The official portrait shows her famously toned arms
WASHINGTON (DP) The First Lady's arm exercises were made public today, in an interview to be published in the October issue of Women's Health magazine. In the video below, the Editor-in-Chief and Fitness Editor from Women's Health appear on the Today Show to discuss what they call "the fitness scoop of the century" and demonstrate the exercises:
What is not revealed is that the First Lady's 5:30 a.m. workout often takes place in the White House vegetable garden--and that she is in fact gardening energetically, not doing rote calisthenics.
Those in the horticultural community understood immediately that her publicly-acknowledged "exercises" were code for specific activities in the garden, and that "reps" referred to the number of plants, or bags of soil amendment, she used.
Here is the First Lady's official workout translated into what she probably does when she is alone in the garden:
1. One minute of hammer curls, in which she lifts dumbells toward the body in alternating motions and which should leave her "fatigued".
Clearly the First Lady is holding a one-gallon plant from the nursery in each hand, and lifting her hands alternately, trying to determine which plant should go in which new spot. No gardener needs to be told how mentally and physically fatiguing such a process can be.
2. Triceps pushdown with an overhand grip, pushing down on the t-handle of a 15 pound weighted pulley, for 15-20 reps.
Again, it is easily understood that she is digging a hole with a shovel, pushing down into the soil 15-20 times.
3. Triceps pushdown with a flip grip. The same movement as Number Two, but with the hands turned up.
This "exercise" is familiar to all gardeners: the lifting of heavy bags of soil amendment from ground to waist level, an obvious accompaniment to digging holes.
4. An aerobic finish to her workout is a floor exercise called mountain climbing. The hands are placed on the ground and the feet come forward quickly in an alternating motion. It was noted that this exercise is "not for the faint of heart".
Any gardener would agree--crawling forward in search of weeds is among the most tiring of garden tasks.
A mystery remains. Why don't all gardeners have arms that look like the First Lady's?
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