This quirky vintage exercise equipment from the 1970s paved the way for today’s home gyms

Retro 70s workouts and exercise equipment

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Step into a time capsule of fitness with this look back to the 1970s, an era when exercise equipment began its invasion into the American home.

Compared to the fitness gear we have today — when you can have gym-quality equipment even at home — a lot of the 1970s-era vintage exercise equipment below looks ridiculously flimsy and ineffective. Take, for example, 1979’s entirely human-powered treadmill with an astroturf-look belt:

Vintage treadmill from 1979 at Click Americana

Of course, it wouldn’t be long before home exercise equipment would be made of sturdier stuff as the healthy new (and super-profitable) industry helped millions of Americans get in shape.

From the simplicity of weights to the novelty of early treadmills, the catalog pages below showcase the fascinating array of vintage gym equipment that set the stage for today’s home gyms. Explore the vintage workout gear that made staying fit a new domestic trend that started more than five decades ago!

Vintage exercise equipment basics from the 1970s!

Stationary bicycles, rowing machines, slant boards & more home workout equipment from 1976 & 1977

70s vintage exercise shop home gym equipment from 1977 (1)

Glide-A-Matic exerciser: A lawnmower-style treadmill

Jog or walk on its exclusive Flat Bed

At last, an exerciser that lets you simulate a jog on a smooth, flat road — without the discomfort of “running on rollers”! Helps prevent hot, sore feet… you can jog comfortably to help firm-up, tone-up muscles all over your body.

Smooth, plastic jogging surface glides over a flat metal base. A metal roller at each end and dual flywheels assure vibration-free action. Greater jogging comfort can help your exercise program progress. Begin slowly with incline at an angle, then adjust incline to a flat position for a greater challenge.

Pedometer shows distance traveled. Avocado color jogging belt removes for cleaning. Heavy-duty metal frame is 20×48 inches long. Easy-to-grip handle removes for convenient storage. Shipped semi-assembled.

MORE: The jogging fad: When running was the retro fitness trend of the ’60s & ’70s

Old-school treadmills from the seventies (2)

Here’s a home version you can get today!

DeerRun 3 in 1 Folding Treadmills for Home, 3.0HP Powerful and Quiet Under Desk Treadmill, 300 lbs...
  • 【Upgrade 3 in 1 Foldable Treadmill】Combined ordinary treadmill and walking pad, DeerRun 3 in 1 folding treadmill can meet your exercise needs in different scenarios. When the hand rail is raised,...
  • 【3HP Powerful& Quiet Motor& 300LBs Capacity】Equipped with a powerful 3HP motor that is far superior to others, it can not only provide a load capacity of 300 pounds but also allow you to run up to...
  • 【Funning Gaming to Win Bonus】We built the global intelligent sports community platform: PitPat APP, provides you with four running competition modes: multiplayer race, one-on-one PK, milestone...

5-speed Electra-Cyzer (from 1971)

Exercisers that give you all the benefits of cycling, riding and rowing without ever leaving your home

Retro 70s exercises machine from 1971

Vintage weights: Barbell & dumbbell sets (1974)

Begin at-home workouts with this complete barbell-dumbbell set… Includes steel bar, two red 15-pound, four blue 10-pound, four red 5-pound and four white 2-1/2 pound weights, wrench, and two weight training booklets.

Bar separates into three pieces… stores easily and may be used as separate dumbbells for individual arm workouts. Twist-on end collars… change plates in seconds — Plates and collars interlock — Fourteen separate polypropylene encased plates.

Old 70s weights and weight benches from 1975

Vintage weight bench – Ted Williams brand

With padded leg-lift bar and 5-position tilt back, you can do more exercises than on any other bench… will support up to 500 pounds.

Vintage weights and weight benches from 1974 (1)

ALSO SEE: Presidential physical fitness award badges, certificates & tests required to make the team (1966-1987)

Best belt massager: Designed to massage 2 areas of your body at once

Enjoy massage just the way you like it… in two areas of your body at the same time for twice the massage action… while your toes are pampered in plush, fluffy pile carpeting. Vari-speed control lets you set massager for any speed… visual dial indicator lets you choose custom-like exercise action.

Have a deep-down, penetrating massage or a light surface vibration. Set stroke depth from gentle to mild to vigorous. Twin posts assure wobble-free action at any speed or stroke depth. 30-minute timer turns machine off when time runs out.

Support bar on housing. 5-in., 4-in. and 3-in. color-coordinated cotton belts have non-stretch leather ends. Moss green carpeting. Harvest yellow enameled aluminum base, housing. Powerful 1/4-HP motor for vibrating.

Retro yellow belt massager for workout

AXV Vibration Plate Exercise Machine Whole Body Workout Vibrate Fitness Platform Lymphatic Drainage...
  • ✅BUILD YOUR DREAM BODY: Jump on your vibrating exercise machine to instantly sculpt your ideal body!The system creates a full-body vibration that stimulates muscles - causing extra muscle...
  • ✅RELIEF, REHABILITATION & REPAIR: The AXV vibration plate delivers efficient and gentle Whole Body Vibrations, waking muscles throughout the body and increasing blood flow in the muscles. This...
  • ✅RICH FUNCTIONAL & HIGH EFFICIENT& REMOTE CONTROL: Adjustable vibration speed (1 to 120), with 2 resistance workout bands, can exercise upper body and lower body at the same time. Offering variety...

