How Did Our Parents Workout Back in the Day?

Some exercise routines simply never go out of style. The following are the most popular vintage workouts among those who wished to stay fit during the 1940s and 1950s, some of which have now become a CrossFit routine.

Jumping Jacks

Who will not be able to resist a good old fashioned jumping jack in the middle of a boring afternoon in the office to prevent falling asleep? This all time favorite dates back to dinosaur age and its popularity produced numerous tips such as landing softly and keeping the abdominals light to make the experience enjoyable and not exhausting. Again the goal is to warm up the muscles and get the heart rate up at sixty second intervals.

Side Leg Lifts

Side Leg lifts help strengthen the hips and tone the side of the butt. It also gives this part of the body a nice firm shape. While it is not as popular as other routines and is always sometimes forgotten, it remains a best kept secret of those who managed to remain in shape through the years.

Water Aerobics

Water provides additional resistance to every movement so basically, any exercise done while submerged in water is harder. This means water aerobics is not just a way for retired people to pass time. It is actually a very popular workout during their time. It is low impact but surprisingly challenging.


This exercise never really left the scene. There was not any instance when people who work out, even those who are just starting, where they did not include this in their daily routine. It is one of the standard routines people had to do during physical fitness tests.

It guarantees an increase in ab strength. The basic sit-up may be super old school, but it is definitely always worth mentioning.


This simply never fails to make it on every published list of Workout of the Day. It is moderately challenging and is very effective in working out the whole body and it remains the trendiest in bootcamp style fitness boutiques and CrossFit routines.

Wall Sit

The wall sit has an isometric hold that targets the muscles in the thighs and glutes. It is perfect for burning unwanted fat on the thighs. It is a popular workout routine in soccer practice.

It is done by pushing the body in a sitting position against the wall with the weight concentrated in the back of the feet initially at ten second intervals, then adding ten more seconds each round until one minute is reached.

For those who could not do this for a minute, it is recommended that they aim for 30 seconds to start and build their way up to a full minute.

Mini Trampoline

Trampoline workouts have been very popular in the 80s and are good for people who only need a low impact exercise. It is awesome for sculpting and cardio and the best thing about it is it can be done using just a mini trampoline.

These workouts are awesome for cardio and sculpting and are especially good for people who need a low impact exercise.

The most simple popular routine is jumping or jogging on the trampoline with arms swinging for ten to twenty minutes.

Side Bends

It may seem a bit easy for some but their sides will be sore for days. It is most effective when done slowly, all while putting pressure in the mid part toward the spine in a controlled pull.

Leg Lifts

Leg lifts are popular among those who are looking to target their lower abdominals.

It is done by keeping the upper portion of the back on the floor throughout the whole motion of lifting the leg up and down.

For those who are having difficulty getting their feet to the floor while keeping their back in place, it is recommended to just bring their legs down as far as they can while keeping their lower back pushed into the floor, and work up from there.


Pull-ups is also one of the exercises that has been around since the dinosaur age and is currently a popular CrossFit routine.

It is recommended for those who are looking to achieve great upper body results. It is very challenging and it takes a lot of practice and patience. 

There are a lot of modifications which can be tried nowadays by anyone having trouble mastering this pull-up routine.

Dynamic Stretches

As opposed to stretching in a fixed position or static stretching, dynamic stretching is a great way to warm up and cool down muscles to prevent injuries, increasing flexibility. This is why it is a very popular vintage derived CrossFit routine.

If anyone is going to ask their parents about their favorite workout routines back in their days, it is guaranteed that they will be able to mention three to four from this list.

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