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The greatest fitness fads of the 90s

The greatest fitness fads of the 90s

Time for us to take look back into the mists of time and find out how our fittie predecessors got their fitness freak on. This time we’re focusing on the 90s, the era where we spent most of our formative years, the era of the rave, shell suits and the supermodel, colours were bright, and having the right gadgets and looking good while working out was top priority. No wonder then, that the top 90s fitness fads involve gadgets, crazy science and lots of crazy moves!

Step Aerobics

Probably the first mass market fitness class to hit the world over, Step Aerobics involves performing Aerobic moves with the assistance of the ‘step’. Stepping up and down works the hamstrings, quadriceps, and gluteal, while the constant movement of the class elevates the heart rate. It is estimated that step aerobics can burn as many as 35% more calories than running alone because the body is being constantly dead lifted over the bench.

Tae Bo

Tae Bo is a mash-up of Taekwondo and Boxing giving a full body workout, which proved extremely popular in the 90s, before Celebs hit the Pilates studio – Tae Bo was the workout to be seen doing. Brainchild of Billy Blanks a fitness instructor from the US, Tae Bo involves throwing punches and kicks in time to 90s classics like Mariah Carey.

Tae bo - 90s fitness fads - Haute Fitness


Ok whose mum had one of these, and who found it and thought WTF is this??! Yes this is the Thighmaster, designed to work out the hip abductors, this was all the rage with ladies of a certain age – mainly because it was advertised as something you can do while doing other things, such as watching TV.

thigh master - 90s fitness fads - haute fitness

Roller blading

Although still popular today, Rollerblading was THE thing in the 90s – even Barbie had a pair! Rollerblading was everywhere; every major celeb was spotting in Rollerblades at some point during the decade.  Even my school in provincial Warwickshire bought a load and we spent our PE lessons going around and around the gym for an hour – which was just awesome.

Grapefruit diet

Every decade has its faddy diets and the 90s were more ridiculous than ever, this was still the time of thinking, fat = bad, eating nothing but salad = good. This diet goes one further and insists that Grapefruit is the secret to a hot body! I won’t go into the details but the idea behind it is that Grapefruit helps you burn fat – therefore you eat a Grapefruit before every meal. Meals basically consist of salad and meat, or eggs.

Grapefruit diet - 90s fitness fads - hautefitness

Abs Roller

Another device that is probably lurking at the back of your mum’s wardrobe is the abs roller. Not to be confused with the abs wheels you see in the gyms at the moment, these contraptions basically supported your head and helped you perform an ab crunch. Most studies have found them to be a pile of rubbish; so glad to see most decent gyms have got rid of these years ago.

Abs Roller - 90s fitness fads - haute fitness

Mr Motivator

I knew 2013 was going to be a great year when I saw Mr Motivator was on our screens. Those of you young enough will remember seeing Mr Motivator on that other 90s classic – GMTV getting your mum, gran, dog off the sofa and bouncing around your living room for 5 mins every day. Mr Motivator launched a series of workout videos and appeared in shopping malls around the country. We don’t have too much snark for the guy, apart from his awesome outfits he genuinely has an interest in getting more people into fitness – which is something we can’t hate on at all. Here he is in action with another 90s great – one of the power rangers!

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