100 Years of Fitness in 100 Seconds

What did fitness machines look like 100 years ago? They are still used in Russia.

The era of modern exercise equipment and fitness clubs began some 30-40 years ago. But the first prototypes of the devices we are used to today appeared more than a century ago. You will be surprised, but in Russia they continue to be used in our time, despite constant improvements in sports equipment.

The invention of the first exercise equipment for medical purposes

Since ancient times, people have been involved in sports, developed strength and endurance. In Babylon, ancient Greece, Egypt, Persia, India, China, people were fond of archery, running, horse riding, javelin throwing, fencing, wrestling, swimming and even playing sports. Then all this faded into the background. But since the 17th century, training began to experience a new heyday. The impetus was the progress.

It was the doctors who began to develop the forgotten direction of gymnastics. At the end of the 18th century, the first similar exercise bike, the gymnasticon, was invented. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Swede Per Ling laid the foundations of therapeutic gymnastics, his work was continued by the physiotherapist Gustav Zander , the founder of mechanotherapy - a new method of training with the help of special devices. The doctor believed that muscles must be constantly trained and developed a series of devices that would imitate human movements.

Zander's career developed rapidly. In 1857 he began to develop his own devices, in 1865 he opened the Medical-Mechanical Institute in Stockholm and launched the production of the first, still experimental, simulators.

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What did the Zander devices look like?

For a long time they were aimed at diagnosing and eliminating purely medical problems .

Apparatus for eliminating imbalances in muscles, skeleton and joints

What did fitness machines look like 100 years ago? They are still used in Russia.

Photo: Tekniska Museet

Chest Corrector

What did fitness machines look like 100 years ago? They are still used in Russia.

Photo: Tekniska Museet

Spine Curvature Measuring Machine

What did fitness machines look like 100 years ago? They are still used in Russia.

Photo: Tekniska Museet

Cross-sectional body measurement device

What did fitness machines look like 100 years ago? They are still used in Russia.

Photo: Tekniska Museet

Zander also developed devices for passive movements that acted on the muscles mechanically - felting, jerking, vibration. At the same time, a distinctive feature of his devices was that classes could be conducted individually, without the presence of a specialist nearby.

Machine forchest expansion

It increases blood flow to the lungs and raises the heart rate.

What did fitness machines look like 100 years ago? They are still used in Russia.

Photo : Tekniska Museet

Belly kneading machine

What did fitness machines look like 100 years ago? They are still used in Russia.

Photo: Tekniska Museet

Stretcher

What did fitness machines look like 100 years ago? They are still used in Russia.

Photo: Tekniska Museet

Vibration Massager

What did fitness machines look like 100 years ago? They are still used in Russia.

Photo: Tekniska Museet

What did fitness machines look like 100 years ago? They are still used in Russia.

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Prototypes of modern exercise equipment

Subsequently, Zander improved the apparatus, adding devices for the accumulation and release of energy, so that a person applied strength when doing exercises. Later, some simulators received steam or electric motors.

In fact, it was Zander who invented a full-fledged gym, which instantly gained popularity and went to the masses. Okay, at least to the upper classes. All this against the backdrop of the nascent fashion for physical perfection and the aspirations of Pierre de Coubertin to revive the Olympic Games. The know-how success was assured and cannot be underestimated. For the first time, it was possible to train any muscles in the body with the help of mechanical devices.

In 1876, Zander's apparatus received a gold medal at the World's Fair in Philadelphia. In 1892 - I must say thanks to the industrial revolution, without which the Swede's simulators could not have become widespread - Zander launches mass production and opens gymnasiums under his own name in Europe, Russia and the USA. Wonderful simulators were installed even on the famous Titanic! In total, he invented about 70 types of apparatus.

Biceps training apparatus

What did fitness machines look like 100 years ago? They are still used in Russia.

Photo: Tekniska Museet

An apparatus for twisting the torso, strengthens the abdominal muscles

There was also a similar apparatus for the pelvis.

What did fitness machines look like 100 years ago? They are still used in Russia.

Photo: Tekniska Museet

Exercise bike

What did fitness machines look like 100 years ago? They are still used in Russia.

Photo: Tekniska Museet

Vertical link

What did fitness machines look like 100 years ago? They are still used in Russia.

Photo: Tekniska Museet

Leg Curl Trainer

What did fitness machines look like 100 years ago? They are still used in Russia.

Photo: Tekniska Museet

Zander's apparatus in the movie Love and Blueand

70 years after the spread of Zander apparatus in the USA, modern simulators were invented. But it is surprising that the legacy of the Swedish physiotherapist continues to be used in our time. In Essentuki, a gym with original Zander apparatus is still functioning. By the way, the manufacturers gave a guarantee for 500 years, so that the rare devices will serve for the benefit of health for a long time.

A noticeable building with turrets and a signboard Mechanotherapy is in demand among holiday-makers. People develop joints after fractures, recover from surgeries, and receive hardware massage. The main advantage of Zander simulators is that, unlike modern simulators, they give a minimum load on the heart.

Zander's devices have been lit even in the famous painting Love and Doves. Remember Raisa Zakharovna galloping in a mechanical saddle, Vasily wriggling funny on another device and unusual massagers? These are those famous simulators.

What did fitness machines look like 100 years ago? They are still used in Russia.

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