44 HARDEST Calisthenics Exercises of ALL TIMES
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Calisthenics is all about strength training. You make use of your own body weight to develop strength. Mastering Calisthenics is a process, often a long one, but if you stick with it it can be very rewarding.
I personally have been doing calisthenics for years now and it’s amazing to look back and see how far you have come. But what’s even more exciting about this discipline is that there is always more to come and more to learn. Hence, I decided to create a list of all the most challenging calisthenics exercises and skills on earth to have something to aspire to and remind me that I can always be better and there are no limits.
It will take hard work, sweat, and consistency, but if you put your mind to it and follow the steps, every single person can achieve the levels of strength these athletes and gymnasts below did.
I hope you will find it inspiring! I definitely did when I was compiling the list.
Stay on track. You can do this!
Challenge yourself with these 44 Calisthenics exercises
Try out these fun yet difficult exercises and take your Calisthenics skills to another level.
1. Handstand using two fingers
Also called Two Finger Zenist KungFu Doing a handstand on two fingers is one exercise that will surely blow you away. Only a few people can even think of attempting this exercise. Thus, this exercise definitely deserves no 1 slot in the list of the hardest Calisthenics exercises.
2. Wall assisted handstand
You might be questioning yourself that is a one finger handstand even possible and the answer is yes. Most people would just say that this feat is impossible to achieve. However, there are Calisthenics experts out there who have been able to implement the one finger handstand after a lot of hard work and focus.
3. Single arm pull up to handstand
The one arm pull-up to handstand is again a unique demonstration of strength and focus. Only a Calisthenics expert can even think of attempting this move as it needs a lot of experience.
4. Single arm handstand pushup
The one arm handstand pushup is yet another challenge for all those who wish to excel in the field of Calisthenics. This is also one of the hardest exercises. There are only a few names on the list who have tried out this workout. The name of Paul Wade tops the list. This move takes a lot of time and training.
5. Single-handed planche
The single-handed planche is all about hand balancing so it is surely not an easy move. The difficulty level is increased when you simply remove one arm and just rely on your one hand balance.
6. Single arm handstand using cane
This Calisthenics move will definitely leave you astonished and amazed because it is all about doing a one arm handstand on a cane. Maintaining the balance and the focus are the true challenges of this move.
7. Inverted iron cross
The shoulders need a lot of strength for performing the inverted iron cross and this move needs flawless ring strength skills
8. Handstand clap push-ups
If you are looking forward to attempting the hardest push-ups then the Handstand clap push-ups are worth a try. This move requires a combination of coordination, strength and balance.
9. Straddle planche clap push-ups
Source: Joshua Shriver
You have to start this exercise like a normal planche. You would need to invest all your muscle strength to pop up high in the air and clap your hands.
10. Ninety-degree push-ups
When you attempt a 90-degree push-up, your feet are elevated so that a 90-degree angle can easily be created between your upper and lower body. This workout is also ideal for those who love extreme Calisthenics.
11. Walking Planches
What makes the Walking Planches so challenging is that the stabilizer muscles are involved while the performer is in a transition state. You need strength and coordination to implement this move successfully
12. Windmill Planche Push-ups
This is definitely a jaw-dropping move. This Planche can be termed as the hardest. You have to spin your body in the breakdance move. This spin is known as the windmill and it spins to a full planche.
13. Single finger pull-ups
You can only attempt this workout when you have extreme expertise in this move. A novice can actually end up breaking a finger. You would need strength and skill to attempt this workout.
14. Wall assisted two finger handstand
This wall assisted two finger handstand is yet another Calisthenics delight. You can balance your entire body with two fingers while resting your weight against the wall.
15. Single arm evil wheel
This is one of the hardest abs exercises and only the experts can dare to try this out.
16. Tiger bend push-ups
When you want to attempt the tiger bend push-ups then it is essential to have a tremendous amount of strength in your triceps and shoulders. Start with half tiger bend and when you are successful in that then you can try this out.
17. Advanced Tricep Presses
The advanced tricep presses are yet another test of your ability and skills. You need to understand the basic concept of this exercise before attempting to try it out.
18. Planche push-ups
The Planche push-ups are yet another transition of the full planche. You need tons of strength in your shoulders to perform this move. Adding the push-up adds the complexity aspect to this move.
19. Planche on four fingers
Doing a planche on just 4 fingers is no easy job. However, I believe that if the person performing this workout is light framed then this would definitely make it easier to maintain the balance.
20. Full Planche
You will have to invest time and effort to develop the strength and balance to attempt the full planche. It is no easy job for sure.
21. HSPU on the rings
The interesting part about Calisthenics is that you can be so creative. You can actually perform a handstand pushup using the rings. However, this again needs practice and skill. Watch the video to know more about this move.
