Top Ten Hardest Sports

Hardest sports to do that take the most skill but not given credit to.

The Top TenXW


I am in gymnastics and it is definitely the hardest sport. People think it is easy, but they are so wrong! I have been doing gymnastics since preschool and I have never had an easy practice. Your hands rip from the bars and conditioning is probably harder than football players do. I wish people would understand how hard it is!

Now add a horse to this and you get vaulting. I don't do it, but I can imagine how difficult that is. You have to have crazy amounts of strength and fitness, balancing yourself and others all while doing it on a moving animal.

Definitely the hardest. The conditioning is really hard. So are the practices. You practice in any weather in any condition. It can be 100 degrees in the gym, and gymnasts still practice. The pain; many of us have to endure it. It's really hard but we know how to hold it in.

Gymnastics is definitely the hardest sport. One wrong move can mean life or death. We are constantly on our feet. Yes a lot of people say that cheerleading is basically gymnastics but it's not the tumbling part sure but I am the head of my varsity cheerleading squad and it is way easier than Gymnastics I am a gymnast and a cheerleader so I would know this from my personal experience. Cheerleaders they only need to remember one routine one dance one cheer. Gymnasts have to remember four routines. We have coaches yelling at us if we put an extra step in a routine. If we fall down and get hurt we are expected to get back up and do it again even if were not hurt we have to get back up and do it again and tough it out. In competition we get docked points for not pointing a toe. Before and after everyone of our routines we have to salute to the judges and that's part of our points. On beam if we wobble on one little thing we get points taken off same thing and all of our other events if we wobble we get points taken away. We compete in four events. We condition like crazy and we train 35 hours a week minimum we break bones we pull muscles we push our bodies to the breaking point. Sure the Olympic gymnasts make it look easy. But looks can be deceiving sure it looks easy well it's not, if anyone were to walk into the gym today and try to be the highest level gymnast they would epically fail they cannot do any of the skills sure you strength endurance and balance and much more and all of your other sports but gymnastics combines all of that and more it's like all the sports combined in one. Any level seven gymnast could go be a cheerleader at the highest level but the highest level cheerleader cannot walk into a gym and be the highest level gymnast or even a level seven gymnast because cheerleaders just tumble and stunt. Gymnasts on the other hand flip and twist and do things that defy the laws of gravity we throw ourselves into unbearable positions we do vault bars beam and floor cheerleaders they only do tumbling and stunting we tumble and we flip around and fall and break bones and you can die or become paralyzed for the rest your life in gymnastics you can have this happen to you and cheerleading but there's less of a chance. Gymnasts flip onto thin mats flip off the beam they don't have padding like football players and boxers do we have so maybe 1 inch thick or so leotard and that's about it. Gymnasts are all the Sports combined but in a prettier package we do so much more than any other sport. Gymnastics is many girls lives they don't spend that much time outside the gym. And for all you guys were like oh gymnastics is so easy have you seen the moon mail gymnasts on the pommel horse The parallel bars the rings they do way more than that too. We have to do conditioning every single practice legless rope climbs which means we have to have our legs on the side of the rope and use all of our arm strength we also do uses a rope climbs but we can't really use our legs after level 1 to climb the rope we also have to do leg lifts push ups sit ups hollow body holds. And much much more and conditioning. We are pushed down into our splits until we cry until the pain is unbearable we are pushed in to our over splits as far down as the coach makes us. We constantly have a coaches yelling at us. This proves that Gymnastics is in fact the hardest sport.

I believe gymnastics is the hardest sport because of th below sweat and tears a gymnast has to go through is hard! I am a gymnast and I hear "I can do that! " Oh that is so easy! " Well the truth it is not. Gymnastics is so hardworking the conditioning is hard, the beam is hard the whole thing is hard! So that is why I believe gymnastics is the hardest sport

V865 Comments

I've been swimming at a high level for most of my life now and I can honestly say this sport is CRAZYYYY demanding. I don't think its as bad as gymnastics because we don't have the threat of dying everyday, but we do work just as hard as them. What people don't understand is that as a swimmer every muscle in your body is used for every single stroke and kick. Not any other sport in the world does that. We not only swim for hours a day we train on land for hours. So basically its like ok your done one practice, but now your expected to jump in the pool and swim as hard and as fast as you possibly can every single day. And for all the people that say they taught themsevles how to swim and its not diffuicult at all anyone can do it, YOU ARE DEAD WRONG. This is not your back yard pool swimming, we are really swimming. After every practice you can barely walk you are so sore, and getting changed is so hard because you can't even lift your arms over your head. When you have meets, every race you swim is swam with every fiber of your body (no one has felt pain until they've swam the last lap of a race and the burning that is in your body its the most extreme pain but you still have to swim) and when you finish the idea is to be in anerobic shock meaning you don't have have enough oxygen in your blood stream. And for those who don't think we get injured think again. I've almost broken my back, have had tedinitis in my feet and ankles, and have had contant shoulder and elbow pain for years now. Its a extremely demanding sport. No other sport in the world has as much repetive motion as we do. you can not take a stoke or not kick you have to coninually move every muscle in your body for hours on end with out oxygen. Yeah I don't think most people can actualy do that and not quit. We also have something that no one else has, our "uniforms" are the tightest most painful thing in the world to put on and wear and we have to compete in them. On average it can take 20 mins to put our bathing suits on and when you come out you have the most unflatering bathing suit on in the world, your whole body is scweased so that your are in streamline. So for everyone out there who thinks this sport is easy please I will bring you to a practice to show you that there is no possible way in the world you could keep up with us!

