How a Circus Workout Lets Functional Fitness Clown Around

I got interested in learning about a circus workout after watching a recent news piece about Cirque du Soleil making a stop in Austin. The anchorwoman visits Cirque, and tries a workout with one of the performers.

The Cirque performer Sasha Yudintsev demonstrates box jumps, wall balls and agility ladder work. This got me to thinking about the influence of the circus/gymnastics/acrobatics on functional fitness.

It's not hard to see the crossover of gymnastics and acrobatics into functional fitness. Just last year, the CrossFit games featured an individual handstand walk that included traversing parallel bars. Competitor Alec Smith was a gymnast for 8 years. The lines between functional fitness, gymnastics, acrobatics and the circus continue dissolving.

Circus artists don't keep their fondness of Crossfit a secret. In fact, one Cirque performer, aerial straps artist and CrossFit enthusiast holds the world record for heaviest road vehicle ever pulled with teeth. So don't think that a circus workout is just clowning around.

cirque du soleil act

Talk about a lift beyond the ordinary.

Don't make the mistake of equating a circus workout or gymnastics and acrobatics work as less legit or weak compared to other strength training. There's a darn good reason a couple of Cirque du Soleil artists performed at The Arnold Classic.

A circus workout will build muscle. Functional fitness knows this and has stressed the importance of bodyweight mechanics for a reason. Take it from the pros, see for yourself and try some circus workout bodyweight training.

Cirque du Soleil doubles down with bodyweight training, if you're not convinced already.

Of course any quality circus workout would be remiss to ignore strength endurance and conditioning.

Meanwhile, this couple is really doing it right in Chiang Mai. I used to think ring support holds were impressive. What you'll see in this vid makes that look like amateur hour. Talk about talent, especially at the 29 and 37 second marks.

Don't let this hyper-talented couple dissuade you from becoming a circus star. Self-doubt prevents you from being awesome. Just ask Bello Nock who appeared on America's Got Talent or the 86 year old woman who holds the Guiness Book of World Records title for world's oldest, female trapeze artist.

Circus Workouts to Try

If you're inspired to give a circus workout a go, you've come to right place. Here are some workouts that are sweeter than cotton candy without the stickiness. 

In the market for rock hard abs? Washboard abs? Beach body abs? Push those all to the side. Have you ever considered circus abs? Impress everyone with this human jack-in-the-box inspired ab workout.

Wodapalooza in Miami has taken clowning around to heart in 2019. They put out this W.O.D. called "Circus Act." (On an unrelated side note, this is fitting for Florida, as it's home to the country's largest carnie community.)

If you're champing at the bit to inject your workouts with gymnastic inspiration, check out these 7 W.O.D.s that focus heavily on your inner Cirque du Soleil performer.

cirque du soleil act

Red Bull isn't the only thing that gives you wings.

Thanks again for reading Fringe Nation. If you have any input, feedback or experience with a circus workout, gymnastics or acrobatics, please share with us in the comments below. Have an awesome day and lift beyond the ordinary.

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