Retro-style roller massager

Retro massager seat and woman in black bodysuit

Arlene Dahl Beautysuits for ’70s fitness fashion

Exercise your way to a fitter figure in this 100% nylon ribbed knit jumpsuit .. an opaque, two-way stretch “fashion first” with zip front and a collar you can wear in a turtleneck or V-neck style.

Designed exclusively for Sears by Arlene Dahl, it covers you like a second skin — from neck to toe — while you bend, stretch, pedal or jog.

Wear it under your own jumper, pants or skirt and vest throughout the day for a new kind of fashion freedom. Machine wash separately, warm temperature. Sizes S (5 ft. to 5 ft. 5 in.); M (5 ft. 6 in. to 5 ft. 10 in.) Olive Green/American Beauty Pink

Vintage 1970s exercise bikes and fitness equipment (6)

MORE: 50 colorful vintage banana seat bikes for kids from the ’60s & ’70s

Vintage 70s stationary bike (1974/1975)

Vintage 1970s exercise bikes and fitness equipment (5)

DMASUN Exercise Bike, Indoor Cycling Bike Stationary, Cycle Bike with Comfortable Seat Cushion,...
  • 【DMASUN】DMASUN is a professional sports brand integrating the design, production, sales and service of sports products. Our exercise bikes serve millions of homes in multiple countries. The brand...
  • 【More Stable and Safer】DMASUN exercise bike uses thicker alloy steel than others, sturdy construction ensures a smooth ride. After hundreds of anti-drop tests before leaving the factory, not the...
  • 【Silent and Smooth】This indoor cycling bike's wool felt resistance system with wider adjustment range, the lowest to highest resistance difference is a 0-100 riding experience. Quiet without...

Exercise center vintage exercise equipment (1978)

A versatile unit that allows you to enjoy the benefits of at least 10 basic exercises!

Also: Triple-Action Progress-A-Cyzer exercise bike, Deluxe hydraulic rowing exerciser, tummy toner & slant board.

70s retro exercise shop home gym equipment from 1978

Flex-A-Lounge: Provides all-over body exercise .. or just relaxation

This furniture-look exerciser is as versatile as it is attractive. Provides a great head-to-toe S-T-R-E-T-C-H for waist, thighs, legs, back and arms.

Adapts for exercises the whole family will enjoy. Helps encourage better posture when you rock up and down to exercise back .. helps firm-up hips and thighs at the same time. Use in prone position on back, side or stomach.

Looks so much like a modern piece of furniture you can leave it right in the rec room or on the patio—ready for use on a moment’s notice. Handsome black and gold vinyl-covering blends with every decor.

Flex-A-Lounge exerciser from the 70s

Wheel cycle stationary bike & more

Deluxe Walking-Jogging Exerciser, with optional side rails (basically a flimsy unpowered treadmill)

70s vintage exercise shop home gym equipment from 1977 (2)

Marcy Utility Slant Board w/ Headrest – Folding Design with Adjustable Positions SB-4606 ,...
  • HEAVY-DUTY CONSTRUCTION – This product features a heavy-duty steel tube frame for increased balance and durability. The powder-coated finish has a great look that is resistant to water and...
  • EASY STORAGE – The locking pin allows you to easily fold the bench and keep it in storage after you work out. This board can also be brought anywhere you like, thanks to its compact design.
  • 4-ANGLED POSITIONS – This board features four incline or decline positions, making it perfect for a wide variety of fitness routines. It enables you to perform muscle-building exercises without...

8-way exercise bike

1 Pedals forward
2 Pedals backward
3 Handlebars rotate forward
4 Handlebars rotate backward
5-8 Combines pedal and handlebar motion

Exclusive rotating handlebars give maximum torso-stretch — help tone-up chest and arm muscles other exercisers neglect. Cycling action with smooth flywheel drive gives legs and feet a workout. Dashboard speedometer, odometer.

Variable handlebar and pedaling tensions adjust with a twist of a knob. Handlebar and seat height adjust without tools. Rubber pedals. Heavy-gauge tubular steel frame has stable crescent design; beige finish. Anatomically-designed, padded seat; off-white vinyl cover. Semi-assembled. From Italy. Shipping weight 51 pounds $79.95

Vintage 1970s exercise bikes and fitness equipment (2)

Favorite vintage gym equipment for the health-minded 70s woman

Stationary bikes, belt massagers, roller massager and a portable plug-in steam bath

ALSO SEE: How Jane Fonda’s workout videos & exercise empire got us fit in the 80s

70s vintage exercise shop home gym equipment from 1977 (3)

Durasage Oversized Portable Personal Steam Sauna Spa for Relaxation at Home, 60 Minute Timer, 800...
  • PORTABLE: Detachable frame allows you to disassemble for easy storage
  • POWERFUL: 800 watt steam generator can be set up to 60 minutes with timer
  • ENJOYABLE: Two zippered openings allowing hands to read a book or use a device

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Comments on this story

4 Responses

  1. My mom recently died and now I have an old blue plastic breast developer By Body Persuasions. Is any of this old stuff worth anything in value?

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