These ’80s Workout Video Stars Are Back Just in Time to Help You Break a Sweat at Home

Photo: W+G Creative / Harry Langdon
The at-home workouts on YouTube today have VHS fitness video stars of the 1980s and '90s to thank for their success. From Jane Fonda to Paula Abdul, high-energy, spandex-clad superstars entered homes across the world to bring fitness to the masses. Now that everyone is stuck at home, many of our favorite '80s workout video stars are back to provide all the motivation and instruction we need to get through quarantine.

While some are sharing new content, others are resurfacing their old videos. So grab your leotard and leg warmers, ladies, and let's get moving.

These '80s workout video stars are still sweatin' in 2020

Jane Fonda

Though many love Jane Fonda for her acting, she is also the queen of all things fitness. It all began when she released Jane Fonda's Workout Book in 1981 followed by the Jane Fonda's Workout on VHS one year later. She launched a fitness empire and went on to release several more tapes. One of her most recent videos, AM/PM Yoga for Beginners, was released in 2012. Last week, 82-year-old Fonda posted a video to TicTok demonstrating a side-lying leg lift, before asking viewers to join her in the fight against climate change with a virtual Fire Drill Fridays rally.

Richard Simmons

Richard Simmons is famous for turning his life around while motivating millions of people to do the same for themselves. Simmons and his sparkly tank tops shimmied their way into our hearts in 1980 with the release of Richard Simmons' Never-Say-Diet Book and the launch of his health-centric talk show, The Richard Simmons Show, which ran until 1984. His Sweatin’ to the Oldies aerobic videos debuted in 1989, featuring Americans of all body sizes working out together. He taught regular fitness classes as recently as 2014.

Although reclusive in recent years, Simmons is making a digital come back by re-releasing some of his classic videos on YouTube. “We have had an overwhelming request for Richard to return in some way as a comfort to all dealing with the pandemic," a representative for the star told Fox News in a statement. "We thought we would start by re-releasing some workouts and other inspirational content on his YouTube channel. Richard is very touched by the outreach.”

Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul is all about dance. In addition to dancing in her own music videos, she's choreographed for singers like Janet Jackson and Prince. She also served as a film choreographer in movies like You Can't Buy Me Love and Coming to America. Abdul released her first fitness video, Get Up and Dance, in 1995; this past weekend, she posted a snippet of the iconic video. " Throwing it back to my Dance Workout days to get myself moving and have some fun," she wrote in the caption. "If you’re looking for a good workout and great music, let’s dance together!"

Jake Steinfeld

Former body buider and creator of Body by Jake, Jake Steinfeld introduced America to resistance training. According to Men's Journal, when he trained celebs in the '80s, they didn't want to use heavy weights because they were afraid of getting too bulky. So instead, he created fun and functional, half-hour routines using broomsticks, towels, and chairs. Steinfeld created the first 24-hour fitness lifestyle network, FiTTV and ExerciseTV, the first on-demand fitness television network with partners Comcast and Time Warner. He's also the chairman of the National Foundation for Governors' Fitness Councils.

Steinfeld joined Instagram on March 16, and has been posting regular videos as apart of his Don't Quit Challenge, along with his son Zach. In this video, they demonstrate the partner curl, the perfect move for you and your quarantine buddy.


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Tamilee Webb

Tamilee Web is best known for her Buns of Steel home workout videos. The series has 22 videos dedicated to working your glutes, and the third video earned her the Self magazine award for best lower body exercise in 1992. She has her BA in physical education and an MA in exercise science, so she knows a ton about the human body how to get it working. The 61-year-old fitness star is very active on Instagram, and just shared a killer push-up sequence with her followers.

Studios are streaming workouts that make staying fit at home SO much easier. And these are the three things a good at-home workout should always have, according to a longevity trainer.

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