The following workouts are designed to push you to your absolute limits. Therefore, they shouldn’t fill your entire workout routine, rather, you should use them towards the end of your workout to get a well deserved burn out. That being said, let’s jump into the ten best workouts for people who love a challenge.
We start our list with the epitome of all challenging workouts, the dreaded burpee. You’re probably already familiar with this workout, but you may not be aware of how diverse it can be. Combine this move with jump squats or pushups to heighten the intensity. The burpee is challenging, because your body is having to spring upward from a very low position, which will have your thighs screaming by the end. Like many cardio moves, this move is much more suitable for people with smaller legs. The impact is more abrasive if it’s laden with muscle or fat, so having gangly legs lessens the load. Burpees are typically done in short intervals for at least four sets.
2. One Legged Up And Down planks
Similar to the last move, this move requires you to pick yourself up from a very low position, only it hones in on your upper body. This exercise is great for your arms, your chest, and even your core. But the one leg modification requires you to strain your lower body in order to stay up. The more each muscle group is worked, the more calories you’ll burn. With that said and done, remember that this move is very akin to a pushup, so keep a straight body from head to toe. Your body will naturally want to use momentum to lift yourself up, but don’t listen to it. You can do this by performing the move slowly and precisely, again, paying attention to keeping a straight body.
3. Knee Slap Pushups
Here’s another variation of pushups that will push you to your limits and drain your will power. Get into push up position, spring upward, and try to touch your knees. Many people aren’t even capable of doing this workout without modifications, so don’t feel weak if this move isn’t the right fit for you. I personally struggle to do one of these, and I consider myself to be somewhat fit. Regardless, any move that is exceedingly challenging is worth telling your friends about. Ask them to try this move. You can even promise them some reward in return if they can do more than twenty.
4. Jump Squats
Another move that can be seen as both a strength and a cardio move is the Jump Squat. If you’re not already familiar with this move, it is extremely high impact oriented. Just like burpees, being able to burst upward is a crucial part of this workout. Although you’ll be gasping for air, maintain proper squat form on the way down. Most of your weight should be on your heels as you squat. Your knees shouldn’t be over your toes, and you shins should be in line with your feet. Also, I know I must sound like a broken record at this point, but maintain a flat back.
5. Floor Jumping Jacks
Like most of these workouts, this move targets multiple muscle groups. Remember to engage your core as you keep a relatively flat back. This move is typically done in short intervals or for short periods of time. Don’t challenge yourself too much by trying to sustain it for more than a minute. Variety should be an important part of your workout, thus, you’d be doing more harm than good.
6. One Legged Bird Squats
You can try this move with weights, but the difficulty level is high enough without them. What’s so great about this move is that it tones while improving your balance. Many workout junkies struggle to maintain balance during this move, so don’t feel bad if you have to exclude this move from your workout routine. Being able to rely on your balance is really important. If your balance is poor, not only will the exercise be less effective, but it’ll slow down the constant intensity that you need to sustain.
7. Reverse Flyes
Now, let’s move onto workouts that require equipment. This move is famous and rightfully so. It’s challenging and can be extremely versatile. Combine this move with deadlifts or ski squats to complicate the motion. Remember that dynamic moves lead to better results. Pay special attention to your back. With so many workout moves, a flat back is of great import, but this workout can be especially harmful if you’re failing to maintain a flat back.
8. Lateral Raises
This move isn’t quite as apt for versatility as the last one, and I’m sure many of you are already familiar with it. However, since this move focuses in on the shoulders with brutal potency, I wanted to add it to the list. Your arms should be parallel to the ground. In other words, don’t go up above the shoulders. It is advisable to keep a slight bend in your arms.
9. Arnold Press
This workout targets the interior delt, and it’s exceptionally challenging. The name Arnold press comes from Arnold Schwarzenegger who popularized the exercise. Like I said, the Arnold press is difficult, therefore, you want to make sure that you have control over the weights. A slow motion may be a bit more painful, but it’s significantly more effective. Inhale on the way down, and exhale on the way up.
I’m concluding this list with a genre of exercise rather than a specific exercise. Firstly, I’m the first to admit that I’m not strong enough to meet the physical demands of calisthenics. And, to be quite honest, I’m not conversant regarding the many moves you can utilize. But I do know that calisthenics are incredibly difficult. As is the case with many moves, these workouts favor people with extremely low BMIs. This is probably insultingly obvious, but you shouldn’t build a workout routine based on calisthenics if you can’t perform most of the moves. Instead, I would advise using the other workout moves on this list to build strength before choosing calisthenics. Remember that working out should be challenging but completely egoless at the same time. Don’t let your pride determine your workout routine.