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Vintage Fitness Trends That Are Still Effective Today

Our modern lifestyle does not afford us the chance to engage in physical activities that our ancestors relied upon to keep fit. As a result, people invest in state-of-the art home exercise equipment and training schedules to stay healthy. Current fitness trends might seem new and innovative, but it might surprise you to know the most have roots in the past. The persistence of these exercises stems from their simplicity, especially since one can be creative about the equipment and place use. What makes them a little bit different is the use of modern technology. However, the following vintage fitness trends will stay with us for the foreseeable future due to their effectiveness in keeping our bodies fit and healthy.

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The push-up

In our modern times, push-ups have evolved into numerous variations. The basic push up has always stood the test of time, but it is still one of the best exercises for toning and increasing overall strength. You can perform this exercise in a variety of ways: from beginner level to advanced. The important thing to remember is that you must keep your core tight at all times. One tester reported six push-ups a day was all he could take, as it made him "incapable" of performing other exercises.

The squat

This calisthenic exercise is a very effective body weight exercise similar to lunges, but performing squats will help you get in better shape and increase flexibility. This exercise can easily be done without any equipment at all by simply standing and performing a squat stance. In the squat stance, you want to bend your knees and keep your back straight. Keep your knees pointed directly forward, and don't round them out. You can perform squats from a deep or shallow position; although it is best to keep them in a place where they are comfortable. The deeper you go, the wider your feet should be and the less low back you should have.

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The dumbbell chest press

This exercise combines both the triceps and biceps muscles into one exercise. It is very effective in helping build up the chest muscles, but it also provides some additional benefits such as working out all over the body at the same time, improving balance and coordination. The chest press is a great exercise for anyone, even beginners. By changing the angle of the upper arm and elbow, you can perform this exercise with very limited range of motion.

The standing press

This is one of the most effective full body weight exercises you can do. It is an exercise done with both arms, but has great results in toning and building muscle mass. The pressing movement occurs in the standing posture; simply stand straight up and lift your arms over your head until they are fully locked out. Try to keep your core tight throughout the movement as well.

The rock climb

Rock climbing is not only a great cardiovascular activity, it also burns very high amounts of calories simultaneously. The metabolic rate during this type of exercise is very high, which encourages weight loss after its completion. Climbing can be done in multiple ways depending on your affinity for the activity. One way involves climbing a tree, while another is by reaching the highest point in an incline-style gym. This can be very effective in building up your upper body strength, and strengthening your wrists as well. Besides, the thrill can also act as a means to entertain yourself.

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The bench dip

This is a very effective exercise in toning the chest, arms and triceps, but it can also be performed with little to no equipment. It is a good idea to let a spotter help you, and make sure you do not allow your body to come in contact with the floor. A bench will be needed for this exercise, so find a way of getting one—it is really as simple as asking around, borrowing from friends or using the ones at your school gym. The sooner you try these workouts, the sooner you'll be on your way to developing lean muscles and shedding some excess body fat.

Dance and Jazzercise

Dance and Jazzercise were two of the first kinds of health and fitness clubs that heavily influenced the modern workout. This was all thanks to Guangchangwu, a Chinese square exercise whose origin dates back to a millennia ago in Emperor Yao's China, and during the Song Dynasty. The choreography was minimalistic and focused on functional dance movements, which is still popular today with studios like Equinox offering classes that imitate King-Lung's style of dance. Today, the exercise takes the form of zumba exercises that can be done alone at home or in groups.


Yoga has been around for thousands of years and was a huge part of Indian culture. Ancient yogis would often go to remote caves to live in isolation and meditate. Yoga is a form of exercise that combines different poses, breathing techniques, and meditation to create an entire mind-body workout. It was introduced to Western culture in the 1880s by Swami Vivekananda.

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Kettle-bells are cast-iron weights that enforce a full body workout. They were first used in Russia during the 1700's and were used as a weight for farmers that hauled water to their fields. The Russians would swing the kettle-bells up to 100 times and do squats with extraordinary form. They would also swing the kettlebell while holding another behind their back, which is still popular in gyms today.

Stationary Bikes

Stationary bikes were first used by the Egyptians as a source of entertainment. It was not until the late 1800s that exercise bikes became popular. The first stationary bike introduced was created by an American inventor, James Starley in 1869. He designed it to be used during bicycle races when riders would need to rest on their laurels. The stationary bike is still used today in many gyms and home gyms due to its effectiveness and ease of use.

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