The Twist Board, The Jiggler and working out with Mamaw.

Can you believe it’s Tuesday already? I can’t. Yesterday flew by, which for me usually means my whole week is gonna blow by. I’m not complaining, trust me, I just hope it slows down when the weekend comes. Know what I mean? Momma needs some chill time.

party weekend

When I was a little girl, we used to visit my Grandma’s house on the reg but I grew up in Tennessee so we called her Mamaw. I’m not sure if it’s the same in all southern towns but most of my relatives lived within a mile or two of each other and my Mamaw was no exception. She lived about a mile up the road and she had a huge 4 car garage with all kinds of interesting things but mostly I remember when she had the workout area. It was basically just some carpet on the floor in one of the bays and lots and lots of really cool exercise equipment. I can remember going up there with my Mom and playing around on the machines while she worked out.

I’m pretty sure most of the equipment in there was from the 60’s and 70’s and it’s a good thing we’ve evolved because that exercise equipment was not the most effective. What it was, was hilarious. The workout room of the 70’s was a whole heck of a lot different from the kettlebells, the resistance bands and the crossfit boxes we see today.

Just for shits and giggles, I thought I’d look up some of that equipment and share it with you. Won’t you join me in a little trip back to my childhood and where I first learned all about working out.

The most exciting thing in my Mamaw’s workout room was a contraption we use to call ‘the belt’. I absolutely loved this machine because I could wrap the belt around me and sing K.C. and the Sunshine Band’s Get Down Tonight in the coolest vibrating tone you’ve ever heard. I could stay on this machine for hours and it never felt like a workout, probably because it wasn’t.

The Belt

In reality that little beauty was called the fat jiggler because, well, I don’t really know why.

My second favorite machine was an old motorized exercise bike. I mainly liked it because unlike my bike, this thing shook the hell out of you and sort of threw you around like a bucking bronco. I wasn’t allowed to stay on the bike too long because it gave me a headache.

motorized exercise bike

At some point down the road Mamaw updated the bike with a newer non-motorized model but I never liked it near as much as the bucking bronco machine.

exercise bike

Floor exercises were apparently very common back in the day as well, and there were many inexpensive tools you could purchase to accommodate your exercising needs.

There was the twist board:

Twist board

We ultimately turned the twist board into a sit and spin and had loads of fun with it. We had a spinnee, the person riding the board, and a spinner, the person pushing them around. I’m pretty sure it was me who was the spinner when the spinnee blew chunks all over my Mamaw’s garage and I don’t remember seeing the twist board at her house again. My Mom had one too though so the party continued on….

The Wheel:

The wheel

I can remember all the women in the garage using this thing and I thought it was the most boring thing on the face of the planet. I never got it. My brother however used to love it and years later when my son found my Mom’s old one, he loved it too. Go figure.

The rope thing:

the rope thing

This handy little contraption attached to a door knob and you pulled the ropes every which way for a full body workout. I used it only once and got my foot stuck in it which hurt like hell. The ropes were made of a material similar to a ski rope which is why eventually it made its way outside where it was tied to the back of my bike and someone else’s skateboard, a more appropriate use!

And then there was the most exciting workout of all which didn’t really require any equipment. You just needed music. Jazzercise!


My Mom, my Aunts and my Mamaw all went to classes and they would also do the routines in the garage. I’m ashamed to say I partook in that activity on a regular basis and thoroughly enjoyed it. But I was a kid, they however, have no excuse.

Mamaw’s been gone for several years now but exercising in her garage is one of my fondest memories and regardless of how ineffective it may have been we always had fun. Suffice it to say, as an adult it took me quite some time to figure out the whole exercise thing and it’s probably the reason I’d rather run.

What exercise equipment or fads do you remember from your childhood?

12 thoughts on “The Twist Board, The Jiggler and working out with Mamaw.

  1. My grandpa had one of those fat jiggler machines! We used to play with it all the time! He would got so mad at us because he didn’t want us to break it. He needed it to slim down his big belly… which never went away. But that’s ok with me because that’s one very fond memory of my grandpa.
    My mom had the videos Buns of Steel! My sisters and I used to dress up in our swimsuits and leggings and put our hair up in super high pony tails and “worked out”. That was good fun. 🙂

    • LOL, those fat jigglers were the best thing ever. I loved playing with it when I was a kid. That’s so cool your Grandpa had one too 🙂

  2. Love this! I used to do the Jane Fonda (cassette while following along w/ the book and then onto the VHS) with my mom. Often times I have been tempted to go back and do it again. I remember the workout being intense and it also brings me so many fond memories of my mom.

    • Awe, I remember that workout too. Jane Fonda was in great shape and still is and I have a lot of those memories with my Mom too. They’re pretty special 🙂

    • Wasn’t it the greatest toy ever! I loved that thing. I’m thinking of buying one on ebay, you know, just for old times sake, 😉

    • HAHA, have you seen the South Park episode about the shake weight, hilarious! If not, you need to watch it.

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