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.

FILED UNDER: Michelle Obama
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Tina on

I liked her outfits during the campaign trail, they were all fashion forward. However, the yellow outfit, that she wore on November 4 was not my favorite. In addition, the outfit that she wore to her husbands first Presidential Address, in my opinion, was inappropiate. It would have looked better with a fitted jacket.

vonnie7708 on

She looks gorgeous!

Kim on

Do you people have anything better to do with your time other than bashing? All of you grow up!

marky on

Wow! Didn’t take long for the discussion to deteriorate into rude, obnoxious statements with racial overtones, did it? It’s about sleeveless dresses on the President’s wife, people, not dental issues, who is more beautiful or whatever. Sheesh! I didn’t vote for the guy, but I think his wife dresses nicely and why would we want to be insulting about her smile? I think we all have more important issues to deal with and they can best be dealt with in a reasonable manner. Breathe and relax. It’s about sleeves…..

Ang on

She is not pretty at all. I don’t know where people get that she is beautiful. Funny how Obama’s presidency has gotten away with things in just the first month that were blown out of proportion when Bush was in office. It’s how the they play the game. The news is full of daisies and rainbows when it comes to the Obama’s.

Kailey on

I think it’s pathetic how people have to put down an incredibly sweet and beautiful women. She looks outstanding here as always, I couldn’t be more happy of the new first lady. Snow and raelee, grow up, get a life and stop being jealous and immature. GO OBAMA’S!!!

A. Monique on

Marky… I totally agree w/ you. I thought the article is supposed to be about her sleeves, not politics or her teeth.

The dress looks nice on her. Personally, I wouldn’t wear it. (But maybe that is because I don’t arms like her. To me she looks to be in pretty good shape.) However, I do believe a dress w/ sleeves or a jacket would have been more appropriate. C’mon… it is February in D.C. It was cold that night. At least it was to me.

Ray Pearce on

I have a hard time understanding why in the year 2009 we still fight over such issues. Honestly, if you do not care for someone’s politically policies then argue politics…not how someone looks. White or Black we are all Americans and want what is best for the country…how we look either way should not be an issue. I for one did not vote for our current President, not because of his color but because of his political stance and policies. When we lower ourselves to degrade another human being because of a smile…we may just need to refocus. I for one don’t care if our present First Lady wears a dress with or without sleeves. She does look fit and trim! Yet I would add…that too much exposure is not good. The media could tone it down just a bit. I wanted Secretary of State Rice to run for President…Oh yea I am white male Republican!

Amanda on

Gorgeous?? Did you see her face…

Please just make her go away!

Sandy on

I think we should all concentrate on the economy.

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