Obamas' Personal Trainer Struts His Stuff

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 2, 2009, upon their arrival from Copenhagen, Denmark . (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) AP

Cornell McClellan can boast that he's got about the biggest celebrities you can as clients - the first couple.

McClellan, a personal trainer who owns a gym called Naturally Fit in President and Michelle Obamas' hometown of Chicago, is still helping them keep in shape - he flies to Washington about once a week, mostly to work with the first lady, but sometimes Mr. Obama, as well.

Mrs. Obama was referred to McClellan by one of his clients 13 years ago. He began working with Mr. Obama about nine years ago.

McClellan laughingly admits he's the one responsible for Mrs. Obama's famous arms.

He says the president is an all-around athlete. "He likes to mix it up," McClellan told CBS News. "He loves to run, work out with weights, basketball, golf."

McClellan says he's shown both Obamas boxing moves he demonstrated on The Early Show Saturday Edition." Such moves, he says, help keep the whole body in shape, from triceps to abs and obliques to upper thighs.

Cornell McClellan's Boxing Workout

• Warm-up: As a warm up, Cornell usually does criss-cross jumping jacks to get the heart rate up. Then he'll mix in squats with the jumping jacks. Boxing

• The Jab: Perhaps the most basic move, the jab is a straight punch from the ready position. While maintaining a straight line up the arm to the shoulder, extend the shoulder and hips into the punch.

• The Right Cross: The right cross can be thrown after a left-hand jab. The significance of a right cross, thrown with the right hand over hand, is the rotation on the ball of the right foot from the pivot. The key is that you are transferring the body's power in this rotation from the top of the head down to the ball of the right foot. We find this useful because it helps to teach the transferring of one's body weight. Or, if needed it can be used as a punch to get someone's attention.

• The Hook: Start by transferring weight to the front leg. The left arm forms a tight 90 degree angle, palm down and parallel to the floor. Twist the whole upper body forward, rotating the left foot. Then extend the left arm to punch across the front of body and extend all the way through to the right side while keeping the right hand at the defense position.

• The Upper Cut: A right or left upper cut is great move that really works the whole body. Because you are pivoting your foot, you are teaching the transference of power and teaching your body how to change direction and how to really shift your body weight. Start by lowering one hand and, with maximum thrust, bring it straight up. Power from this move comes from extending the knees as the body comes up.

• The Front kick: Usually done after a series of punches, but can also be done for fitness training as an individual kick. Turn your body so that it's facing the front and raise leg to kick straight out and snap. If kicking above the waist, foot is flexed, if kicking below (in the groin for example) then foot is pointed down. Combination would be: left jab, right cross then front kick with right leg.

• Good for: Boxing is good for quads, core, and upper body. Because there is a slight squat when you perform these moves, you're really hitting the lower body, particularly the quads. The rotation and pivot works the core, especially the obliques with the twist, as well as the abs and even the glutes. And of course, you are working the upper body-from biceps to shoulders. Kickboxing is an even better workout because you are using larger muscles; it's really a full body bang and burns more calories than boxing alone. Kickboxing is especially great for women who want lean legs and hips.

• How often: Usually you execute boxing moves for a certain time, rather than reps. A round is 3 minutes, but that is something beginners need to work up to as you are throwing the moves quickly. To start, throw a move or combination of punches for 1 minute, take a 1 minute rest, then throw for another minute, take a minute rest, and throw for the 3rd minute. People can practice these daily. You are training your body to be able to do certain things like change directions quickly and transfer power. The upper cut move can also be a cardio burn with a combination of upper cuts (right to left). McClellan uses these and other boxing moves when he knows his clients have a big meeting or presentation coming up as he says it is a great stress reliever. Kickboxing: Because kickboxing is even more taxing than boxing, a beginner would usually do a number of kicks; for example, 10 front snaps, 10 sidekicks and 10 round house kicks. Then after they're more comfortable, they can build up to a routine that involves throwing punches with kicks; jab, cross, front snap kick for example.

• Calories: Depending on how many minutes you box, boxing can burn more calories than walking or riding a bike. When you do the moves correctly and quickly, you are using more muscles because you're squatting, ducking, pivoting and really using your entire body as opposed to walking. If you do a combined workout of these boxing moves, you can burn anywhere from 500-700 calories. When combined with the kickboxing exercises, you can easily burn over 1,000 calories.
  • CBSNews

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