You can get in shape in any number of ways, but there are always going to be a few exercises that are are a bit more difficult to master. Unless you take that statement as a challenge - we’ve got a brief list of exercises that will simply be impossible for the vast majority of people, including fitness buffs. Each one requires an incredible level of strength, balance, skill and determination.

Be warned – these are exercises you won’t be able to just “try” the next time you hit the gym, so if you want to do them, take a look through and see tips from personal trainers on how to get them done.

NUMBER 1: Pistol Squat

[see: Pistal Squat Video Demo]

What it is:

A pistol squat is like a regular one-legged squat that goes too far. For most people, a one-legged squat either stops about when you create that 90-degree angle with the back of your knee or when you drop below that and fall backwards. The pistol squat requires you to drop down far below that right angle to the point where you squat into a crouch on one leg. For balance, you keep your free leg and arms outstretched in front of you, so that if someone watches from the side, it generally resembles a pistol.

Why it’s so challenging:

Being able to bring your body into a squatting, one-legged crouch is just something most people will never be able to do. It takes a tremendous amount of leg strength and balance throughout the body to perform, and doing it for a number of reps will wear out even the fittest guys at the gym, if they can do a pistol squat in the first place.

How to get there:

“The best way to master a movement is to do that particular movement as often as you can,” says personal trainer Mike Duffy. In effect, if you want to master this move, he recommends sitting down on a chair and standing up on one leg, with the other one outstretched in front of you. Try to find the right height – if the chair is too low, you won’t be able to do it, and if it’s too high, it will be too easy. Do 3 sets of 10 on each leg for at least two or three weeks before moving on to a lower chair or object. Progressing forward, you will eventually make it low enough so that “you will be able to do a pistol squat no problem.” Duffy adds that you shouldn’t worry much about being able to do more on one leg than the other – that’s natural. It’s only a reason for concern and a doctor’s visit if the disparity is huge.

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GO TO PAGE TWO FOR MOVE 2 >>>

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NUMBER 2: Handstand Pushup

[see: Handstand Pushup Video Demo]

What it is:

A handstand pushup starts with a successful, fully balanced handstand, as you might imagine. That’s the easy part though. After that, you have to control your legs and core as you let them fall backwards, while simultaneously performing an equally controlled pushup with your upper body. Unlike a regular pushup pose, you’ll need to keep your arms drawn along the sides of your body so that when you get close to the floor, your hands are near the waist so you can maintain your balance (or try to do so). After this, without letting any part of the body touch the floor, you push back up into a handstand.

Why it’s so challenging:

Handstand pushups are just a shade difficult because you’ll want the upper body strength and balance of an Olympic gymnast to complete them. Duffy notes that a regular pushup only requires you to push the weight of your upper body, whereas a handstand pushup makes you push the weight of your entire body. It’s an amazing feat of strength, plus you need the poise and grace (yes, you’ll need a lot of that) to control your body and keep it from crashing to the ground regardless of how much strength you have.

How to get there:

This is another one you’ll need to work up to, seeing as Duffy refers to it as “the ultimate upper body exercise.” If your handstands need work, you’ll need to improve your balance by doing them next to a wall, then you’ll eventually have to move out into the open to really master it, building you static strength and balance, according to Duffy. Other necessary exercises will be doing modified versions of handstand pushups, which become more and more like the real thing as you get stronger and more balanced. Put your knees on a flat bench and bend at a 90-degree angle at the waist, then place your hands on the floor shoulder width apart, press your hands into the floor and raise your body up. Do this for two to three weeks, 3 sets of 10 reps before moving onto another modified version in which you place your toes instead of knees on the bench. After this, you’re ready for handstand pushups against the wall before you move away from it, then you’ll be on your way. Of course, start with what challenges you and move ahead from there.

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GO TO PAGE THREE FOR MOVEMENT 3 >>> 

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NUMBER 3: Overhead Squat

[see: Overhead Squat Video Demo]

What it is:

Instead of squatting while holding extra weight just behind the shoulders, the overhead squat requires you to extend that weight up, so that you’re holding the bar outstretched above you like a weightlifter. Hold that pose for the duration of the squat routine. Pretty simple to explain, but it’s easier said than done.

Why it’s so challenging:

The overhead squat is incredibly difficult because it requires full body strength, balance and flexibility, says Duffy. To perform an overhead squat, you not only need the strong legs it takes to complete any set of squats, but you also need a huge level of flexibility throughout the body, great core strength and flawless technique and balance.

How to get there:

Duffy says there are basically two movements involved in overhead squats, both of which you’ll need to work on to get yourself to a point where you can complete the exercise. First off, focus more on your squats – strengthening your legs and making sure to practice flawless technique. Get someone you can trust to make sure you’re doing it right (preferably a certified fitness professional) and make sure you squat all the way down so that the back of your hips touch the back of your calves. “Half a movement will only develop half a leg! Go deep!” says Duffy. Do these twice a week, 3 sets of 10 reps and increasing weight when it gets too easy. As for the other movement you’ll need for this exercise, go to the next slide.

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