World’s Hardest Gym Ball Exercises

Gym ball single-leg press-up with jackknife rotation
(Image credit: Unknown)

Want to show off at the gym? Then master these comically hard gym ball moves: the gym ball dumbbell squat and the gym ball single-legged press-up with jackknife rotation.

“They’re definitely a challenge,” says top trainer Gideon Remfry, who created them. “They’re not necessarily that useful either.” Still, like these fitness tests, we can’t resist giving them a go.

For other tests of your mettle, try these workout challenges, these hard workout videos on YouTube, or sign up to the Fiit workout app and try the hardest home workout in the world

Warning: If you’re not in the right condition to attempt these exercises you can hurt yourself. Build up gradually, adding one component of the move at a time.

Gym Ball Dumbbell Squat

Yes, the idea is to stand on a gym ball, holding dumbbells, and squat. A test of balance and daring.

If you want to avoid doing yourself an injury and looking stupid, the key is to build up slowly. With the gym ball dumbbell squat, start by learning how to kneel on a gym ball. Once you can do that, progress to standing before moving on to squatting and finally adding weight.

Get on the ball by putting one foot and one hand on the ball, then do the same with the opposite foot and hand. Use a training partner for balance if you need to. Once on the ball, get your partner to pass you the dumbbells. Squat down as far as you can, then return to the start. 

Gym Ball Single-Legged Press-up With Jackknife Rotation

Step 1: Get into a press-up position with your feet on a gym ball.

Step 2: Press up and take your left leg up off the ball. With your right leg, draw your knee towards your chest.

Step 3: Push your right leg back out and draw your left knee towards your chest.

Step 4: Rotate your left knee under your body before going back the way you came. Do the same amount of rotations to each side.

Nick Hutchings worked for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Nick worked as digital editor from 2008 to 2011, head of content until 2014, and finally editor-in-chief until 2015.