Michelle Obama's Right to Bare Arms

02/27/2009 at 01:43 PM ET

Ron Edmonds/AP

It may be February and freezing, but Michelle Obama is heating up D.C. with her toned arms — often bared and on display in the First Lady’s fearless fashion choices. From the Inaugural Ball, where Obama showed off her shoulders and arms in a Jason Wu strapless gown, to the pink Tracy Reese frock she chose for her PEOPLE cover, her lean limbs are what everyone is buzzing about. But don’t think they come that easily. Her workout regimen includes cardio, calisthenics and weights, she told PEOPLE when she was on the campaign trail in 2007, and don’t forget good old-fashioned pushups. “It’s jump squats, you go down into a pushup then you jump up,” she said then about her routine. “What does [my trainer] call it? Squat thrusts! That’s the one I really hate. Squat thrusts with a pushup.” Celebrity trainer Elisa Gulan said not only push-ups, but probably light weights and heavy repetition helped sculpt her arms. “She has amazing tone and definition, but her arms are also sleek and streamlined,” said Gulan, whose clients include actress Becky Newton and host Terry Seymour. “You don’t get arms like that just from being on a diet.” And how does the American public feel about her predilection for sleeveless dresses? In a USA Today poll, 2,600 readers weighed in on whether it’s appropriate for the First Lady to go sleeveless so often. Forty percent said, “Yes, she’s a modern first lady,” 11 percent said, “No, it seems too informal.” The remaining 49 percent said, “Who cares [DASH] it’s her decision.” After all, voters did choose change in November! – Additional reporting by Sandra Sobieraj Westfall

For more on White House life, including family games, dinner-table conversations and new bedtime-reading habits, pick up this week’s PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, and check out Michelle Obama’s First 100 Days of Style on InStyle.com.

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Lil on

Sheene February 27th, 2009

i dont like the black people that are living in the white house.

And I didn’t like the white people that lived in the White House.

Cara on

Toned arms? This is as offensive to blacks as the NY Times cartoon about chimps. If it’s not white, then it’s not “normal”; it has to be referred to as toned. She’s a wonderful person; why drag her down with this stuff?

jean on

Just read through comments. I am sorry but people feel they need to say she is beautiful; maybe inside but if you want to be honest I have to disagree with most on here I really don’t see the beauty (outside) You are all to attached to the hype of Obama and feel that saying anything negative could or would portray you as not being Loyal to the Obama’s sorry…Truth is …she really isn’t that pretty on the outside.

Robison on

Why does this even matter? She’s a first lady, not a fashion icon or a workout guru. I’d rather hear about charities she’s supporting or something else that’s not superficial. The Obama’s shouldn’t been seen as celebrities, her husband is the president of our country, not a movie star.

Echizzle on

I think she got a new stylist. She changed her hairstyle (love it) and her makeup looks more polished. I love the dress and the toned arms. I think the sleeveless dress is totally appropriate. Every time I see the first lady photographed, she is hugging someone. Her inner warmth and kindness shines through. All the cruel and nasty comments about the First Lady do not mean anything. Let the haters hate. I am looking forward to brighter days! Peace to all.

Clarissa on

It is hilarious that so many people keep saying we have “bigger things to worry about.” Ummm…I thought this was People Magazine’s website. It is an entertainment magazine that revolves around celebrities, fashion and gossip. If you want to hear about the wars and more hysteria about the economy go to CNN/Fox/MSNBC/NYTimes/Your local paper.

T on

To raelee38 : Well in my opinion the Obama’s aren’t any worse than their predecessors. Obama has been in office barely a month how is he anymore of a liar than REST of Washington DC? Give him another seven years before you say that. Like we did with Bush…

To C. Brown: We care because the is People.com and they are supposed to focus on things like that. This isn’t CNN or Fox News. This a whole site dedicated to how people look and dress! If you weren’t interested why did you click on this link?

Lin on

Wow you can tell who the Repuklicans are :-D

Or the people still sore about Hilary losing :-D

Diash on

Great arms, inappropriate dressing.

She’ll shine in the summer with tops and dresses.

She is just off the mark, but gaining ground in every outing.

Has she improved her walk? It’s “athletic” to say the least.

Great job with her children and her husband adores her.

Just work on the walk.

Sherry on

I shouldn’t be surprised I guess, but really? There are actually people who care that she wants to bare her arms? Funny, I thought there were important things to think about – you know, the economy, job creation, getting the US back to not being a laughing stock, that sort of thing.

Jeez.

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