First Lady Michelle Obama ​is well known for her healthy physique, especially her toned arms.  As a mother and a powerful woman, it is no secret that Mrs. Obama has limited time to exercise.  Nonetheless, during her recent appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show, Michelle shared that she works out for an hour and a half every day.  Her exercise ethics as well as her routines are noteworthy.  Discover the mental motivation that keeps her committed as well as what routines and exercise are important to achieving those toned and sexy arms.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Michelle shared that she began to prioritize exercise because she realized that her happiness is tied to how she feels about herself, saying; “If I don’t exercise, I won’t feel good.  I’ll get depressed”.  This is because exercise enhances the “feel good” endorphins and boosts one's energy levels.  In addition to taking care of herself, Michelle also expressed wanting to set a good example for her children by taking care of herself, even if that means waking up at the crack of dawn to exercise. 

In her talk with Oprah, Michelle points out that waking up early to go to work, or get the kids off to school is automatic, but when it comes to taking care of ourselves we make excuses.  We all need to prioritize exercise and take care of ourselves so that we are better equipped to take care of others.  Although Michelle’s commitment to an hour and a half a day for exercise is not feasible for all of us, it is possible to achieve similar results in less time.

Michelle’s routine consists of both cardiovascular exercise and weight training.  In addition to the treadmill, Michelle’s regular routine includes ­­jump rope and kick boxing.  Anyone that watched Michelle on the Ellen DeGeneres this past February knows that she has conquered the push-up. On a regular basis, push-ups will help you tone your arms, make you stronger, and improve your overall conditioning.  Michelle also told Ellen that she does plyometric exercises (plyos) that are a great calorie burner and great for total body toning.  While Michelle’s workout appears dynamic, the question is how often do we really need to train and for how long, and what specific plyos and weight exercises are best to get those sculpted arms?

Indeed, the key to achieving arms like Michelle lies not only in cardiovascular and strength training but also through plyometric exercises.  Plyo's will complement cardio and strength training aiding in total body weight loss and toning, while weight training should focus definition of the shoulders, triceps and biceps.  A complete cardio, plyometric, and weight training workout can be completed in 45 minutes, 15 minutes dedicated to each component.

15 minutes cardio

  • Run, jog, jump rope or jog in place.

15 minutes plyometric

Do 10 – 20 repetitions of body weight exercises, repeating the entire sequence two to three times, taking only a 60 second rest between each exercise.  Choose from among the following four:

  • Push-ups with a clap:  When doing push-ups, push up off the floor with enough force so that you can clap your hands and return them to the floor underneath you.  This can be done while on knees instead of your toes.
  • Squat Jumps:  From a squat position, jump up as high as you can and then land into a squat position.  Repeat as fast as you can.
  • Lateral Jumps:  With both feet together, jump over an object, e.g., book, small box, towel, sideways as quickly as possible.
  • Box Jumps:  Using a sturdy platform or bench, jump onto and off the object as quickly as you can without losing your balance.

15 minutes strength training

Using 8 – 10 lbs weights, do two or three sets, each comprising 15 to 20 repetitions of all the following exercises:

  • Push-ups (on knees or toes / body weight only)
  • Dumb Bell Shoulder Press
  • Lateral Shoulder Raise
  • Front Shoulder Raise
  • Biceps Curls
  • Triceps kickbacks
  • Dips off edge of chair (body weight only)

To get Michele Obama arms, follow this simple routine three to five days a week.  In addition to sculpting your arms, you will start to notice your entire body transform.  Following a healthy diet will determine how quickly you get results.  Complicated dietary changes are not necessary, one should consider eliminating soda, juice, bread, fried food and all junk foods.  Summer is around the corner, and we all deserve to look and feel great in our sleeveless summer tanks and t-shirts.  Do the work and then dress with pride and confidence as you flaunt your strong, sexy and toned FLOTUS-worthy arms!