Nine Brutal Exercises You Probably Can’t Do

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So, you think you’re strong and fit? Forget adding plates to the bar, and try these 10 boss-level exercises. If you can do any of the exercises below, you’re among the minority. If you can’t, don’t worry – you’re still awesome.


This exercise starts off like a pull-up, but requires you to push yourself up over the bar. It’s a true test of upper body and core strength as well as balance. Many people have the requisite strength to perform a muscle-up, but lack the fast-twitch muscles and coordination needed to transition from pull to push.

One-Armed Pull-up

Even the strongest bodybuilders struggle with this exercise, which requires tremendous back, shoulder, bicep, and forearm strength, and expert balance. They can be performed underhand or overhand, and a strong few even perform them with added weight.

Handstand Push-up

It’s hard enough to do a handstand, but add a push-up to it, and you’ve got an exercise fit for a champion. No walls to help, of course.

Triple-clap Push up

This exercise defines the term “fast-twitch.” After pushing yourself up off the ground, you clap your hands together once in front of you, once behind you, and once more in front of you before landing. If you can manage it, it’ll be others doing the clapping.

Dragon Flag

This killer ab workout absolutely shreds the midsection and strengthens the lower back. Lying on a flat bench, grab hold of the bars and raise your body so that only your shoulder blades and upper back are in contact with the bench. While keeping this posture, perform leg raises.

Human Flag

For this notorious exercise, you need a sturdy vertical pole or post and extreme strength. Grab the pole with both arms and suspend yourself horizontally (you’ll be about parallel to the ground). While you’re at it, try some horizontal crunches.

Planche Push-up

It sounds simple: a push-up with your feet off the ground and legs parallel to the floor. If your ego ever grows too big, try these for an instant cure. If you succeed, well, your ego can get as big as it wants.

Elevated V-sit

For this exercise, sit on the ground and raise your legs until your body is in a ‘V’ shape. Then, while holding this posture, prop yourself up off the ground. Bruce Lee could hold a V-sit for 30 minutes, so surely you can manage a few seconds, right?

Two-Finger Push-up

Another Bruce Lee classic, there’s not much to say about this exercise that it’s name doesn’t already. If you can’t do one-armed push-ups, don’t try these unless you’re tired of your thumb and forefinger sitting on your hand all functional and intact.