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Retro Workout Videos to Give Your Exercises Some Throwback Flair

If you’re on the hunt for an at-home workout that won’t feel monotonous and love a retro, cheerful host happily pep-talking you through some dance moves, you might be thrilled to find that you can access the best of VHS/DVD-era fitness videos for free online. While yeah, these actually are your mama’s kitsch experience, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the blast from the past.

To be clear, there’s a lot of framing in older workout videos that makes a 2020 brain cringe. The focus on fitness through the lens of “sweat off pounds, weight loss is a priority” diet culture nonsense talk instead of about what makes you feel good can be super not great for people who are trying to have a healthy, positive relationship with fitness. So we can’t encourage you to take these retro, kitschy videos at face value or to internalize any of the messaging unless you can compartmentalize it as “just for fun.”

We can say, though, that if you’re in the mood for a blast from the past, some ridiculous workout gear and some upbeat, dance-y cardio-friendly routines that you can do while at home, you should check out a few of the below.

Richard Simmons Sweatin’ to the Oldies Volume II

The platonic ideal of retro fitness, Richard Simmons is like a Fitness Bob Ross. He makes you feel supported and loved as you shimmy, step and “sparkle” through his routines (plus, there’s a diversity of body types that feels rare and reassuring). And right now that’s something we deserve.

Jane Fonda Step Aerobic and Abdominal Workout

Jane Fonda’s branded workouts feel so quintessentially 80s that they’re worth a try at least once. And if Fonda herself is revisiting these retro routines, why wouldn’t you want to?

Cher Fitness Hot Dance

Working out with celebrities was totally en vogue in the 80s and 90s, so it’s not a surprise that Cher joined the ranks of divas sharing their workout routines in fitness class. The soft goth workout gear and “Turn Back Time”-era looks make this one a must-try routine.

Cindy Crawford ‘Shape Your Body’

The filming style of this feels like an artsy, moody sibling to the campy videos of other divas of yore. There’s sets of different moves with some narration from Crawford and trainers, so it feels like you’re really virtually working out with your supermodel BFF.

Alyssa Milano’s Teen Steam Workout

Geared toward a younger set, teenage Alyssa Milano’s workout video feels like a really non-threatening intro to fitness videos. She and some friends are in a bedroom set and walk you through a few different moves (with some running commentary throughout) and the occasional fantasy music video dance sequences to keep things interesting.

Looking for a relaxing at-home cool-down? Check out these yoga routines you can try on Youtube:  

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