You’re the star of the show—when you train like the ripped, gravity-defying performers of Cirque du Soleil! We’re not talking pantomiming, though. With artists/athletes performing hundreds of shows a week across the world, these trapeze artists, unicyclists, contortionists, high fliers, and more are athletes to their core—that’s why we’re in awe of their daily abs routine.

We tracked down Bryan D. Burnstein, head of Cirque du Soleil performance science, while he was onsite in Las Vegas to design a core routine that works every square inch of your abs and back. The result is a fully functional, tight core that won’t let you down. Give it a shot and watch your strength improve in short order, then get a front-row seat to one of the jaw-dropping Cirque du Soleil ( performances wherever your travels take you. Though you may not be the next high-wire act, you can crush your core just like the pros do. Check out the moves below, and click through for visuals of the lesser-known moves in the program.


Chart workout

Do all exercises in a row; rest between each when needed. Once you can complete every exercise for 30 seconds consecutively (an eight-minute routine), add five seconds per exercise. Suggested frequency is once daily, three to five times per week; max of twice daily, seven days per week.