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Get a six pack like Ronaldo!

When Cristiano Ronaldo stripped off his shirt at the end of Euro 2016 and showed the world his six pack, men and women across the world swooned. Not because they were attracted to the Portuguese footballer but because his abdominal rack is a thing of sculpted beauty.

So how does Ronaldo or any of the other buff types you see in the gym get their abdominals to such a taut state? Here, we talk about some of the best exercises to get that six pack.

1. Abdominal hold:

Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair or bench and put your hands on the edge pointing towards your knees. Tighten your abs, extend your arms and lift your toes 2-4 inches off the floor. Make sure your buttocks are off the chair. Hold for as long as you can. Repeat six times. Great for arms and shoulders as well as abdominals.

2. The Pilates 100

This exercise is ‘borrowed’ from the world of Pilates and it certainly gets your heart pumping and your abs working. Sit on a mat with your knees bent by your chest and your hands at your side. Turn your palms to face down, lift your head and shoulders off the mat and vigorously pump your arms up and down (6 inches either way). Curl your chin into your chest and never relax your abs during the whole movement. Inhale for five movements, then exhale for five - repeat until you have done 100 pumps.

3. Squat then twist

This is a standing movement that involves quite vigorous sideways movement, so make sure you are warmed up. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your arms in front of you at shoulder height. Squat down, so your knees are at a 90 degree angle, then twist your upper body to the left. Straighten up, then repeat the exercise to the right. Keep your weight in your heels and don't allow your knees to jut forward away from your toes. Keep your knees facing forward as your chest and shoulders move side to side. For the best results, bend your knees as close to 90 degrees as possible. Repeat 20 times and, although a vigorous twist is involved, always keep it controlled.

4. The ballet twist

Another one from the school of Pilates and very effective for stretching and working those obliques. Your starting position is sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Lean back 45 degrees from the hips. Engage your stomach muscles and bring both arms overhead like a ballerina. Twist your torso to the right, placing your forearm on the mat. Keep your left arm reaching overhead for a slow count of 3. Repeat the movement, keeping your left arm on the floor, and keeping your butt and heels on the floor. Contract your abs to support your spine as you return to centre, bringing both arms overhead. The whole movement must be controlled at all times. Repeat 6 times on each side.

5. The Cobra

Borrowed from the school of Yoga, the Cobra looks after the back, which is very important when focusing on the abdominals. To perform this classic Yoga move, lie facedown on the floor with your palms near your chest. Lift your head, shoulders, and chest off the floor, pulling your shoulder blades down and together. Hold for a count of five and then lower back down. Repeat 8 to 10 times

Incorporate these abdominal exercises into your gym routines and watch your six pack take shape!

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