Actually swimmers have the threat of dying every day. We could drown or have a heart attack or stroke and we are at highest risk for ebola

To all those people saying "i have tried swimming it's easy" or "anyone can swim". That'd be like saying "gymnastics is easy because I can do a cartwheel" where as those who actually train for gymnastics would probably tell you a cartwheel doesn't mean you can do gymnastics, and it's a similar thing to what you call swimming and what a swimmer calls swimming are different things... Swimming is one of the hardest sport train for... (the reason I say one of the hardest is because once you reach a certain point on the list, the difficulty of training for the sport is going to vary dependent on how hard each individual athlete is willing to push themselves).

swimmers don't go don't to the pool and do what you call swimming and swim at a leisurely pace we train to complete exhaustion every morning and afternoon for over 30 hours per week as well as gym training and crossfit training. You spend your training sessions sprinting and pushing past your limits and once your heart rate has exceeded maximum bpm you keep pushing harder and if you spew up, you spew then you keep training and you don't stop to spew, I've had plenty of times where I've spent the majority of the set spewing in my mouth swallowing it back down and continuing to push myself further waiting till I'd either reached the edge to spew over (if you were being soft) and continue as fast as possible before the coach is at you for stopping or hold it until the end of the rep I guess it would be and spew during your few seconds of rest before continuing. It frustrates me when I see the comments saying swimming is easy I have tried it... You wouldn't have time to do any other sports if that was the case. I used to play soccer at state level and quit when I was 11 because I was only training 7 sessions a week for swimming and was told I was under training and that was when I was 11 years old.

Obviously some swimmers don't push themselves as hard as others so it's hard to compare sports, rather than the sport I think it'd be more realistic to compare the training efforts of individuals.

I also respect those who do gymnastics and admit it is very hard, neither swimming nor gymnastics get the credit thy deserve.

Swimming is VERY hard but come in people it is not harder than gymnastics, I'm both a competitive swimmer and a competitive level 9 gymnast and it does not come even close to gymnastics, you do not understand how mental and physically though and demanding gymnastics is, just look up gymnastics training montages like "gymnastics why do we fall" and "gymnastics remember the name" and "gymnastics run boy run" THEN you CAN ARGUE WITH ME because until you step into a gym you will never truly understand the painfully demanding sport it is, you won't last a day! Let me tell you my schedule for a Saturday practice: 7:30am= warm up, running around in a freezing cold gym 50 times, jumping across the floor with one leg then the other, then we have drills etc. And by then we are exhausted. 8:00am= stretching, we warm up our muscles by doing a series of tough stretches and then we are forced into our over splits and trust me this is VERY VERY PAINFUL, in fact our coach pushed us do hard into our over splits that it actually makes our eyes water and moan and squeal in pain with out teeth gritted, some of us even CRY and actually PUKE because of the pain ( I've seen it happen and I am NOT exaggerating! ) 8:45am= conditioning, we now have to run around the whole gym ( which is seriously big as you can imagine) 50 times AGAIN! Once that's over we do the jumping except with more types of jumps ( split jumps, deer jumps etc. ) then we do 150 push ups ( I know its not a lot but its still quite painful ) then 150 pull ups on the bar then squat jumps on a waist high mat 150 times then mini kips on the bar ( you bring your knees up touch the bar then swing over without touching the floor and do a chin up ) these are really horrible and super painful and always cause my hands to rip and bleed, and we usually do 100 of these and if we don't point our toes even for just one second we have to restart from 0 then we do V sits, tuck sits and straddle sits each type 100 times then we climb the rope 25 times and from there we don't have a scheduled conditioning so the coaches usually come up with more conditioning drills. Oh yeah and if someone drops or messes up the whole team has to start again from 0 with no exceptions, and by the time conditioning is over at least 3 girls are crying in pain and at least 2 girls have puked and pretty much everyone ( there is 8 girls in the team ) is miserable and in sever PAIN and their hands ripped and bleeding and I am NOT exaggerating one bit here! 10:00am= we work on some floor skills, flips, leaps, jumps and other moves and tricks, oh and when I say flips I don't mean little back tucks I mean double flips, double layouts, twisting double tucks and so much more until they are perfect and landed perfectly and aren't sloppy, and they are really scary to do as you can imagine flipping 3 metres in the air with no protection or landing mat is, and if we miscalculate our height or get something wrong we usually fall on our heads and necks and risk DEATH. And if we don't land it or mess up the coaches don't say "oh its OK just try again" they will scream and yell and shout at you, here's an example that was said to me, "E. Get up! Will you stop doing that you twat! I've told you god know how many times but you won't stop will u! You won't even try, you lazy twat! Try again and keep your arms straight and your freeking toes pointed! Do it once more and your climbing the freeking rope 50 times again, actually you know what, do it know I'm sick of u! " And that was one of the softest coaches at our gym. Then we practice pur floor routine until 1:00pm we then have lunch at the cafeteria in our gym. 2:00pm= beam, one of the scariest things EVER! Its 4 inches wide yet we are expected to flip, tumble, spin, twist, turn and leap on it without wobbling or falling of, and after loads of horrendously painful fall which usually involve slipping, wacking your head of the beam and falling onto the floor, and those beams aren't soft trust me, your sometimes you croch the beam whose meaning is well self explanatory, and we must perfect every move and every flip on this 4 inch wide plank of wood, again with our coach yelling at us, and it is terrifying to jump backwards not knowing if your gonna make it or where your feet are going to land. 4:00pm= bars, we must loop, stwist, swing and leap from one bar to another until our skin on our hands is ripping of in chunks and there is blood everywhere. you need to have an unbelievable amount of strength for this event, and it is very painful on your hands because I'm not exaggerating when I say your skin rips off and your hands bleed leaving blood stains on your grips and scars on your hands, like seriously, I would like to see you do multiple 360° loops with your hands bleeding and in VERY SEVERE pain. And we must keeps are toes pointed and our arms and legs straight the whole way through the routine or we are again yelled at. 6:00pm= vault, we must run towards a solid object at full speed and vault over it, flip in the air and land it perfectly with no steps foward, backwards or at the side and no woobling. Trust me its WAYYY harder than it looks. Then for the last 3 hours we can practice either beam, floor, vault or bars. Then we finally go home and have our well deserved dinner. We must repeat this everyday apart from Sunday, only on weekdays we train from 1:00pm to 9:00pm, most of us our home schooled because of our training. Now you have an idea of what gymnastics is like, its not a girly girl sport and all we do is cartwheels, because if it was then splease tell me why I have a six pack and bigger muscles than nearly all the guys at school, now before you can argue with me you most watch these montages on YouTube: gymnastics why do we fall, gymnastics remember the name, gymnastics run boy run, gymnastics is insane, gymnastics glory and gore and gymnastics marching on. Once you have watched them all then you can argue with me, but until then GYMNASTICS IS THE HARDEST SPORT, in fact as I forgot to mention before next week is my last week of swimming as I have to time and I'm too tired. GYMNSTICS DESERVES TO BE AT THE TOP!

