Presenter Mel Sykes reveals how getting into exercise has changed her body and mind

It was as her milestone 40th birthday approached that the 44-year-old mum of two decided her health needed a shake-up. ‘I’d had two children, I was approaching 40, so I bit the bullet,’ she explains. She signed up to the gym for the first time and when she started seeing results, it spurred her on to do more. And now you can get your own taut tum with Mel Sykes’ amazing ab moves in our celebrity workouts special.


The former model also got a trainer and, in just under six months, her body began to look and feel more athletic. But it’s not an easy fix, Mel reveals she worked hard to get her body into shape. ‘Everyone that says ‘You’re so lucky to look like that’, I’m not lucky at all, I put the work in.’ And she swears that anyone can get fit – ‘If I can, anyone can.’

Mel’s arms were the first to get a firm up. ‘It was the first difference I noticed. There are so many women over 40 that don’t wear vests because of the tops of their arms. I don’t want restrictions like that. I’d rather work out and wear what I want. So I do tricep dips and bicep curls.’


She reveals her body is better now than it was 20 years ago and most importantly healthier. And she keeps in shape for herself. ‘I keep fit for myself. It’s about my life and how I feel naked.’ She reveals it’s been a huge confidence booster too. ‘It’s made the transition into my 40s a lot easier.’

Mel squeezes three to five workouts a week into her busy schedule, but reveals she’s never in the gym long. ‘Recently, I’ve been blitzing 20 minutes high intensity sessions – that’s cycling for a minute, then two difference exercises for the arms, three times. And then back on the bike for a minute. then some leg exercises, three times.’


She alternates between bum or arms routines. But for Mel every day is abs day – each session includes 100 ab reps. It’s the reason why hers look so good and why we’ve asked Mel to reveal her amazing abs moves.


Mel Sykes’ exercise plan

Focus on spending a set amount of time per exercise. As you get stronger, you’ll automatically make it more intense and increase the number of reps. Try 30-60 seconds on each exercise to start with, working up to and completing 3 sets.


Forearm plan move

Mel-forearm-plankPull in the abs and don’t let the back arch. Imagine you have a weight bearing down on your lower back – try to resist it.


Ab cycles move

Mel-ab-cyclesKnees to chest, hands to head and breathe out as you bring your elbow towards the opposite knee, straightening your other leg. Keep hips to the floor.


Bird dogs move

Mel-bird-dogFrom all fours, draw in your belly button, breathe out as your lift and lengthen your opposite arm and leg. An even body weight is key.


Stability ball curls move

Mel-stability-ball-curlsSit on the ball, walk your feet forward and lie back, with hands by head. Flex from the waist to lift up, breathe out, don’t push into legs to lift. For an easier level, try with arms crossed over your chest, and legs wider for more stability.


Boat pose moves

Mel-Boat-poseSit on your ‘butt bones’, lengthen your spine, flatten and draw in your abdominals. For an easier level, keep the knees bent and hold onto the thighs, but keep the chest lifted at all times.


Slow mountain climbers move 

Mel-slow-moutain-climberFrom the hand plank position, alternate knee to chest. For ease, place the front foot on the floor as it comes into your chest.