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Michelle Obama's Right to Bare Arms

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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.