The 20 Hardest Bodyweight Shoulder Exercises

Written By: Todd Kuslikis
November 07, 2021

Below you’ll find some of the hardest shoulder exercises imaginable, all without using weights.

There is something to be said about being able to do a one-handed handstand pushup that is more impressive than being able to lift 100 lbs over your head.

They both take great strength and it takes incredible commitment to be able to do both, but there just seem to be something more impressive about the first one. It takes more coordination, more whole-body strength.

I’ve also included a number of links to similar awesome articles, so check those out!

bodyweight shoulder exercises pike pushup

What Makes A Shoulder Exercise Hard?

The angle of the exercise is essentially what makes a shoulder exercise difficult. The shoulder muscle is made up of the anterior, middle and poster deltoid. Its function is to move the arm upward. So naturally, you may think that there couldn’t really be too many variations to a shoulder exercise. Yet as the below 20 hardest shoulder exercises prove, there can be many, many variations.

Which Of The Hardest Shoulder Exercises Can I Do?

Shoulder strength is definitely something I need to work on more. I can do a One Arm Pushup but that is about as far down on the list that I can get. How about you? I am so impressed by the people that can do the shoulder exercises toward the bottom. This takes incredible strength and so many years to be able to do. I definitely want to work up this list of shoulder exercises so someday I can do a one-handed handstand pushup.

So…I know you’ve been waiting for…

20 Hardest Bodyweight Shoulder Exercises

20. Single Arm Plank

19. Shoulder Pushups

18. TRX Shoulder Pushups

17. Handstand Pushup with Wall

16. Bucket Circles

15. One Arm Pushup

14. Nakayama-Planche

13. Human Flag

12. Human Flag Push Up

11. Manna

10. Handstand on Bosu Ball

9. Supported One Arm Handstand Pushup

8. Full Planche

7. Planche Pushups

6. 90 Degree Handstand Pushups

5. Straddle Planche

4. One Arm Handstand

3. Straddle Planche Clap Pushups

2. Hand Hops

1. Iron Cross

Insane Bonus! – One Arm Handstand On Canes

Show/Hide Comments (14 comments)
  1. janjan

    Straddle planche harder than fullplanche and a one armed handstand harder than Manna? Sorry but this is complete bullshit

  2. James

    Manna is 11? I feel it should be very close to 1. It’s a rare skill

  3. mahesh choudhar

    plz sir i want to increse my shoulder but i have no more stamina…. to do exersise because i was fat and fat is more in my butt and thise… so plz give me properly advise as consider i m ur brother….

  4. Brandon Roman

    What I don’t have Internet

  5. trevor

    forward all the information i can get regarding which exercises are best suited for an ectomorph

  6. tysen

    Thank you for your help

    • Todd Kuslikis

      For sure!

  7. Tysen

    Hello Mr.Kuslikis I was wondering if you knew of any Trap exercises? Im having a hard time hitting my traps with bodyweight exercises…

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Hi Tysen,

      Try getting in a dip position (arms straight) and doing reverse shoulder shrugs. Also, handstands will help with trap strength too.

  8. Devon

    How about bucket circles without the bucket?

    • yomomma

      its called circles 😀

  9. Devon

    I like the song for hand hops.=-)

    • Todd Kuslikis


      • jerwin

        Hi todd this is jerwin from india im new to bodyweight before trying bodyweight I was harcore weight training person . Well im plagued from back pains I mean doctor told me anymore nonsense weightlifting you will be in wheel chair I can do standard push up and pull up now seeing there are advavanced moves in bodyweight movements is it safe for my back .pls advice

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