Trainers Say These Are the Most Difficult Exercises in the World

For those who think they’re in great shape, try these extremely difficult exercises. Even personal trainers find these moves trying. These moves may take years to master. Keep reading to see the most difficult exercises.

One arm handstand

fan doing a one-arm handstand amongst a crowd of people

Doing a one-arm handstand like this sports fan is a serious fitness feat. | S. R. Gaiger/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

If a handstand sounds difficult to perform, imagine performing a handstand with a single arm. Using your arms to keep the rest of your body off the ground is hard enough. A one arm handstand is even harder, according to Strengthen your upper body and core before attempting a handstand and graduating to a one arm handstand.

Hint: Use every muscle in your torso performing this exercise.

Body saw

Three athletic women doing planks in a fitness class

Think planks are hard? Try this intense ab exercise. |

A body saw targets every muscle in the torso, according to Shape. A body saw is similar to a plank but the feet are in a TRX band, engaging the core even more than a traditional plank position. Moving the hips back and forth during this move engages many muscle groups.

Hint: Combine two classic exercises to make one super move.

Dumbbell thruster

woman squatting with dumbbells

Combining an upper and lower body move with weights is incredibly hard work. |

Combining a press and a squat makes a dumbbell thruster. The move is difficult because many muscle groups are working at the same time. Combined with the up and down motion from the bottom of a squat to the top of a press, the move gets blood pumping. A dumbbell thruster is an “explosive movement with core stabilization,” according to Shape.

Hint: This difficult move is inspired by step aerobics.

Lateral step-ups with medicine ball

fitness woman holding a medicine ball out in front of her while exercising

You’ll really feel this one in your glutes in your triceps. |

Using a bench, step up holding a medicine ball out in front in of you. The “natural movement helps avoid injury,” according to Shape. Beginners, start with a lower bench and no weight, increasing the weight and height of the bench over time. The move combines cardio and strength training making the step-ups even more difficult.

Hint: One of the hardest bodyweight exercises ever, ahead.

One arm pull-up

men doing pull-ups at the gym together

Pull-ups are tough — and doing them with one arm is a huge achievement. |

The key to performing a one arm pull-up is patience. The move may take years to master because building upper body strength takes time, according to Plus, the core has to be engaged helping to keep the rest of the body in line. Start with building upper body muscle, then practice performing pull-ups, gradually increasing to a one arm pull-up.

Hint: No equipment needed for this move.

Pistol squat get up

Man squatting on a track

Try doing this move without allowing your feet to touch the ground. |

Another move relying heavily on core strength is a pistol squat get up. No equipment is needed to perform this difficult move. Squat down keeping one leg slightly off the floor, slowly lowering your body to the ground. Still keeping your leg off the ground, use your core and a little momentum to propel your body forward, and then up to the starting position.

Hint: Practice this exercise in a pool.

Press to handstand

Man doing a handstand in the park

One-handed or not, handstands are seriously tough. |

A press to handstand is a move of upper body strength, coordination, and balance, according to With hands and feet planted on the ground, perform a handstand. This is another move that can take years to master. A great way to practice this move is by perfecting a handstand in the pool or on a trampoline.

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Read more: A 6 Step Guide to Finding the Right Personal Trainer