These bizarre exercise routines of 9 old Hollywood stars will have you questioning everything

Audrey Hepburn, Greta Garbo and Marilyn Monroe will be forever immortalised as the most glamorous stars of the silver screen, and maybe also of Hollywood ever. Their charm, glitz and old-fashioned charisma still enchant the world, as well as their candid photos from the years between the 1920's and 40's, when they were at the peak of their careers.

Even old photos of them exercising to keep up with the industry's strict expectations are something of a spectacle. Who knew that skiing could be made to look so elegant, or tennis so magnificently chic? Well, the stars of yesteryear show us how, and here are 9 photos from the archives of Hollywood to prove it.

1. Marilyn Monroe

Famed for her striking hourglass figure, Monroe was known to lift weights as part of her "simple bust-firming routine", and claims to have spent at least 10 minutes each morning lifting light weights. Weight-training was a relatively new way to exercise for Hollywood actresses back then.

marilyn monroe weights lifting women old hollywood exercising exercise Credit: Getty

2. Elizabeth Taylor

The British actress enjoyed horse riding, as well as swimming and walking her dog. Once she got into Hollywood, however, she was put under pressure to maintain a high-protein diet and keep a "strict regime" of exercise.

elizabeth taylor horse riding women old hollywood exercising exercise Credit: Getty

3. Greta Garbo

Garbo was a big fitness fan, enjoying running, yoga, tennis, swimming, skiing and "tramping about the woods". She was also a big juice-pressing fan (way before green juices were even a thing) but said her favourite health tip was sunbathing in the nude every afternoon.

greta garbo women old hollywood exercising exercise Credit: Getty

4. Jean Harlow

The film actress swore by cable resistance exercises, doing different exercises and varying her grip with the handles. But she was also famous for her yo-yo dieting (not advised, by the way) when she would gain weight between films and then seriously restrict herself with salads to drop the pounds before production commenced.

Jean Harlow women old hollywood exercising exercise Credit: Getty

5. Jayne Mansfield

Mansfield was an actress, singer, and one of the first Playboy Playmates. She increased her flexibility and grace through practising yoga and went swimming to stay in shape too.

jayne mansfield women old hollywood exercising exercise Credit: Getty

6. Audrey Hepburn

Hepburn trained as a ballet dancer when she was a young child and kept her physique by practising dancing techniques through the years. Other than that, she claimed not to have exercised at all, insisting that choosing to walk everywhere is what kept her slim.

aubrey hepburn dancing women old hollywood exercising exercise Credit: Getty

7. Rita Hayworth

Fond of skiing given the right season, Hayworth was also a big fan of dancing to keep fit. She took part in the "Bagot Stack Stretch and Swing" system, a workout program involving dance and aerobics-style movement.

women old hollywood exercising exercise Credit: Getty

8. Katherine Hepburn

She was one of the first Hollywood actresses to "exercise vigorously", and admit it. She loved sports, especially swimming, golf and tennis, and did her own stunts until she was in her late 60's. Even at 84-years-old she could still somersault off a diving board and stand on her head.

women old hollywood exercising exercise Credit: Getty

9. Bette Davis

The actress was keen on staying fit through the leisurely sport of golf. She even entered as a contestant for the Del Monte Women's Championship at Del Monte one year.

bette davis weights lifting women old hollywood exercising exercise golf Credit: Getty

Despite the fact that they faced the same societal pressure to stay slim and in shape, it looks as though these Old Hollywood actresses genuinely enjoyed exercising and found something to stick to, as not just an obligation, but as a hobby. And that, my friends, is some good old-fashioned fitspo.