Saturday 27 September 2014

BBC News - Victorian keep-fit exercises and gym regimes revealed

More on this story...: "The idea of buying fancy fitness equipment and smugly installing it in a corner at home may not be just the modern-day craze some would expect.

A leather-bound book written in 1861, found in the archives of London's Wellcome Library, describes a portable gymnasium for the discerning Victorian.

The manual shows women in full, puffy petticoats and tight-fitting bodices attempting activities such as leg extensions, downward traction, jumping exercises and chest expansions."

Illustration from 19th Century exercise book