Swimming is the hardest if you thinks its easy you are doing it wrong

V567 Comments
3Figure Skating

As someone who has done competitive swimming, field hockey, ice hockey, dance, gymnastics and figure-skating, I have to agree that gymnastics and figure-skating are defiantly the hardest in-terms of overall skill, determination and commitment. Although I found that swimming helped me a lot with my cardiovascular fitness and ice hockey was really good in terms of a short, intense full body workout I actually found figure skating the most mentally, physically an emotionally challenging as well as gymnastics however I did not reach as high of a level in gymnastics as I did in figure-skating. I started figure-skating when I was 6 and skated until last year where I had to drop out because of injury. I took dance and gymnastics at the same time which helped me a lot with my flexibility and strength which allowed me to progress quickly. By 11 years old, I was the Eastern Ontario Champion and Competed provincially in both 'solo figure skating' and ice dance. I started off with 3 lessons per week with 1 skills teacher and 1 choreographer and only competed 7-10 times per year. I then moved on to 9 lessons per week and off-ice training 3 times a week. I had 6 teachers; a skills teacher, a choreographer, 2 ice dance teachers, a ballet coach, and Elisabeth Manley. I spent hours and hours training, I had a strict diet and a fair amount of injuries. Side-tracking to the dieting; I thought I should mention the physical expectations on figure skaters that can often drive the girls (and sometimes boys) into eating disorders and body dysmorphic disorders. All of this pressure to look perfect can definitely take its toll on a skater. Anyway, during skills training I worked on jumping and spinning making my way up from a flip to a double axel to a triple lutz. Perfecting these jumps took forever since (for those of you who don't know) you have to jump into the air and rotate 3 full turns in a split second before landing with the force of 2-4 times your body weight on your knees. Because of this force, your body often crumples beneath the weight leading to some pretty nasty falls. As a result of this I ended up dislocating 2 kneecaps, fracturing 2 wrists. I have now dropped out because of bone tumours on my femur and hip making it too dangerous for me to participate. I can honestly say after finishing with this sport and moving onto swimming and ice-hockey, figure-skating was the hardest yet most satisfying sport I have ever done. I loved the thrill of performing solos in front of hundreds of people, I loved pleasing my coaches and get flowers thrown from the audience, I loved the smell of hairspray and the competitiveness (and a little cattiness) in the change rooms before competition. I loved the traveling and the friendships and most of all I loved doing a sport that pushed me to improve and aspire to perfection every single minute of every single day. Because of this, I find it very annoying when people say they have done figure skating if the have only done it for a couple of months. If you haven't at least successfully completed your lutz, you're not a real figure skater, sorry. For those of you who are thinking of doing figure skating here are a few tips: 1) start earlier. If you want to be competitive the you should start by 9 otherwise you'll find yourself doing waltz jumps with the 5 year olds. 2) Figure-skating is an all-or nothing sport, once you make it through competitive, you have to sacrifice everything else (even university/college) to continue succeeding at the same rate. 3) ITS EXPENSIVE! After horseback riding and boat racing, figure skating is one of the most expensive sports you will come across. Be prepared to dish out at least $15,000 per year, but if you plan to go competitive, it will probably be closer to $20,000

I think figure skating is at least the second hardest sports because it takes will, determination, and gut. I am a figure skater my self. Every day you go to practice and train and work your butt off just to be the best. To get a jump right you have to jump it exact just to land it and get full points for competition. You have to jump and land on a blade that is thinner than your finger. And every day you practice and practice and it seems like you are going no where and not improving in any of the jumps that you are learning but when you land that jump it feels like all your hard work, pain, and tears is worth it and you realize that you are one step closer to your dream that you had since you got foot on the ice for the first time. When I first started skating I had a coach that told me that whatever I did was correct. When I was ten I got an new coach and I had to learn everything from the beginning. All that years of training for nothing. When I was twelve my coach left out of the country. I was devastated, I was afraid that I was never going to find another coach to help me get to my dream. Soon I had another coach that would help me reach my goal and go farther. She was very critical but all my jumps, spins became clean and polished. I am so grateful to have an amazing coach and amazing parents. Jump aren't the only thing in skating. You have to do jump, spins, and moves and the fields. Spins - you have to do different elements and combinations. Moves on the field - you have to switch edges on your blade. Every line must be clean and precise. I wrote this comment because I want to show people that figure skating is not easy. I hear people say that oh skating is so easy, all you do is skate. Well they are wrong, it's not just skating it's much more. Most people don't even have the gut to get on the ice. Any ways the only thing that is important is that you love the sport and you will work hard to strive to reach your dream.

Men are much more adept at figure skating than women.

Besides, Princess Peach is AWFUL at Figure Skating.

