Michelle Obama: Baring her arms to the world

Fitness Expert
One thing that Michelle is most famous for, and that no first lady has revealed in the past, is her toned arms in sleeveless outfits. She is seen in numerous photos including the covers of magazines, such as Vogue magazine where she sported a stunning silk sleeveless top; and People's magazine where she ravished in a lacy pink sleeveless blouse. She was also recently seen in a purple sleeveless shirt this past Tuesday at congress.

This new sleeveless trend of Michelle Obama has caused a lot of talk in the fitness industry. Women are proclaiming that they want Obama arms, instead of Madonna arms, or Kelly Ripa arms. Mrs. Obama, at 44 years of age, is a prime example of a woman who commits to being the first lady; a full time mom; and still finds time to fit fitness into her daily routine. She admittedly told People magazine that she does 3-90 minute training sessions a week and that both she and President Obama get up at 5:30am to work out and have breakfast.

Personal trainers will openly admit that women tend to shy away from strength training. But, Michelle Obama has created this Obama ripple effect inspiring many women both young and old to take responsibility for their bodies through strength training. She also shows how strength training can have beneficial results: toned arms. Michelle Obama contradicts the myth that strength training will only produce the muscular body builder type arms that most women believe.

The media however has been buzzing and controversy has risen about Obama's sleeveless shirts being considered too revealing. A columnist from the Boston Herald, Lauren Beckham Falcone wrote to Obama, "It's February. Going sleeveless in subzero temperature is just showing off. All due respect."

But, despite these whispers many women in the community have decided to change their own way of life after seeing Michelle's stunningly toned arms. A 25 year old woman proclaimed after she had seen Obama's speech on Tuesday that she was going to shift herself into high gear and go buy a couple of 5 pound dumbbells for herself.

It is important to note however, that we must train all the muscles of the body when strength training. Even if you are targeting a specific area of muscles, personal trainers would advise training all the different muscles to prevent the limitation of lean mass. You first need to target body fat before you can begin toning. The main idea and purpose of strength training is to build lean muscle mass, and decrease body fat.

If you are unsure of where to start, I would suggest going and getting a set of 5-10 pound dumbbells and doing 12-15 reps of a few different exercises: bicep curls, lateral raises, and tricep kickbacks for starters. You can easily find these exercises as well as other arm exercises at our fitness.com exercise page. It does take time however to see results, so give at least 6-8 weeks.

Another important key is to focus on your diet while strength training. Try to maintain a healthy diet that includes: lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. While trying to maintain muscle stick to lean protein like fish, chicken (without the skins), beans and eggs.

If you keep these factors in mind, you too can have Obama arms.