How to Obama-fy Your Arms

By Iro Kotsimbos
19th Mar 2015

Whenever Michelle Obama steps out in front of the media, it’s not her wardrobe we’re looking at, it’s her incredible guns of steel. Defined shoulders, buff biceps, and lack of ‘fadoobidas’ (you know, tuckshop lady arms)…it’s no wonder, M.Obama gets her triceps out at every opportunity possible!

We’re pretty damn envious of her sleek, lean, muscular arms—so much so, that we canvassed the best Melbourne gyms for upper body workouts that will totally Obama-fy our arms. And boy, oh boy, we found some good ones!

So Listers, if you’re wondering how to get Michelle Obama’s arms, head to one of our fave Melbourne gyms for a killer upper body workout!

Upper Define at Xtreme Pilates X


If it’s Michelle Obama’s toned arms you crave, your first port of call should be the Upper Define class at Xtreme Pilates X! Held at perhaps the coolest pilates studio in Melbourne, this is an upper body workout like no other—a combination of pilates reformer beds and cardio to help tone, condition and strengthen your arms, chest and shoulders, whilst also working your back and core. The high intensity class utilises each and every second of its 25-minute duration, making you work for your soon-to-be fabulously toned guns, so don’t think you’re getting off lightly by booking yourself into this Melbourne gym! It’s aaaalll worth it though—after a few short sessions, you’ll start seeing some amazing results.

(Psstt: Xtreme Pilates X are offering TUL readers 10% off group session packs when you use the code XPXTUL at the checkout. No excuse not to chase those guns of steel now!)

Accelerate at Core Candy


Tucked away in a light-filled loft studio in Prahran, Core Candy is one of our favourite boutique Melbourne gyms and pilates studios, with classes capped to ensure a hands-on approach. Core Candy workouts are all core-focused (surprise, surprise); however if you want to blitz the upper body and follow in M.Obama’s footsteps, then you best book into an Accelerate class quick smart. Why Accelerate? Well this high intensity, circuit based workout uses heavy weights, amongst other props, to help strengthen and tone your arms, leaving you with arms so good you won’t be able to resist getting them out at every opportunity possible. Core Candy run multiple Accelerate classes each week, both morning and night, so if you’re looking to Obama-fy your arms, you know where to go!

HIIT at KX Barre

Malvern, Ascot Vale, Fitzroy and Kew 

Melbourne fitness studio, KX Barre, is famous for its dynamic barre classes however it’s their brand new HIIT offering that make our cut of best upper body workouts! HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, uses various workout stations, props and heavy weights to work out your entire body, with a particular focus on upper body strength. At any given time you could be doing weighted pushups, arm curls, tricep extensions…you get the gist! With studios in Malvern, Ascot Vale, Fitzroy and Kew, a KX Barre HIIT class is exactly what you need for buff, babeworthy arms. 

Boxing at F.I.T.E Training

South Melbourne

We first discovered South Melbourne gym, F.I.T.E Training, run by kick-ass trainer Ruan Kotze, online after an Insta-stalk of many a Melbourne IT Girl. Why were their bodies in such good shape? Who was responsible for their guns of steel? Well, Listers, they’ve all got Ruan to thank for that and, in particular, the amazing boxing classes at F.I.T.E Training. Inspired by fighter style sports, F.I.T.E’s boxing classes help to improve overall endurance, core strength and, most importantly, grip and forearms. And you know what that means, Listers?! You’ll be giving Michelle Obama and her amazing arms a run for their money in no time!

Combat Tabata at Alterego


Hands up (no pun intended), who’s looking for an amazing upper body workout in the Eastern suburbs? If that’s you, you’d be mad not to try the Combat Tabata class at Alterego—a high energy workout that combine martial arts, combat moves and timed intervals to help blitz your upper body, replacing any flab with fab Obama-like limbs. The Alphington based fitness studio has a passion for helping clients develop functional body strength in a fun and friendly environment, so if you’re nervous about giving it a go, don’t be—the trainers at this awesome Melbourne gym will help guide you along the way.

Reformer & Hot Mat Pilates at One Hot Pilates

South Yarra

Last but not least in our roundup of best upper body workouts in Melbourne is One Hot Pilates, the new South Yarra pilates studio brought to you by the team at One Hot Yoga. Both the reformer and hot mat pilates classes are brilliant for increasing upper body strength via a series of free- and body-weighted exercises. While we hate doing planks at the time (why do they never get easier?!), to look in the mirror and see buff, toned arms appearing after only a few sessions makes it totally worth it. Book in for a few sessions at One Hot Pilates now and before you know it, you’ll be yelling ‘Suns out! Guns out!’.

Any Melbourne gyms we’ve missed, Listers? Email us to let us know your fave spots for an upper body workout.

Image Credit: Abendblatt

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