I have been a figure skater for my entire life. This sport requires a lot more time than many other sports (though I do respect that pretty much every sport requires time). Most figure skaters are young and attend school. However, many also choose to home school to get enough time in on this sport. The earliest I have ever had to wake up in the morning for figure skating was 3:30 am. Granted, I live further from the rink than most of the others, but the idea is that you have enough time to warm up before stepping on the ice at 5 am (at least, that's when my rink opens). Figure skating requires an extreme amount of stamina. At the Olympic level, a routine lasts around 4 minutes and 30 seconds. In order to be able to pull this off, one must have incredible strength and stamina. From my own experience, lactic acid burn starts usually about 20 to 30 seconds in, and it burns. Part of training is building up a tolerance to this pain. All summer long, we have interval stroking where we gradually build up some sort of tolerance to the lactic acid burn. The best thing I can compare this pain to is running for four minutes without changing pace. In fact, I challenge any athlete who reads this to run 4 minutes and 30 seconds, without slowing down (and don't jog, run), with a smile on your face the entire time. It's definitely harder than you would think. I would also like to talk about the off ice training. In order to be a decent skater, not even exceptionally skilled, you have to train off ice. This includes an intense crossfit (workout) class at least once a week, off ice stretching, off ice jumping, balancing exercises, and much more. Many techniques are perfected off of the ice through hours upon hours of training. I go to Let It Shine (gymnastics place) to train jumping. Watching the gymnasts has actually taught me a lot of what I know about skating and jumping. Figure skating also requires flexibility. I've never seen a skater who didn't put the work into her flexibility make it very far. It takes years to develop proper jumping technique as well as spinning. The precision required to execute a perfect jump is incredibly intense. If you're off by a few inches, you can end your entire career, not only as a figure skater but also as an athlete in general (I've personally seen this happen twice). Over use injuries are not just common in figure skating; they're inevitable. I've already had three stress fractures, I have tendinitis flares, and I have had shin splits. This is also a very dangerous sport (I'm not saying that other sports are dangerous; with physical activity comes danger and risk of injury or death). I've seen a skater have a bad fall. He's permanently paralyzed from the waist down. My coach has had 3 skating related concussions.

I would like to end this incredibly long comment with this: figure skating is not only physically demanding, it's mentally demanding as well. Sayers often have to choose between their sport and, well, everything else they could have. Many wake up at 4:30 (some, such as myself, as I've mentioned, even wake up earlier). They skate before school, they attend school, and then they skate after for as long as six hours. Skaters do not get time to themselves (for the most part). We often get home and brea down into tears for no reason other than to let out all the mental pain we put on ourselves to do what we do. But, in the end, we stick with figure skating because it's what we love.

Honestly not even close to as hard as wrestling. Wrestling is literally another person trying to beat you into submission. Figure skating, you get hurt, it's your fault. Wrestling, you could seriously die because the other kid decided to do a move wrong. I've seen people break their necks just because a guy rolled them wrong.

V188 Comments
4Water Polo

I understand why some people might think that gymnastics is harder than waterpolo. I will share with you my one experience as a fellow water polo player.

I jump into the freezing ice cold water and stare at my huge opponent, #9. She grumbles and glares at me, with a snort she shouts out, "I've got 16! " The ref throws the ball to me and blows the whistle. I sway around in the water for about a second, trying to watch my teammates to see if they're open. One girl is being blocked, another is being pushed down into the water and the ref is ignoring them, #3 screams for the ball. I see #9 pushing through the water towards me, for a huge girl she moved through the water quickly. I throw the ball to #3, #9 punches my elbow, causing the pass to go to the left. #3 and her defensive player sprint for the ball. I see her head go under and the defensive player swim ahead. I swim towards the goal hoping to get open In case she gets the ball. I watch on the sidelines as the defensive player reach for the ball but #3 was aggressive and leaped over her defense to swipe the ball. The refs didn't even call a foul. I scream and shout for the ball, #9 blocks my path. Her huge meaty arm latches onto my shoulder and pushes me down, I try to eggbeater as hard as I can and stay on my stomach. I get a messy pass from #3. I grab the ball but three players pull me down. I kick one of them in the stomach and use the other to push out of the water and quickly make a shot towards the goal. The ball misses the huge goalie by centimeters and I sprint back to the middle of the pool

As you have read, this thing doesn't ever happen in gymnastics. Waterpolo is incredibly and extremely demanding. You are being pushed and shoved by huge players when you're on offense and you have to push and shove on defense. This is much more than swimming (I'm also a competitive swimmer) there is no other sport in which you have to actually keep yourself up while being pushed around like a sack because the floor is gone. You have to keep yourself extremely high up to actually get a decent shot and not get drowned by a player (a girl actually feinted because she swallowed so much water because the refs suck) in gymnastics, people say you have the chance of dying. you must be a pretty bad gymnast if you might kill yourself on the bars. However, in waterpolo someone is actually trying to kill you. Waterpolo players bleed and break bones too! Also, we do it in any condition & whats with that person for the gymnastics column saying they have to do it in any condition? They are in a gym! Just adjust the air conditioner!

I understand cheer leading, power tumbling, and boxing/martial arts. But dancing is not as hard as waterpolo or gymnastics. We play football and wrestle while not having a floor to stand on and we are being pushes back by water. Imagine playing football while in the air and being constantly slowed down and having a person grabbing at you and make sure you can't breath. Yeah that happens a lot in dance

I don't see how this is third. I think everyone misinterpreted hardest sport with most barbaric sport. I'm sure it takes skill to play this but does it really take that much.

