and scrunchies, optional.

1. Skipping

Remember Jump Rope for Heart? When the Heart Foundation promotes an exercise, you know it’s a keeper. A bona fide fat burner (according to the British Rope Skipping Association, just 10 minutes of solid skipping can have the same health benefits as a 45-minute run), it’s one of the cheapest, easiest and most effective forms of cardio. And when you consider that it’s also a bodyweight exercise that can be done absolutely anywhere (did someone say hotel room workout?), it’s a winner all round.

2. Star Jumps

AKA Jumping Jacks, the primary school PE class staple sends your heart rate soaring, boosts your metabolism AND activates all the major muscle groups. Brace your core and you’ll even tone your abs – no crunches required. Incorporate it into your Tabata training for major results.

3. Little Athletics

The ‘90s kid equivalent to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Little As was our introduction to regular training, sprinting and, ahem, scungies. Suffice to say the science, if not the style, behind Little A’s was sound: remember its principles next time you go for a run.

4. Speed walking

Cast your mind back to that Sex and the City ep when Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte take a very brisk circuit of Central Park – in the late ‘90s, speed walking was where it was at. This one’s best performed with friends: to quote Carrie, “let’s gossip to get our heart rates up.” But maybe don’t mimic Miranda’s arm-toning attempt.

5. Physical culture

Long before Body Attack and RetroSweat started trending, ‘90s ladies relied on Physical Culture (aka Physie) classes to stay looking svelte in their black-slip-dress-over-white-tee combo. Marching in formation, to music, with badly applied spray tan? Perfectly normal in the ‘90s; less so in 2016. But for nostalgia’s sake if nothing else, it’s time Physie made a comeback (just think of the Snapchat potential).

6. Hooping

You guys, hula hooping is cool again. Don’t believe us? Victoria’s Secret model Maria Borges is a fan. As is Michelle Obama. It doesn’t get much more old school than the humble hula hoop, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth hooping: buy a weighted ‘fitness hoop’ and start shimmying your way to a toned stomach, Kardashian-worthy bum, arms and thighs. Apparently, hooping even eases lower back pain. Kmart does a weighted version for $ 12 – it might not be as pretty as the glitter pink model you rocked in ‘94, but it will just have to do.

fitness | body+soul

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