From Jane Fonda to The Abdominizer: Lise Hand on 40 years of fitness fads

“When purchasing exercise equipment, make sure it is of sturdy construction and that there is enough space to hang all of your washing on it” – Comedian Jeff Green

Jane Fonda: the body that made the home workout session an international obsession

I was lying on the shiny dancefloor, gazing up at a massive silver disco ball and performing the sort of pelvic gyrations which, had the nuns from school witnessed, would’ve confirmed their grim prognostications that I was marked out for a life of badness.

I was clad in stretchy leggings, a baggy t-shirt because I didn’t own a leotard, and the all-important leg-warmers. My permed curls were tamed by a scrunchie. All the women around ...