Haha no sorry but just no. Water polo is not harder than gymnastics, gymnastics was proven by ESPN the hardest sport. IH yeah and we can't turn on the air conditioner as you mentioned because most gyms don't have them and even so our conditioning is by far harder than yours. We have 2 hours of conditioning everyday 6 days a week so 12 hours of conditioning a week! And it isn't just sprinting or running its hardcore. 150 push ups, 200 pull ups, climbing the rope 25 to 50 times, 250 squat jumps onto the vault, also running 50+ laps around a huge gym, 150 mini kips, pike and straddle hangs off the bar for 5 minutes each and so much more that I'm not bothered to write down because there is to much. Oh yeah and if one of us drops or messes up the whole team restarts from 0 no matter how far we have gotten or if our hands are bleeding or our bodies in pain. In fact at the end if conditioning at least 3 girls are crying because of the intense pain and at least 2 girls have puked and the whole team ( 8 girls ) is exhausted and in extremely sever pain. WE GYMNASTS TRAIN 10+ HOURS A DAY SO that's 60+ HOURS A WEEK! I'm a 14 year old elite gymnast by the way. IT IS NOT EASY! And by no doubt is it easier than water polo! Like seriously you have probably NEVER stepped into a gym to think that or if you did you probably were on level 1 or 2 or up to level 5 or watched them anyway. I would LOVE to see you do spins, leaps, jumps and FLIPS both backwards and forwards and even sideways on a 4 INCH WIDE BEAM without woobling or falling off, that's what I thought, YOU can't because ITS TOO HARD AND SCARY! Or loop and spin and do tricks and skills in bars until your hands are rubbed raw and chunks if skin are ripping off while your hands are bleeding hard, that happens to me every practice! It is seriously painful yet our coaches just tell us to "suck it up and keep trying! " Or for vault I would like to see you run towards a split object, vault over it, do multiple flips and twists in the air and land it PERFECTLY! That's right, you can't! And for floor we have to dance, leap, jump, spin, tumble, flip and do loads more difficult tricks and skills. Like I would lime to see you tumble ( flipping basically ) across a solid floor then launch yourself into the air with no protection, flip and twist then land it perfectly without woobling or taking any steps. Go on, try if it's so easy! Like seriously we are physically pushed into over-splits even if we cry. SO you STILL THINK WATER POLO IS EASY!?!?! I have watched it and to me it looks pretty easy, just a lot of pushing and stuff, I know its probably harder than that but harder than gymnastics, HAHA LOL! If you don't believe me watch these montages on YouTube before you argue with me or say gymnastics is easier than your sport, they are called: gymnastics remember the name, gymnastics glory and gore, gymnastics marching on, gymnastics run boy run, gymnastics why do we fall, and if you have time watch some more because they really show the toughness and the dedication that goes into gymnastics. Once you have watched them ALL you can debate your opinion, but until then GYMNASTICS IS THE HARDEST SPORT! It was proven by ESPN sport science.
Thank you for reading now please go watch all those amazing montages.

~ elite 14 year old female gymnast.

Nobody's ever attempted to rip my swimsuit off and use me as a human backboard while swimming... Just at water polo. As somebody who does both sports, I'd say that water polo is definitely tougher. It requires more stamina to continually release in the water and sprint back and forth. Even the times when you have more rest, you're still treading water, which takes energy. And at the same time, you have to be aware of the other players in the pool and the position of the ball, and try to pass and shoot while other players are pressing you. Players are also extremely dirty, because the refs can't see most of it - they will dig into pressure points, kick off other players, elbow, gouge, scratch, twist, anything that they can think of to get an advantage.

Imagine you are playing football, but having the elements against you, sure you could have heatstroke in football, but in water polo, you don't have the girly pads to protect you, you only have your inner willpower and muscle to keep air in your lungs.

V169 Comments
5Horseback Riding

So horseback riding is easy, is it? It's not a sport? Tell that to my thighs! Tell that to my calves, and my arms and my hands! Anyone who says horseback riding is easy or useless has never done it for real. I’m not talking about a pony ride on the beach, or a tame trot around an arena. Those are not real riding. Those are tiny tastes of riding for someone who likes to think they know what it’s like. No, I’m talking about directing your twelve hundred pound animal’s every precise movement, where even a breath out of place can cause a misstep and every twitch means something, as in dressage. I’m talking about hurtling along at speeds up to and over 30 miles per hour and leaping obstacles 5 feet tall, where just one slip could cost you a rail, four faults, your mobility or maybe even your life, as in show jumping. I’m talking about urging your horse to full speed, leaning down, swinging your wooden mallet and hitting a tiny white ball about the size of a golf ball, as in polo, all while avoiding a horrific collision. The list could go on and on. Steeplechasing, racing, horseball, endurance, vaulting, cross-country, hunting, even in-hand showing, this is all immensely difficult.

But that’s only English riding. There’s barrel racing, there’s pole weaving, there’s gymkhana and cutting and roping and reining. In barrel racing, you are sprinting at full speed and steering your horse around hair-raisingly tight turns, skimming the barrels, and then making a mad dash home. In roping, you’re astride a running machine, sticking to a cow like glue, as you twirl and throw a loop over its head, all while steering your horse. In cutting, you must train your horse to anticipate every possible movement a cow could make and exploit its cow sense, so it can head it off, keep it away from the herd, make lightning fast turns and leaps and spins, and win. Anyone who has the guts to call riding sissy or claim it’s not a sport has clearly never clung to the horn of a cutting horse’s saddle as it swerves this way or that, or ridden an endurance horse over hundreds of miles of terrain too rough for even the hardiest vehicles, in the rain, snow, sleet, burning sun, mud and wind, or performed incredible gymnastic maneuvers, spinning and bending and swinging, which just happens to be on the back of a vaulting horse in motion. Every aspect of riding is gruelling, tough, dangerous, and requires incredible skill. Ambulances are always present at equestrian competitions. Know why? This is a risk. This is an extreme sport. This is putting your life in danger.

Not only is riding difficult, even just being around horses is a risk. Think about it: rock hard hooves that could smash your skull to smithereens with one kick, a half ton or more of pure muscle, blunt teeth, lightning fast reflexes, and we can’t forget the horse’s ever-present prey mentality, which can cause it to spook and frighten easily, and makes even the steadiest nag unpredictable in some way. Do you know that you have to be 16 in order to legally handle a stallion in the U.K? These are creatures who will fight each other to the death in the wild, merely for leadership of a herd, who are notoriously difficult to tame and train, even if born into captivity, and who have been known to kill men in their fury and drive for freedom. Of course, the anger of a moody mare is never to be underestimated. They are the real bosses of the wild bands, who keep even the rowdy stallions in line. Even a feisty or frightened gelding can do tremendous damage. A kick from a horse and you have a shattered bone or an instant concussion, one step from one of those huge feet and your toe is broken, one smack of the head and you have a bloody nose. Even lifting the water buckets, hauling hay, mucking stalls and general care of the horse is exertion, to say nothing of the physical training. Taking care of a horse is exercise all on its own.

