6 Exercises to make your arms look like Michelle Obama’s

Michelle Obama loves wearing sleeveless dresses and there’s a reason for that – she has FANTASTIC arms. They’re cut and she knows it. How does she get them that way? She works out and with a combination of strength training and calorie burning cardio, you too can have arms as fine as Michelle Obama’s. Here are 7 strength exercise to make your biceps (the front of your arm), triceps (the back of your arm) and deltoids (your shoulders) pop:


Dumbbell triceps extension

You’ll need two dumbbells and a surface such as a bench, BOSU or exercise ball. Take a dumbbell in each hand. Lie face up. You’ll want your elbows by your sides and your arms bent at a 90 degree angle. Keeping your elbows at a 90 degree angle, bring the elbows back so that they are at eye level. From this position complete your reps by fully extending the arm at the elbow before returning the arm to a 90 degree angle. Trainer tip: using an unstable surface such as a BOSU or exercise ball can help you to build core stability as well – keep your hips pressed toward the sky by squeezing through your posterior chain!

Dumbbell alternating bicep curls

You’ll need two dumbbells. Take a core-activated position – slight tuck in the tailbone and lightly contract the glutes and abs. Start with both dumbbells at your sides and palms facing your thighs. Alternating sides, draw the weight up and towards your shoulder. As you raise the weight, rotate your palm toward your shoulder. Keep your braced position – no swaying or using momentum to get that dumbbell up!

Superband hammer curls

You’ll need a superband. Stand on the band in a core-activated position. Grab the outside of the band so that the palms are facing each other. Keeping your palms facing each other, bend at the elbow and bring your hands towards your shoulders. Trainer tip: Why hammer curls? when you do hammer curls, you’re targeting your brachioradialis and brachialis (muscles involved in pronation/supination/flexion at the elbow and flexion at the elbow, respectively).

Superband triceps extension

You’ll need a superband attached at a point that is high enough so that you can hold the band with two hand above your head. Face away from the anchor point (where the superband is attached). Your arms should be behind you with your palms facing each other. Assume a core-activated position. Extend the arms against the resistance of the band. Slowly return to the start position. Trainer tip: target those triceps by keeping the arms parallel to each other the entire time – fight the urge to let the elbows splay out.

3 Plane Delt Raises

You’ll need two dumbbells. Take a core-activated position. With your palms facing you, lift your arms away from the sides of your body until they are parallel to the ground. Keeping the arms straight and even with the ground, bring the weights forward so that your arms are straight out in front of you with arms parallel to the ground. Slowly lower the weights to your thighs (palms facing your thighs). Lift the weights so that your arms are straight out in front of you and parallel to the ground. Keeping the arms even with the ground, move the arms away from each other until they are even with the sides of your body. Slowly bring the weights back down to your sides. That’s one rep. Trainer tip: this exercise is fantastic because it moves the body through three planes – coronal (as you lift/return the arms away from the sides, transverse (during the rotation) and sagittal (as you lift/return the arms to the front of the thighs).

Dumbbell Rear Delt Raises

You’ll need two dumbbells. Take a core activated position – hold the dumbbells. Slightly drop the hips and hinge forward – keep the back tall! Hold the dumbbells with the palms facing you. Contract through the back – pull the shoulder blades together. With a small bend in the arms, raise the weights until the elbows are even with the shoulders. Slowly lower the weights. Trainer tip: Stay really long through the spine. Resist the temptation to drop your head.
Because you’re looking for tone, focus on a repetition range of 10 to 15 for 2 to 3 sets.
Comments, questions, want to come in and try these exercises out? Contact us at Pura Vida Urban or leave a comment below. Time to be the best!
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