Tighter. . .  Tighter.  . .  Tighter still. 

Maidservants secured Empress Sisi (Elisabeth of Austria) into her corset. Often the hour stretched long before they’d constricted the royal’s waist to a mere 16 inches. Once cesarzowa_elzbieta_1890cinched, she’d then take to her private gym, one of the first. She practiced her disciplines there on the balance beam and mats. Thus, her day continued.

Sisi’s health fixation expanded to mastering activities such as fencing and horsemanship. During intermissions when her body could not permit such extreme regiments, she abided in walks, sometimes all day and in spite of weather.

An icon in part to her her station and illustrious beauty, the empress postured a fever of exercise amongst Victorians—especially court ladies. Be it any wonder when imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?

One Dio Lewis approached the topic of health not from the goal to beautify but improve life. He was very much an advocate of homeopathy especially in the case of a woman’s consitution. The medical enthusiast wrote of hygiene and exercise, often with the assistance of his wife or a colleague.

Can you imagine anything more horrid than exercising in a corset? Read Victorian Exercise post – Click to Tweet 

A sample of his works include, Our GirlsChats with Young Women, and The New Gymnastics. The later of which is a practice he became most enthusiastic about spearheading.

He went to great length to found Normal Institute for Physical Education and educated many as professor of gymnastics.

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Of course, this post would be remiss to exclude the enthusiasm of Indian Club Exercise.

Out of the many unique workout equipment that claimed to exercise for you utilized during the Victorian Era, Indian Clubs are certainly among the most effective. . . and dare I say? Relevant.

The swinging of the clubs increase flexibility and upper body strength. In addition, once experienced in the movements, an upturn of speed would create aerobic benefits.

After all this prattle, you might be of mind to learn primary indian clubs moves. And there’s always more history to review of Victorian gym regimes.

What of your on exercise habits? Have you made an fitness resolutions? 

2 comments

  1. Since I often wear a corset, I have no problem exercising in one. I find I can walk and play guitar, sing and pretty much do anything in one.

    If a corset fits you, it is not more constricted or constricting than spanx, and much better for you to wear. More comfortable and does not promote pelvic prolapse as spanx can do by pushing the organs in and downward.

    Like

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