8 Celebrities Who Have Made Workout Videos
Who remembers the heyday of celebrity workout videos?
These star-studded fitness tapes were all the rage in the 1980s, ’90s, and early aughts, when DVDs and VHS tapes were still the dominant ways people watched their favorite media at home. A-list actresses, singers, and performers like Jane Fonda, Latoya Jackson, and Paula Abdul contributed to the craze, sharing their coveted workout routines with the masses via instructional videos.
Today, many celebrities still share insight into how they exercise — only instead of releasing DVDs, they post clips of themselves working out on Instagram Stories. Even though the medium has changed, the underlying implication remains the same: Celebrities are conventionally attractive, and people want to emulate their workouts in the hopes of looking like them.
However, we have to acknowledge that this sentiment is wrapped up in diet culture, which privileges a narrow set of beauty ideals — like thinness and chiseled features — over just about everything else. There’s no such thing as a “perfect body.” And when it comes to health and wellness, exercise is just one piece of puzzle. Nutrition and mental health are equally important to feeling healthy and accepting of your body.
The simple act of naming these truths can help foster healthier attitudes around exercise and fitness. Not to mention, being critical of the fitness media we consume doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it, especially for nostalgia purposes. There’s a reason some of these decades-old tapes have stood the test of time: Many provide clear instructions for beginner-friendly, full-body workouts that any pretty much any person who is able-bodied can do from home.
And let’s be real — they’re campy as hell. The retro looks alone are worth checking out.
Keep reading to learn more about eight celebrities who have made workout videos. Whether you’re ISO a rigorous at-home sweat sesh or a nostalgic look back at peak DVD culture, you’ll surely find something that piques your interest.
Who better to kick off this list than Jane Fonda, the veritable queen of at-home fitness? The Hollywood legend dropped her first cardio-focused fitness tape in 1982. Decades down the line, one Vogue writer still believes it’s “the best exercise class out there.”
Fonda went on to release a variety of workout videos, including targeted lower body exercises and yoga for beginners.
Check out the Grace and Frankie star’s classic “walking workout,” complete with Levels 1 and 2, for free on YouTube, or buy a five-disc “Jane Fonda Workout Collection” DVD set on Amazon.
Cindy Crawford‘s repetoire of vintage workout videos is the stuff of legends. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the beloved model and actress released a number of tapes walking viewers through various sculpting, toning, and cardio exercises.
The nostalgia lovers among us will be delighted to learn that you can still purchase many of these tapes in DVD format on Amazon. Some — including Crawford’s popular 1992 “Shape Your Body” video, which depicts her getting her sweat on at the beach — have even been uploaded to YouTube.
In recent years, Crawford has also shared workout videos on Instagram. (Fair warning: Her super-intense ab circuit isn’t for the faint of heart.)
Paula Abdul began her sprawling career as a cheerleader and choreographer, so her foray into workout videos makes total sense. In 1994, the singer, dancer, and TV personality dropped a tape called “Paula Abdul’s Get Up and Dance!,” an upbeat, dance-based routine that pulls from her own pop choreography. It’s available for purchase in streaming or DVD format on Amazon.
In a 2019 interview with SheKnows, Abdul discussed her holistic and gradual approach to health and wellness. The lifelong dancer had a physically demanding Las Vegas residency well into her 50’s.
“Being a performer has taught me that my health is a work in constant progress — it is a progressive state of body, mind and spirit,” she shared. “I’ve really learned that my health is the result of small investment habits — eating healthy, continuing to dance, stretch and exercise — that I’ve made over time.”
Like Abdul, Latoya Jackson made a career out of high-energy pop music and heavily choreographed live performances. Who wouldn’t want to break a sweat under her direction?
Jackson’s “Step Up” workout video dropped in 1993. You can watch the whole thing on YouTube — come for the beginner-friendly cardio routine, and stay for the delightfully glam, ’80s-style workout attire. (Her leotard! That headband!)
Cher debuted “CherFitness: A New Attitude,” her namesake workout video, in 1991. Luckily, you don’t have to turn back time to check out beloved singer’s step-based routine (or her hilariously kitschy workout attire — yep, that’s a tutu over a leotard). It’s available on YouTube.
If you wanna be Mel B’s lover, you gotta get in on her fitness routine. The British singer-songwriter of Spice Girls fame released a workout DVD called “Totally Fit” in 2009.
Her tape’s full-body cardio and toning exercises are on YouTube or you can buy the DVD on Amazon.
Kim Kardashian released a series of workout videos in the late aughts, including the unfortunately titled “Fit in Your Jeans by Friday – Ultimate Body Sculpt” DVD. (It bears repeating: We don’t condone diet culture’s toxic focus on thinness as the pinnacle of beauty, nor do we believe in crash-dieting or over-exercising.)
It’s no surprise considering the reality TV star and Skims founder’s passion for fitness. On Instagram, Kardashian has uploaded numerous videos of her hitting the gym. She revealed earlier this year that she works out “five or six days a week” with a routine developed by her personal trainer Senada Greca.
“My goal was to gain muscle and be strong,” she shared in an Instagram Story from March, “and I see such a difference already.”
Bravo fans, rejoice: You can get your sweat on alongside Real Housewives of Atlanta‘s Phaedra Parks. In 2012, the reality TV personality released “Phine Body by Phaedra & Apollo,” her workout DVD co-starring her husband, Apollo Nida.
RHOA watchers may remember the controversy surrounding it: As Entertainment Weekly reported, Parks was originally supposed to collaborate on the video with fellow housewife Kenya Moore, but they couldn’t agree on contract terms. Moore ended up dropping “Booty Boot Camp,” a core-focused fitness tape of her own.
Both DVDs are available for purchase on Amazon. In fact, you can even stream Moore’s on Amazon Prime.
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