Spice up your biceps - how to get singer Mel C's super-toned upper body

By Amanda Killelea

Melanie C has always been super-fit – she was Sporty Spice, after all.

But she wowed fans with her super-toned upper body when she appeared as a judge on Drag Race UK this week.

The 48-year-old displayed arms and shoulders just as toned as when she was the pony-tailed, high-kicking teenager back in her Spice Girl days.

Mel C shows off her toned arms on stage. (Getty Images)
Mel C shows off her toned arms on stage. (Getty Images)

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Fans headed for social media to praise the 48-year-old singer with one user saying: “My fitness goal for my 30s is to approximate, by any means necessary, the upper body charisma of one Ms Mel C.”

Another fan tweeted: “Mel C is 48. If she told me she was 28 I’d believe her.”

So just how does Mel achieve those rock-hard biceps and triceps? And is it achievable for us mere mortals who are more used to bingo wings than bicep curls?

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Personal trainer Tracy Knight says that while Mel is genetically blessed and clearly works hard on her fitness, we too can get toned arms we'll be proud to show off this summer.

Tracy says: “Mel has long, lean limbs to start with, which certainly helps. But fitness is obviously important to her and she works hard in the gym.

“But Mel also knows the importance of good nutrition. It is often said that abs are built in the kitchen but the same can be said for the rest of our bodies too.

“When Mel was appearing on Dancing with the Stars she regularly posted pictures of her meals which were lots of lean protein, veg and carbs to keep her going during the training.”

Mel's toned arms on dispay at the Brit Awards. (Getty Images for Bauer Media)
Mel's toned arms on dispay at the Brit Awards. (Getty Images for Bauer Media)

Mel herself has spoken about how important good nutrition is to her, saying: “The great thing about training really hard is that you can eat lots!

“That’s a massive benefit. And what I learned above all is that you have to fuel. I’m wise about nutrition and I eat lean protein, but my focus is on good carbs. I have three good meals and snacks. I don’t like being hungry – I want to keep the fire burning!"

Mel has long been a fan of mixing up her training, combining running with yoga, martial arts and weights in the gym.

WATCH: Melanie C danced to iconic Spice Girls hit for Dancing with the Stars debut

Tracy says keeping training varied helps to keep you motivated.

“Mixing up your workouts can stop you getting bored and help you stick to the routine,” she explains.

But if you really want to target a toned upper body like Mel C, there are some specific exercises Tracy recommends.

She says: “To start off, try to do 12-15 reps of each exercise at a low weight so you can achieve a full range of movement. Repeat each exercise for three rounds.”

Push-ups – Tracy says: “If you can’t manage full push-ups, start off on your knees and then you can progress to full as you get stronger.”

Side raises to front raises – Tracy says: “Hold a light dumbbell in each hand. Firstly raise your arms out to the side so they are parallel to your shoulders, then move your arms round so they are out in front of you. Lower your arms and repeat. These are great for shoulder definition.”

Bicep curls – Tracy says: “Hold a dumbbell in each hand by your side, with palms facing outwards. Bend your elbows so the dumbbells come up to your shoulder and lower again, making sure you fully extend your arm at the bottom of each rep.”

Performing helps keep Mel fit (Getty Images)
Performing helps keep Mel fit (Getty Images)

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Tricep dips – Tracy says: “Find a bench, sit on it and then lower yourself off the side using your arms as support, before pushing yourself back up.”

Dumbbell shoulder press: Tracy says: “Hold a dumbbell in each hand up to your shoulders. Push the dumbbells up over your head and then lower back down to shoulder height.”

Upright row – Tracy says: “Hold a kettlebell in both hands. Lift it up to chest height with your elbows pointing outwards, and then lower. Repeat for 12-15 reps.”

Battle ropes – Tracy says: “Most gyms have battle ropes. Slam the ropes up and down for 30 seconds, building up to 1 minute as your fitness improves. This is a great way to build your cardiovascular fitness while toning your arms.”

Mel C took part in the London triathlon in 2006. (Getty Images)
Mel C took part in the London triathlon in 2006. (Getty Images)