Fitness Secrets from Michelle Obama's Trainer
After the opening night of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, it seems like everyone is talking about Michelle Obama’s rousing speech—and the way she looked on stage. In addition to a beautiful Tracy Reese dress and trendsetting “greige” nail polish, the First Lady stepped out sporting the accessory that we at Fitbie admire most: her strong, toned arms.
If you’re feeling as inspired by Mrs. Obama’s biceps and triceps as we are, you’re in luck: her fitness regimen isn’t a classified White House secret. Our friends at Women’s Health got the scoop from Cornell McClellan, who has been the First Lady’s personal trainer since 1997. “We take a holistic approach that includes strength, cardiovascular, and flexibility training,” he said.
McClellan says the foundation of Mrs. Obama’s workout is an intense weight-training routine with moves that work multiple muscle groups simultaneously. For example, she might do one set of 15 to 20 reps each of lunges, bench presses, hip raises, and rows, all without resting and with short bouts of intense cardio mixed in. Her workouts also feature rope-jumping, kickboxing, and body-weight calisthenics.
To get arms that are as firm as FLOTUS’s, try this 9-minute set. It consists of just two moves, but we guarantee you’ll feel the burn.
Move 1: Tricep Pushdown with Grip Flip
Attach a straight bar to the high pulley of a cable station and grab the bar with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart. Tuck your upper arms next to your sides and bend your elbows more than 90 degrees. Without moving your upper arms, push the bar down until your arms are straight. Pause, then return to the starting position. That's 1 rep. Do 15 reps, then reverse your grip so that you're grasping the bar underhand and immediately do another 15 reps.
Move 2: One-Minute Hammer Curl
Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them next to your thighs, palms facing each other. Raise the dumbbell in your left hand as high as you can in front of you by bending your elbow and curling the weight toward your shoulder. As you lower the dumbbell, curl the weight in your right hand. Alternate rhythmically back and forth for 1 minute.
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