At 33 years of age, Cristiano Ronaldo is still at the peak of fitness. Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that the man knows how to take care of himself, and his performance on the pitch is testament to his dedication and training.
Sure, being worth upwards of $400million provides the Real Madrid forward with opportunities and access to health and fitness experts that most of us can only dream of, but the secret behind his physique is surprisingly simple.
While there were rumours abound that his six pack was formed by 5000 sit ups per day, Spanish newspaper Marca quoted Ronaldo as laughing at that idea, recognizing how physically exhausted he’d be should that be true.
Instead, Ronaldo hits the pool regularly and engages in hydrotherapy, according to the Daily Mail. Cristiano reportedly swims at home, following games or with his son Cristiano Jnr, before working on hot-cold contrast hydrotherapy.
The theory behind contrast water therapy is that the hot baths promote blood flow through the body, called vasodilation, and to the limbs, while the cold water then vasoconstricts the blood vessels, sending blood back to the core. Athletes promote muscle regeneration through blood flow using the contrast process.
Given Ronaldo’s skills and fitness on land, it’s surprising that his engine is built in the water. However the benefits of a swimming and hydrotherapy are extremely transferable across sports, and go a long way to explaining Ronaldo’s excellent bill of injury free good health. The low impact, cardiovascular full body workout builds lean muscle, increase aerobic capacity, and if you’re lucky enough to have easy access to a pool, can be done at any time.
Swim To Win
Give the below workout a try before winter enters full swing, and start swimming your way into football superstar shape.
400 metre warm up, mixing up your strokes
10 x 50 metres with 30 seconds rest between each effort at 75% effort
4 x laps of breath work, breathing every 3 strokes, then 5, then 7, then 9. Repeat this pattern for the 4 laps
1 x lap sprint
3 x laps recovery directly following the sprint
Cool down with 100m, alternating laps with backstroke and freestyle