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Last week, we talked about the five easiest exercises in Ring Fit Adventure. Each of these exercises, known as “fit skills,” are great for easing into a workout if you haven’t gotten moving in a while or if you’re trying to get back on track with your new year’s resolutions. They’re also great proof that exercise doesn’t have to be grueling, draining, or sweat-drenching: even if you’re only using those five easy moves, you’re still getting your body moving and your blood pumping, both of which have excellent ramifications for both physical and mental health.

What if you’re looking for something a little harder, though? You might be a seasoned athlete or just someone who enjoys the burn of a long exercise session. You probably looked at that list and thought, “I can do better than that. Does Ring Fit have any challenging fit skills?” The answer is yes, absolutely! The game is designed for fitness explorers at all levels, from beginner to devotee. Not all of these skills are hard in that they make you sweat, either: some require exceptional balance or endurance, making them all great ways to hone your exercise skills and work toward your fitness goals. In no particular order, here are the five hardest Ring Fit Adventure fit skills.

The usual disclaimer: I’m an able-bodied (though out-of-shape) person and am able to perform most of these fit skills without assistance. Depending on your physical ability level, your mileage may vary.

Plank

To find the most difficult and exhausting fit skills, we have to skip the arm category entirely. While many of the arm fit skills are tiring and offer a good workout when completed repeatedly, none of them are so hard or energy-consuming that they make me want to pass out on the floor after just one set. (You can find a handful of the arm fit skills in the easiest exercises article.) Because of that, we’re moving directly to the abs fit skills, which includes the notorious plank.

Planks are difficult in the first place because they require holding up your entire body weight and staying in that position for a while to complete a rep, which is difficult when you’re chunky like me. To make matters worse, Ring Fit‘s plank requires you to raise your hips up while holding that plank position, which to me is twice as hard. It’s a fit skill that requires good posture, flexibility, and strength, a combination that I definitely don’t have. The game actually inadvertently makes this skill harder: in my experience, the leg strap is bad at detecting how high it’s gotten off the ground when you’re in this position, making the game think that you’re not raising yourself very much. I’m definitely raising myself – there’s just more of me to raise, okay?

Wide Squat

Many of the game’s most strenuous exercises can be found in the legs fit skill category. This is because many of these exercises are aerobic in nature, which means they get your heart rate up and keep you sweating, improving your heart health over time. There is a lot of squatting in Ring Fit Adventure, but most of it is of the normal squat variety, which isn’t so bad once you get used to the proper form and movement. (The exceptions are the Dragaux levels that make you squat a bunch on the way to the boss fight. Talk about knee-busters.)

As if the normal squat wasn’t bad enough, the wide squat makes it twice as hard. Instead of relying on the power of your shins and calves to keep you upright, you now only have your knees and thighs. While this means it’s a great workout for those parts of your body, it also means that those limbs tire out even faster than usual. Don’t even get me started on the mega ab guard sequences during boss battles, where you have to hold a wide squat for an extended period of time while also pushing the Ring-Con into your stomach like a normal ab guard. It’s enough to make me want to run circles in the regular levels instead of progressing to boss battles.

Mountain Climber

The mountain climber is all about endurance. Another high-intensity fit skill, they require you to hold up your upper body with your hands while alternately bringing your knees forward. It doesn’t sound that difficult on paper, but trust me: there’s a reason I’ve never put mountain climbers on my list of active fit skills. Those positions are usually reserved for side step and and ring raise combo, two aerobic fit skills that get me moving but don’t make me want to pass out like mountain climber.

In recent weeks, I’ve realized that I should probably try putting some of these harder exercises, including mountain climbers, in my fit skill rotation. Even though they’re hard and tiring, it’s very satisfying to finish a set and collapse on the floor, sweat-drenched but proud of yourself because you finally completed a fit skill you didn’t think you could do. It’s not easy to cancel an exercise in the middle of a set, so know that if you start doing some mountain climbers but regret it in the middle, you still have to make it to the end. There’s a metaphor for life in there somewhere, but I can’t find it.

Tree Pose

These last two difficult fit skills aren’t about aerobics or endurance as much as the previous three skills are. Tree pose is a yoga skill, which means it focuses on breathing, posture, and slow, purposeful movement. Many of the yoga skills are useful as breaks in between more high-intensity skills, but don’t underestimate them: some of these green fit skills still pack a major punch, of ten when you least expect them too.

Tree pose has been something of a challenge for me for the last several months. I really want to improve at it to help my sense of balance, but it’s way harder than it looks. You have to stand on one leg and put the other foot on your thigh, then bend to the left and right. The ring cautions you to not let your foot fall to the knee of the opposite leg, but that’s way easier said than done: what usually happens to me is that my foot immediately starts to slip, painfully tugging the skin on my thigh as it does. Combine this with the difficulty of trying to bend to the side while standing on one leg with your hands up, and you have a very tricky fit skill.

Boat Pose

Boat pose is another yoga fit skill that requires endurance and a good sense of balance. Even though some of my favorite easier fit skills involve sitting on the ground, like the leg-focused thigh press and the abs-focused seated ring raise, boat pose is not one of these. Don’t let the seated posture fool you: this is absolutely a yoga pose that you need to work up to over time. You might want to start with a few of the warrior poses or chair pose, not to mention some abs- and core-strengthening fit skills, before giving boat pose a shot.

Boat pose requires you to sit on the floor with your knees close to your chest, then stretch both legs forward while stretching your arms and the Ring-Con backwards. Your abs and core take the brunt of the weight, as does your lower back if you’re not careful. Balancing on your butt and preventing your arms and legs from hitting the ground is the hardest part of the exercise, which is to say that it’s all difficult. By the time you’re finished , you’ll almost certainly want to swap it out for one of the other yoga skills. This one’s not for beginners.

It’s a testament to Ring Fit‘s dedication to exercise for all situations and types of people that it has such a breadth of available fit skills and types of exercise. You can truly get any kind of workout you want from this game, from easy warm-ups and light jogs to hour-long ab-crushing sessions. Even while performing some of these more grueling exercises, I’ve had a ton of fun playing the game and find myself coming back to it again and again. It’s always on the side of encouragement rather than drill sergeant-style takedowns, which makes for a much more uplifting experience when combined with Nintendo’s trademark colorful and cartoony visuals.

As I said last time, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start planking! (Or just hip-shake instead. I won’t judge.)