Contrary to popular belief, the horse most definitely does NOT do all the work. Yes, riders sit on the horse. Yes, the horse moves. But who do you think is controlling the horse, moving its feet, urging it over those jumps and around those barrels? Do you think the horse could do that on its own? No. In order to do real horseback riding, you have to be fit. Very fit. Wall-sits for many minutes on end, running, lifting weights, and sweating buckets. Real horseback riding takes serious core, arm and leg strength. You have to steer a half ton animal were only your legs and minute movements of your hands. We do not just sit there. Oh, and if that horse happens to spook or buck, you have to cling to a bolting or madly plunging horse, weighing half a ton and in full flight mode, with only your legs, while trying to calm it down. Difficult to do when said animal cannot speak your language. Horses are notoriously easy to frighten, so every equestrian will tell you how hard it can be to stay atop a spooking horse, let alone calm it down. They also injure easily, despite their solid look. Those long, bony legs are the worst of it; even a tiny tendon pulled in the foot can make your horse lame and unable to compete. From colic to laminitis to heaves to dourine, the list of horse diseases and injuries never ends. This alone makes horseback riding a challenge. Even keeping your horse in good health is a challenge; even with the best of care, they are amazingly creative in getting hurt… and costing you money.

If money is a factor in the difficulty of a sport, then horseback riding takes the ultimate crown in that aspect, hands down. Say you compete in showjumping, competitively. In order to keep up with your high-caliber opposition, you must first buy a horse. Said horse would most likely be a purebred, highly trained warmblood, which could cost 100,000 dollars. Then you have to pay for tack - 10 000 dollar or more saddle, most likely custom fitted, bits and bridles, boots and saddle pads and blankets and halters. You’ll have to pay for board for your horse, and feed, and you may have your horse exercised in order to keep him in top form. You have to pay for a truck and trailer to transport you and your horse to competitions, and if you plan to compete abroad you may have to go by air or sea. You have to pay entry fees to these competitions. And God forbid your horse gets injured, or you’ll have to shell out thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars if the injury is bad enough, to save your horse, or euthanize it in a worst-case scenario. It will most likely never compete again, even if you can save it. Then you have to find a new 100 000 dollar horse. I knew a horse, caught in barbed wire, that sliced its leg so badly that it took a 40 000 dollar sum to give him skin grafts and save his life. That’s not the worst though; the owners of a severely burned horse had to pay in six figures to save their horse’s life.

So think about it. In football, all your teammates speak the same language, as compared to one teammate, a prey animal that speaks not with its mouth, but with its body. In wrestling, your opponent weighs maybe 200 pounds, as opposed to your 1 200 pound horse that could crush you by accident. In gymnastics, you don’t have to perform your routine atop a living, breathing, moving creature. I’m not saying these sports aren’t hard. Of course they are! They all take skill and commitment and grit. However, in my mind, horseback riding will always take top spot as the hardest sport.

And if you tell me I’m just sitting there, then I will thank you. That’s what we aim to do. We aim to look effortless.

In no way does the horse do all of the work. Heels down, toes up, calves back and on, supporting the horse, back straight, shoulder back, hands low and still in constant contact with the horses mouth without pulling too hard, look where you're going. Maintain this position perfectly while controlling a 1,000 pound animal with a mind of its own.
This involves moving it with just one leg, constantly supporting it and worry about exactly how fast or where it's going, posting or rising up and down in the saddle with almost no help form the stirrups, turning with a bit of leg rein, weight shift and looking, but not too much or too little of anything while maintaining speed and perfect position. Try reining in a 1,000 pound animal going 20 mph with just your arms, but not pulling too hard. Try having to be constantly aware of every part of your body and your horse's at every second while moving at 20 mph, making hairpin turns, jumping fences and despite the speed always be three steps ahead, make sure your horse is on the right stride, judging distances, all while thinking about five other things. Constantly having to look, be aware, be in control, all while maintaining a perfect position. Try guiding your partner every step of the way, making sure all of your cues are absolutely perfect, knowing that if you do even one thing a tiny bit wrong, you could die. It takes strength, endurance, perseverance, smarts, control and skill. It takes years. It takes work, practice, the ability to communicate perfectly to an animal with no words, understand it and work with it. You have to worry for yourself and your horse, look perfect, be in constant control, always be thinking ahead, be incredibly strong to hold a 1,000 pound creature together with your legs and make it look easy. It takes nothing short of hours and hours of practice, perfection, work, skill, physical fitness and undying trust in an animal that could just as easily kill you as it can breathe. It's about finding the perfect balance in cues, concentrating immensely, having the strength, having every understanding of your horse, always maintaining your position no matter what cue you are giving, knowing just what your horse is doing, being aware completely of your own movement, where you are going, which cues to use, how fast, where to go and never losing your position or focus. Not doing any of these things could mean death. A sport that requires skill, fitness and above all practice. I have played soccer for one year, ridden for seven. I progressed in soccer EXTREMELY quickly compared to horseback riding. It is a sport that takes immense time and passion to master. It is more difficult that any sport I have done before. It has earned its place in this list.

The reply that say have you ever seen a true equestrian flew is suppose to say flex

I have ridden for ten years. Believe, me it is the most difficult sport. Anyone who says different is wrong! Most people say Equestrian isn't a sport because the only time they've ever ridden is on the beach while on vacation. That is NOT riding.

I'm a show jumper. This is what I have to do: I get on a 1500 pound animal, who has been trained all winter and is at his peak, hurtle myself over 4 ft obstacles that are often 3 ft wide, whip around corners as fast as possible while not knocking anything down.

Yes, the horse plays a big part in the sport (obviously) but when I am racing around the competition ring, who do you think is keeping that animal balanced? Who do you think is telling the horse exactly where to put each of his feet, every single step of the way? And, in the judged classes, you have to make it look pretty and smooth.

A lot of people say Equestrian isn't a sport because you don't have to be fit to do it; that's also not true. I admit that I'm not a runner or a swimmer; I can't run for the life of me. However, I bet most people don't have the power in their thighs to break human bones. I can do air squats for an hour and not get tired. I can win any kind of arm wrestle. Most people who ride for the first time are out of breath and sweating after an hour.

