If there’s one thing that former first lady Michelle Obama knows how to do, it’s get us excited about getting fit. For those of us who need a little extra motivation in this department, the former FLOTUS shared an inspiring boot camp session we can all learn from.
“Whether it’s a boot camp or a walk around the neighborhood, I hope you and your crew can find some time this summer to be healthy together,” Obama said in the caption of her latest Instagram post.
The post, which featured the former first lady getting her fit on with a series of different exercises and stretches, has us remembering how important it is to make time to exercise whenever you can. The best part is that Obama’s moves are of the gentle-yet-effective persuasion, so it doesn’t matter if you and your friends are of differing fitness levels.
As Obama says: “It didn’t matter that we were all at varying fitness levels. Our boot camp weekends were a reminder that if we want to keep taking care of others, we need to take care of ourselves first.” Word!
So what exactly is Obama pushing for you and your crew? Let’s take a look.
In terms of exercises, the plank is the most OG of all. Simple yet effective, this ab-busting workout is great because you can do it almost anywhere. The gym, the office, that little bit of floor you call a living room. Even better, beyond just strengthening your core, the plank also works obliques, hip flexors and quadriceps if you make sure you’re not cheating by sticking your bum up in the air. Score!
If you’re looking to get your booty and legs on point, lunges are there to help you out (and make you sweat). To get lunging, place one leg forward like the former FLOTUS and squat down by lowering your hips and bending your knees until you reach a 90-degree angle. Manage that and a shapely, toned backside is on your horizon.
The crunch is the slightly more exciting cousin to the plank. Still relatively simple, this ab workout always gets the job done. While it’s not necessarily the best calorie burner, it certainly helps to develop muscle definition on your tummy. For the best results, concentrate on movement instead of speed — otherwise you can end up using your neck to compensate and not get the same results.
This move may seem deceptively simple, but the single-leg lift (or single-leg raise, depending on how you were taught) is king when it comes to developing strength and stability in your core, lower back and hips. For a harder, less monotonous variation, you can alternate between a leg lift and a hip raise.
But it’s not just that Obama is onto something when it comes to developing some rockin’ core and leg strength, working out in a group has some surprising added benefits as well.
Experience Life explains that, according to multiple studies, working out in a group does wonders for your ability to stay motivated and go that extra mile, helping you get fit faster. Michelle P. Maidenberg, Ph.D., clinical director of Westchester Group Works, told the health site: “A buddy can motivate you to do one more set, to continue when you feel like you have just had enough and want to give up or when you are feeling hopeless.”
Moral of the story: The next time you’re needing some extra inspiration, whether it’s a simple workout on your own or the motivation to join a group class, do like Michelle Obama and make things easier to stay motivated the simple way.
Thanks, Mrs. Obama!