22. Single arm lever
One arm lever is all about gripping a bar with one hand and lifting your body up in a coordinated movement. Your legs have to be parallel while implementing this move.
Now when you are attempting the Manna the strength is not the only requirement and you would need the flexibility to attempt this move. It definitely puts pressure on the shoulder area.
24. Nakayama Planche
The Nakayama Planche involves the abs. You would have to build up on your upper and lower abdominals to achieve the Nakayama Planche position.
25. L-sit iron cross to push-up
This move requires you to start with an L-sit and then you need to pull yourself past Iron Cross and finally acquire the full muscle up position
26. Iron cross
This exercise deserves a spot amongst the hardest Calisthenics exercises because it requires tremendous amount of strength so that makes it a tough job.
27. Straddle Press to Handstand
This move can be stated to be quite difficult because it involves a transition from the L- Seat to handstand and usually transitions are not easy to perform.
28. Human Flag Push-up
Human flag push-ups is also one of the hardest Calisthenics exercises because of the transitions involved.
29. Flying human flag oblique crunches
When you want to perform flying human oblique crunches then you would have to grip the top and the bottom portion of the post. The next step would be lifting your lower body so that you acquire a flag position. Then finally you need to raise and lower the legs in a crunch motion.
30. Human Flag bicycles
You will first need to get into a human flag position for this move and then you would need to move your legs as if you are riding a bicycle.
31. Human Flag
Human Flag exercise is yet another move that would be a test of your balancing skills. You would have to try really hard to get the concept of this move.
32. Hand Hops
The hand hops is all about incorporating the strength with the dancing moves.
33. Single arm handstand
Before moving on to a single arm handstand you would need to master the simple handstands. Remember one arm handstand is not an easy job and would require strength and balance on your part.
34. Reverse Planche
You can only perform the reverse planche when you have reached an astounding level of flexibility and strength. You have to start off with a handstand and then slowly bring your legs behind you until you achieve the reverse planche position.
35. Aztec push-ups
The Aztec push-ups are quite interesting. You have to start off with a normal push-up. Finally you will need to explode in the air and touch your toes using your fingers.
36. Single handed rope climb
You would need strength in your arms and hands to perform this move. The one-handed rope climb requires switching hands half way so you will have to work on your strength.
37. Single arm chin-ups
When you are training for the one arm chin-up then make sure then you should use your opposite arm for stabilizing your body till your other arm is strong enough for holding and balancing your body weight.
Bruce Lee was the first one to come up with the concept of two finger push-up. You need to start with a normal push-up position for this move. Position one hand behind the back. Finally you have to position your hands in a way that you maintain your balance on just two fingers.
39. Single arm diver bombers
When you have to perform the one arm diver bomber successfully then what you need the most is coordination, followed by strength and balance. Once you get a command over these three factors then you would be able to do this exercise.
40. 360 push-up
The 360 degree push-up also needs technical expertise. You would have to focus on strength building to attempt this move successfully.
41. Double handclap dips
For Double Handclap dips you have to do two handclaps while you are in the air after you are done with a dip on the parallel bar. Your legs need to be in front of you during the move. This move is quite tedious and is one of the hardest Calisthenics exercises.
42. Burpee Back Tuck
The burpee is one of the popular bodyweight moves. However, adding a back flip to it adds the element of complexity. This move is quite intense and definitely hard to master.
43. Back Clap Muscle Up
This exercise has got a lot of exciting twists. The first thing that you need to do is a muscle up and then simply explode in the air. When you are in the air then you have to clap your hands behind the back. The final step is to simply grab the bar. This exercise requires strength and there has to be a coordination in your moves.
44. Clap Pull-ups
Last, but not the least are the Clap pull-ups. The list of hardest exercises will be incomplete without this workout. Now, this move is all about strength demonstration. You would need the strength for lifting your body in the air and then you have to clap your hands in mid-air and then move down.
Just watching all these 44 hardest Calisthenics exercises will inspire you to try them out. However, it would not be easy in the beginning and you will have to adopt the step wise approach. You have to start with the basic calisthenics exercises. You would see that when you are regular with your Calisthenics workouts then you would be able to develop strength and try out the harder workouts. These Calisthenics exercises do seem impossible, but nothing is impossible in this world as long as you have the will to try and strive to achieve your goal.
Are you ready to get started on your calisthenics journey?
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“Would you rather have the ability to boast of bench pressing 300 pounds or to do a one-arm pull-up? To me, pulling my entire body up with one arm is much more impressive. – Michael – Calisthenics Academy User”
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“Stick with it! It is hard at first, especially if you are stuck on a lower-level, high rep exercise. But persevering is worth it! Finally reaching each goal is so exciting.”