Equestrian is extremely dangerous as well. That's why you rarely see a show jumper without a helmet. When you crash into a jump, going extremely fast on a very heavy animal, it hurts. There is always an ambulance on scene at an equestrian competition. When you go to a hospital and tell them you have an injury from riding, they immediately bring you in, no matter how long the line up. A horse kicks you in the head, you have an instant concussion. A horse steps on you when you fall off, you immediately have a broken bone. Remember Christopher Reeve, the man who played Superman? Most people know that he was paralyzed after an accident for the rest of his life. That accident was at an equestrian competition, and he fell off his horse.

So before you say Equestrian isn't a sport, please know the facts. And please make sure that you have actually ridden a horse PROPERLY.

Arm wrestle how bought you do actually wrestling were your facing another killing machine who wants to kill you not just accidentally kicks you and were you do all the work no team mates or partners to help or carry you.

I ride horses and it is HARD

V344 Comments
6Competiton Cheerleading

Competitive Cheer is by far the hardest sport there is. With all the flexibility of a gymnast and all the strength of a foot ball player, cheerleaders do a lot. While I can see why some people would say other sports are hard I personally think that cheerleading is the hardest.

Flyers literally are flung up into the air doing all sorts of different twists and tricks. They have to find their footing and balance in the hands of their base. Switching from pose to pose is not easy. Ever tried doing a tic-tok? A tic-tok is when you switch legs when switch stunts. It's harder than it looks. You have to shift you entire body from one position to the next all within the span of a few seconds and make it look easy. One wrong step or laps in concentration and the stunt goes crashing down, literally. And falling to the ground is not my idea of a fun time. Without doing those stunts being up in the air isn't amazingly easy either. Besides balance, concentration, and strength, you have to have a lot of trust in your base. Your base is your support. If you think your base can't hold you up, you're so screwed. You have believe they won't drop you and even though you know they won't if they can help it sometimes it's still hard to trust your self to about 4 or 5 people grabbing onto your ankles. If you've gone to a local football game and watched the cheerleaders cheer you may notice all they do is hold them up there. There is a good reason for that. Flipping in the air is hard. You have to be professional. There are a few school cheer teams who do have the skill and coaches to do that and hats off to them!

And being a base is no picnic either. Sure, you're not the spotlight of the stunt, but your just as important. You have hold another person up and hope they don't wobble around to much. You've been entrusted with this person's life, and the victory of your team. One wrong shift in movement or loss of balance and that's it: game over. It takes a lot of strength and courage- and blind faith- to base, just as much if not more than a flyer. When you have to start shifting you start thinking 'Oh No oh no oh no, she's going to fall... ' and you panic. People don't give basing enough credit. Basing is so hard!

A lot of pressure goes into this sport too. Pressure from coaches to work harder, better, to be perfect in the air and on the ground. Pressure from parents to do well. Pressure from your peers to do your job. As a base you're the backbone of the team, you support them, LITERALLY. As a flyer there's a lot of pressure too. Besides pulling off all those flips and tricks in the air with professional precision a lot of girls want your job. Flying is thought to be like the coveted lead roll of the team (It's not all that great actually :/) and everyone wants to be a flyer. If you mess up you're out of there. There's pressure from your self as well. Cramming every ounce of energy you can into 2 minutes and 30 seconds is hard. It's either all out there or nothing at all. You have to smile while doing the scorpion in the air supported by nothing but about 5 pairs of hands, acting like 'laugh out loud I do this every day this is so easy why are we even putting this baby move in here? ' When really you're all ' I DON'T WANT TO DIE PLEASE DON'T DROP ME WHY AM I DOING THIS DOES MY COACH WANT TO KILL ME? '

Yes, we fall and get injured and then cry thinking we've lost the competition. We cry when we mess up a stunt. We cry when we hit the wall. We cry when we hit a mind block. We cheer and laugh and cry when we win too. All the hard work you put into this routine. The blood, sweat, tears, fear, anger, all pays off during the 2 minutes and 30 seconds I call the Cheerleader's Euphoria.

Cheerleading is the hardest sport out there. Don't believe me? Go to an All Star team's practice or better yet try and pull off these stunts. (JK Don't do that, I don't want you getting hurt) Then come back and tell me it's so easy.

Cheerleading actually doesn't require all of the flexibility of a gymnast and you have 3 people throwing one tiny person up. I am not saying cheerleading isn't hard but it definitely isn't the hardest. In gymnastics people don't throw you, you have to jump high enough to do a flip. Lets not forget about beam, bars and vault. One wrong step on beam will cause you to fall and probably hit the beam on the way down. If you think doing a back tuck is hard try doing it on a piece of 4 inch wood. On bars you are getting whipped all around the bar and you have to stand up on the bar and jump to the higher bar and even sometimes do a flip to it. The strength of a football player is also not true. Cheerleaders are tiny and you have 3 people throwing a little girl up in the air.

I like how everyone else is saying that cheerleading is stupid and cheerleaders are stuck up brats who do the sport for popularity, and none of the cheerleaders have said anything mean to anyone about their sports... And we are the mean ones? Also I dare anyone who does not think this is the hardest sport to watch a competitive cheer team's practice like California allstars they condition for at least three hours and run at least six miles... As a warm up then for the next two hours they stunt until they are about to faint then we tumble. You know? The thing we make look easy when really we have to hold the perfect body position to literally DEFY GRAVITY while our muscles are the tightest they will ever be. Then we do our entire routine around 15 times which includes the hardest tumbling stunting and dancing we are able to do. If someone says one more thing about how cheer is not a sport I might go insane... You truly have to do the sport and take it as seriously as we do to know exactly how hard it is. Everyone on my team and all the other cheer teams know that when you mess up or fall it is the worst feeling in the world that is why girls break their backs trying to do scales or dislocate their knee trying to do their best because that is what cheer is about. Do you know what they tell us at camps? When you clap it should be so hard your hands should be red when you hit your sides they should be red. You think normal cheer is hard then competition is ten times that soccer players say that they play for two hours and we only have a routine for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Well they don't understand that it is filled with THE HARDEST moves that we could ever do without killing ourselves its like taking the most difficult two minutes and thirty seconds of your game and adding using all of your muscles until the routine is done then literally collapsing from exhaustion. Like if you think competition cheerleading should be first.

