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First Family Fitness

Updated March 07, 2014.

While many past American presidents have been known to work out regularly (think Bill Clinton jogging, George W. Bush mountain biking, and George H.W. Bush golfing), President Barack Obama takes fitness to a whole new level. The Obama fitness routine even extends through three generations. Both President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are early-morning regulars at the gym, and their daughters Malia and Sasha play sports at school.

The First Grandma, Marian Robinson, returned to her teenage pursuit of track and field in her fifties and sixties. How does the Obama fitness routine work with the family's busy schedule?

President Barack Obama's Fitness Routine

Even during his two grueling campaigns, candidate and then President Obama kept up his workouts. He rises early in the morning to hit the nearest gym in whatever city he happens to be visiting. His typical workout is 45 minutes long; he does cardio two days a week and weight training four days, alternating between lower and upper-body workouts. President Obama also has a tradition of playing pick-up basketball on important occasions, like primary election days and those days when he has to give a major speech. His former personal aide, Reggie Love, was the President's most frequent companion on the court. Love is 6 feet 5 inches tall and excelled in both basketball and football as a student at Duke University.

At the White House, President Obama has quick access to an outdoor basketball court and indoor gym equipment (not to mention a bowling alley, swimming pool, and jogging track).

He can even have a treadmill on Air Force One for mile-high workouts.

First Lady Michelle Obama's Fitness Routine

As a busy working mom, Mrs. Obama also tends to hit the gym early in the day. Really early—like 4:30 a.m., according to friends who frequently accompanied her to the gym when she lived in Chicago. Three to four times a week, Mrs. Obama does a 60- to 90-minute cross-training routine. To really sculpt those famous upper arms, she finishes each workout with a set of tricep pushdowns and hammer curls. She looks fantastic, but she's also setting an example as the leader of the anti-obesity campaign Let's Move.

In his biography of Mrs. Obama, Michelle Obama: An American Story (), David Colbert notes that she was athletic as a child and teen, but didn't pursue a sport because her brother, Craig Robinson, was a basketball star. He's now the head basketball coach at Oregon State University.

Sports for Sasha and Malia Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama famously said that her daughters are still responsible for regular chores, even in the White House. They also keep up with their extracurricular activities, which in the past have included soccer, tennis, gymnastics and dance. Plus, their dogs keeps them pretty active too!

"Health and fitness and how we eat ... has become part of our lives, because of our kids," Mrs. Obama told Children's Health magazine. "We are their primary role models. And if [my girls] see me exercising and thinking about what I'm eating, if they see their father, as busy as he is, getting to the gym and playing sports, when they grow up they'll understand that this is a natural part of being an adult."

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