Photographs: Vintage Exercise Equipment

Inspired by a tweet we saw last week depicting some glamorous ladies from the 1920's exercising on treadmills in high heels, we decided to trawl the web to find some more examples of vintage exercise equipment. We found vintage wobbling vibration plates, rickety rowing machines, and some positively frightening contraptions that we still think should be torture instruments.

The images are quite charming and they certainly remind us how far we've come with technology (and gym fashion). We hope you enjoy looking at these as much we did.

vintage treadmill

In those heels? By 1934, treadmills had come a long way. Gone were the wooden slats, replaced by a durable fabric. Source: Mail Online

Vintage Exercise Machine

A woman demonstrating an exercise machine known as the Gymo Frame to members of the Arsenal at Highbury in 1932. Source: Mail Online

vintage treadmill

Racing against the clock on vintage exercise bikes - still in heels. Source:

Vintage Riding Machine

A 1928 bucking bronco used as part of an exercise class held by American Olympic squad coach Aileen Allen.


A pair of vintage wooden slatted treadmills - and lovely Mary Jane shoes.

vintage vibration plate 1960s

The 1960's vibration style machine  - the heels are finally gone.

vintage vibration plate fat belt

Another vintage vibration plate complete with 'fat belt' said to be used by President Coolidge in his daily exercise regime. Source:


Taking it very seriously on a Victorian exercise machine. Not quite sure what this does but it could be an early vibration plate. Source:

vintage rowing machine

Precariously but fabulously perched a-top this 1940's/50's rowing machine. Source:

vintage rowing machines

Elizabeth R. Allan, a freshman at Smith College, working out on a rowing machine in the 1920s/1930s (Library of Congress)

Vintage weightlifting

Good old fashioned weight-lifting - some things don't change (apart from those high-waisted pants). Source: