13 Perfect GIFs Of All The Ridiculous Exercises In 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'

by Rebecca Patton
Tony Shalhoub exercising in 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Season 2
Courtesy of Amazon Prime

As a show set in the mid-century, there are a lot of ridiculous, antiquated things in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Midge's (Rachel Brosnahan) diaphragm, Abe's (Tony Shalhoub) romper, pretty much everything about Midge's bedtime and morning regimen while she was married to Joel. But one of the most entertaining to watch is all the absurd exercises the characters have tried throughout the past three seasons.

Though there were gyms in existence during the 1960s (the so-called "Godfather of Fitness" Jack Lalanne opened what is believed to be the first U.S. health club in 1939), the fitness craze didn't take off in earnest until the '80s, which meant many people (read: women) resorted to some....interesting tactics in order to live up to the intense beauty standards of the time. In this Vox article, for example, you will find a picture of a woman lying upside down on an ironing board in order to "exercise her hair."

Midge has yet to take it that far (though she does record her measurements daily), but the aerobics classes she attends with Imogene are certainly a sight to behold, and have become increasingly silly as the show has progressed. With that in mind, here are the best 13 exercises so far, ranked by effectiveness. Tits up!


The Ragdoll

Season 1, Episode 2. This is more of a warm-up, but they look so ridiculous crumpling to the floor like ragdolls that it deserved a spot on this list.

Effectiveness: 1/10

Entertainment level: 7/10


Whatever This Is

Season 1, Episode 2. The instructor tells her students to grab their "Lythe-Lines," which is not a real thing as far as Google can tell. They seem to be using resistance bands of some kind, but it's difficult to see how this is doing anything aside from making them look silly.

Effectiveness: 2/10

Entertainment level: 3/10


The Hula Hoop Scoot

Season 3, Episode 2. This is essentially the same exercise as the one above, but this time, it's with hula hoops and a weird side-step.

Effectiveness: 2/10

Entertainment level: 4/10


The Twist

Season 3, Episode 2. The women are instructed to grab their "isometric cords" and mount their "boards." They don't seem to be putting in much effort, but it looks fun.

Effectiveness: 3/10

Entertainment level: 5/10


Just a Lot of Kicking

Season 1, Episode 2. This is kind of like the bicycle, but some women in the class (looking at you, Midge) are just kicking up and down, which doesn't really engage your core.

Effectiveness: 4/10

Entertainment level: 3/10



Season 2, Episode 6. Maisel fans may recall Alex Borstein shimmying on her way to the stage to accept her Emmy in 2018. Here, she shows off her impressive talents at the Steiner Mountain Resort in the Catskills.

Effectiveness: 5/10

Entertainment level: 9/10


Hitting The Bottle

Season 1, Episode 2. The women in Midge's aerobics class do some routines with glass bottles gripped between their feet, which is one way to justify drinking a full bottle of wine by yourself.

Effectiveness: 6/10

Entertainment level: 8/10


A Single, Strained Push-Up

Season 2, Episode 4. Abe's romper is the gift that keeps on giving. While the Weissmans are in the Catskills, he sneaks outside to do his secret morning calisthenics wearing this glorious form-fitting number. You have to love Abe's commitment to completing this push-up, despite the obvious difficulty level.

Effectiveness: 6.5/10

Entertainment level: 10/10


The Crab Walk

Season 1, Episode 2. According to Imogene, the divorcees in the corner of the aerobics class are the only ones who put in real effort, since they're trying to get remarried — and, well, they do look very focused.

Effectiveness: 7/10

Entertainment level: 6/10


Susie "Swimming"

Season 3, Episode 5. Swimming can be a great workout, but Susie's gentle dog paddles likely don't qualify as cardio. However, the longer they're in Florida, the more she gets the hang of it, and by the end of her and Midge's stay at the Fontainebleu, she's gliding comfortably around in a floatie.

Effectiveness: 7/10

Entertainment level: 9/10


The Tush Test

Season 3, Episode 3. Moishe Maisel (Kevin Pollak) insists on sitting on the Weissman's furniture before taking it, and while his intention may have been to check the seat for comfort, he's actually executing a flawless squat. The form! The grace!

Effectiveness: 7.5/10

Entertainment level: 10/10


Running in Place

Season 2, Episode 4. This part of Abe's workout involves jogging in a tight circle — no easy feat when you're on a dock.

Effectiveness: 7.5/10

Entertainment level: 10/10


The 'Ol Switcheroo

Season 2, Episode 4. Back to our regularly scheduled calisthenics, where Abe is doing a jumping lunge — aided by his romper, which allows for a truly deep stretch. The exercise looks pretty tiring, and Self confirmed as much by describing it as a "butt-burning, thighs-on-fire" lunge.

Effectiveness: 8/10

Entertainment level: 10/10