fit friday in the mommyhood - the obama/ripa arm workout

welcome to the gun show.

when deciding to start fit friday in the mommyhood, there was no doubt in my mind that i wanted to research how the heck michelle obama and kelly ripa get their arms to look so damn good. i know i am not alone in this sick curiosity. i have openly admitted on here before, that i watch regis just to stare at kelly's arms. now, with the addition of michelle obama, how are mom's supposed to keep up? what is their secret? trainers? home gyms? good dna? whatever it is - i am lacking it and i need to get it.

in this day and age the pressure on mom's to rebound back to their pre-baby weight has escalated along with what seems to be a heightened rise in celebrities having babies. the more photos we see of them out and about 4 weeks after birth in size 0 jeans and tight dresses, the more self-esteem and self-worth we lose. how come we don't look like that 6 months later? some of us never do get our pre-baby body back. i am still dealing with what i call "the friends mackenzie left behind" in my tummy. i've got 10 pounds to go and my daughter is turning 2 next month. for some, it just seems so easy, and for others, the trials never end.

what can we do about it? support each other. i have found talking to friends whose bodies i admire after giving birth helps me to understand that they usually aren't happy with themselves either. if only as women, we could all have a buddy system where we called one woman a day and said "you look fabulous, have you lost weight?". it's like a drug, you can't get enough of it. it will keep you going for days with a smile on your face and a strut in your walk. for now, i just rely on my spanx. yes, i sometimes wear spanx. they keep my so called "friends" under jiggle control.

with the struggles of balancing being a mother, a wife and having a career, where do we fit in exercise when we hardly have time to have a shower? how does michelle obama, the new lady of the white house, have the time with all that is going on in her world to exercise? she get's up at the crack of dawn. people magazine stated that she and the president get up at 5:30am and work out. she also told cnn that she fits in three 90 minute work outs a week with a personal trainer. not all of us could sustain getting up that early every week. i know i couldn't, you'd have to hook me up to an i.v. filled with caffeine to get me moving. it all comes down to finding the time that works for you, whether it's evening, kid's nap times, first thing in the morning, it's important to find what works in your crazy schedule and make it a priority.

both kelly and michelle are in the eye of the media, kelly daily. people like me love to hear about kelly's trials and tribulations of her exercise regimes and the goings on of her life. she is like a talking blog. i adore her. i do admit she sometimes looks too skinny, but the arms are just rock solid. kelly supplements her favorite sculpting class that uses your own body weight to build muscle at her favorite gym with running, the stability ball and boot camp moves. kelly, like michelle, does her workout early in the morning before her day starts at the regis show.

most personal trainers say arm exercises alone are not enough to get toned arms. you have to rid the body of fat first. both women have mentioned that they maintain healthy diets along with strength training and cardio fitness. trainers recommend strength training twice a week, using 5-8 pound weights and doing 12-15 repetitions working up to 2 sets, allowing days in between to allow your muscles to rest. you can hope to see results in 6-8 weeks.

so what moves can we take from their exercise routines? here's the top arm exercises to get some guns of your own:

1) bicep curls

2) tricep kickbacks

3) shoulder press

4) lateral raises

5) pushups on a stability ball

spark people is one of my favorite resources for exercises and videos. click here for their fitness section. american council on exercises library also has a great link to the how to's of these exercises. click here for their library.

thankfully, fitness magazine has put together a michelle obama inspired workout. click here for the routine that goes from sun salutations to push ups. if you are curious about kelly ripa's trainers tips for leaning up, the video below should give you a good place to start.

do any of you have a favorite workout routine to keep your arms toned? what's your secret for staying motivated?

after writing this it seems achievable to reach for the goal of obama/ripa arms, but just in case, ask me in 6 weeks. oh, hey, by the way, you look fabulous - have you lost weight? :)