Just in time to make you feel awful about yourself and your soon-to-be-failed New Year's fitness resolutions comes this collection of the hottest fitness babes of all time. Don't worry, I'm a dude and even some of these ladies' abs make me feel like Jabba the Hutt after Thanksgiving dinner. Plus, the need of rock-hard buns goes across gender lines.
Before I set out to create this collection, I didn't know that country legend Tanya Tucker, TV vixen Heather Locklear and old-school triple threat Debbie Reynolds even made fitness videos, let alone knew how to sweat. And wait, is that Mary Hart, late of Entertainment Tonight, on here? Be careful, should could give you a seizure.
Honestly, coming of age in the '90s, I was all too aware that Kathy Ireland, Cindy Crawford and Suzanne Somers were VHS fitness gurus. You didn't have to be 18 to rent these videos at Blockbuster, and maybe you could learn something along the way, like the art of hiding the cassettes from your parents inside Disney movie clam-shell boxes.
I was reminded of all these videos of our collective bun-steeling past by visiting the VHS sections of thrift stores, which are haunted by the ghosts of the dreams of people who wanted to get fit, but probably never quite made it. I found the entire Billy Blanks Tae-Bo series, tons of Buns/Abs/Legs/Thighs of Steel, and at least a handful of Richard Simmons oldies-smoldering tapes.
I had to include Jillian Michaels at the end because people would complain, even though she seems more scary than attractive, and not in a sexy, dominating way. Screaming Susan Powter leads off our list, proving that in the '90s all you needed was a loud, military-grade voice, a bleached crew cut and superhuman energy to make millions. Hey, it worked for Billy Idol too, I guess.
Lord bless her for trying, but insanity could not in fact be stopped. KFC's Double Down and the Wendy's Baconator, anyone?
Hanoi Jane just wanted you gals to look good in your little black dress is all. And to help her support a violent anti-American agenda. I heard that on Fox News.
Because Frank had certain standards when it came to his wife, like being away from the house filming exercise tapes for extended periods of time.
Country music and fitness don't exactly lend themselves to each other. One typically traffics in hard partying and drinking and the other is the complete opposite. Someone's mother owns this.
Wasn't the ThighMaster one of the most scandalous-looking pieces of exercise equipment -- at least up until the Shake Weight, obviously.
Kathy Ireland was sort of like the Kate Upton of the late '80s and early '90s. Down-home, cute, a tad virginal and fond of bikinis. Holler at me when you make a fitness DVD, Miss Upton, so I can rustle up some sick days away from the office.
Did every workout tape get filmed on the same soundstage, just a few doors down from the porno sets?
Oh, the gem of this collection. The biggest supermodel of the '90s took time from her busy schedule to make a video that teen boys and angry, desperate women could both agree on. Come for the sports bras, stay for the motivational claptrap.
I didn't know who Kiana Tom was until two days ago, but cheers!
"Say fellas! Let's put on a real humdinger of a show! With spandex, dim lighting, a few swell-looking gals with gorgeous gams, and a few beefcakes to keep it legal!"
Any conversation about an unsung '90s crush -- now that's a topic worth a blog -- is incomplete without bringing up Ms. Fuentes, who brought a big of Latina spice to MTV, hosting House Of Style.
It's easy to forget Cher's line of fitness releases, years before her "Believe"-assisted comeback in 1998. Remember, she released these when being 46 years old was a death sentence. You know who is 46 years old today? Björk, Elizabeth Hurley, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields, Diane Lane, Cheryl Hines...
Heather Locklear would have been making this video right in the middle of her marriage to Mötley Crüe's Tommy Lee, which was probably a workout unto itself, what with the you know...the increasing attention on female actresses to look perfect.
Sometimes waking up early -- or staying up all night -- had its advantages, including this ESPN series that came on before SportsCenter.
Kathy Smith always looked foxy and super-pissed in all of her videos, with Germanic scowl and Rene Russo swagger.
Do these women ever age??
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Buns/Abs/Legs/Thighs of Steel Cover Models