One glimpse at a Richard Simmons VHS and it’s immediately pretty obvious that popular fitness regimens aren’t exactly what they used to be. While we used to do aerobics in super-saturated patterns and sweatbands, folks are now freaking out over everything from SoulCylce to Barre class. To highlight the changes in workout trends throughout history, Benenden Health, a UK mutual society, has put together a video showing major workout trends from 1910 up to present day.

Snowballing off the beauty videos and body image infographic that follow a similar format, the video starts with a gal in traditional early 20th-century garb doing stretches – because c’mon, what else could you really do in those corsets? Things remain pretty much the same in the ’20s, but then make a more active shift during the next ten years.

Once 1940 hit, many women started exercising at home. While ladies began to work out more, a restricted diet due to the war was primarily responsible for an increase in overall health. Then we move more into the trends we know: the ’50s were full of hula hoops, the ’60s offered up the “Trim Twist” and the ’70s and ’80s consisted mostly of jazzercise and aerobics.


And for the workout trend that’s most popular today? Benenden Health pins Zumba as the winner. In an intensive report accompanying the video they write, “We remained dotty for dance, as the 2010s waved goodbye to street dance and welcomed in a new fast-paced fitness trend.”

Based how ridiculous those jazzercise moves look to us now, we can only imagine what Zumba will look like come 2050.

Which decade do you find most fascinating in this video? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.