Cheer is extremely hard. Try combining weight lifting, intense cardio, and skill/technique into one sport: that's cheer. You have to learn to work as a team in order to hold/throw girls into crazy positions, you have to learn how to make it work. You have to memorize intense routine sequences. You have to master tumbling, it is not easy to throw yourself across the floor doing multiple front and back flips, twisting and flipping every direction in tons of different ways. Level 1 stuff is easy, cheering at games is easy. COMPETITIVE CHEER at an advanced level is HARD. People underestimate cheerleading because all they see is the stereotypes created by media through movies portraying cheerleaders as clueless, attention-seeking, pretty-girls. Cheerleaders practice strength, cardio, agility, form, and countless other skills. It takes years of dedication to master skills like a roundoff-backhandspring layout full. It takes endless amounts of practices to be able to show off a kick-souble basket toss. And it takes a team of dedicated cheerleaders to be able to combine this plus incredibly hard stunts, jumps, and dance sequences into a 2 minute routine, the whole time smiling and yelling as loud as you can. Cheer is an extremely hard sport.

Cheerleading is not as hard as gymnastics

V234 Comments
7Bull Riding

Dude your on a freaking bull!
The fear from just that makes it hard!
Besides the fact that the bull is jumping and twisting and you can't really hold on that well...

Well the fact of the matter is that you have thousand pound animal strapped between your legs and your told to hang on. I'm not just saying this because I have seen bad stuff happen, but I was the person that has all the injuries to show it. So I have no idea why they put horse back riding before bullriding. Cause I train horses for a hobby and they aren't that tough to ride.

That 8 seconds is the longest 8 of your life!
The wii lash is not fun ether!
Not mention when you fall of the only thing in-between you and the bull beating you to death is a 1inch thick vest!

UMM bull riding is a sport where you hang on to a bull that wants to kill you for 8 seconds or more with one hand

V24 Comments

"Horse back riding? Really? That's not even a sport! "
Really? Do you know how insulting that is? We work 4 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week every week of every month and Every month of every year. So that 1 or 2 times a month during the summer we could have a chance to win a 20 cent ribbon. If it's not hard why do we have to work everyday of the year for a show, and still have the possibility to get 8th place. Why then, wouldn't we not work all year then go to a show and get 1st place? If it were so easy. And you say a real sport is scored and not judged, and that horse riding is judged. But it's not. Judging is an opinion. Is it an opinion... That I knocked down a rail? That I wasn't on the correct lead? That the horse took a half step before the jump? That the horse refused the jump? That we went over the time limit? Are these opinions? No. They are facts. We get scores. Knocked down a rail? 4 faults. Horse refused? 4 faults. Over the time limit? 2 faults for every 5 seconds over. Messed up the pattern? Disqualified. If you mess up a play in a football game are you kicked out? No. You aren't. But if we mess up our course all of that work. All of the hours of practicing are down the drain. Have you ever jumped a horse over a 3 foot jump? Didn't think so. You people think we just sit there but you are so so wrong. Has a horse ever just started jumping around, bucking, and rearing? Have you ever had to hang on for literally your very life? Have you ever had to calm or stop a horse that is bucking and rearing? If it's so easy we would put you on our horse, point you to a 3 foot jump and say go. But we don't want you to ruin our horses, so we try to explain it to you. But all you do is dismiss it, like its easy. And it doesn't change anything. So we don't know why we try. But we do. But know one ever listens. No one can see the physical effort that goes into riding. No one truly understands this sport unless they are a part of it. And that's all I can say. Though this won't change anyone's mind. Like I said we try. But our efforts are always wasted because the people we try to convince are to closed minded to even listen.

I dare you to go look up on YouTube just one round of Olympic level show jumping then go look up one game of Olympic level hockey and we'll get together and discuss the comparison.

Freestyle wrestling, bull riding and cross country are the only ones that should be up there in this bracket and normally there not in the top 20. I give a lot of credit to gymnastics I see it almost everyday because my sister does it but don't give me that BS that gymnastics is the hardest sport hockey should not be at # 12 first of your on ice that's hard enough me as a goalie having 90mph shots at me isn't hard I guess to some people. My equipment I have on gives me 30lbs I guess that simple to people also. Swimming is very hard but going across a pool isn't gonna cut to be the #2 spot give me a break. Hockey you're in a freezing climate 32 degrees and below. When I go to my respective Goalie trainer he doesn't take no crap I go out there with the flu pulled muscles cough headache if I'm not in the hospital in playing hockey. I have the best seat in the house and if you are 5'7 150lbs and you see 6'5 220lbs coming at you your done peoples break their necks arms legs fingers ankles knees it's horrifying. Do you see people bleeding from there necks from a skate that cut it I don't think so. Have you ever been hit through glass and it shatters on you? Nope. The physical aspect of the game is highly demanding there is no missing practice because then you're off the team. Hockey is a 12 month sport there is no off season. Hockey is one of the last sports that allows you to fight can't fight in football basketball cheerleading dance bull riding swimming rugby water polo because there a bunch of wimps

You don't realize how hard swimming is, it's not just "going across a pool" is hockey just "skating across a rink", no it's not! Swimming is extremely demanding! I am in university and I swim 12 times a week (twice a day except for Sunday) for 2 and a half hours per practice, not including out of water training! We do painfully hard sets, some of which only allow you to breathe a certain number of times. You can breathe whenever you want in hockey. I have witnessed my teammates passing out, throwing up, injuring themselves, and crashing into each other head on! Hockey may be more dangerous, but it is definitely not as hard as swimming!

Gymnastics?!?!?!... Are you kidding me? All I hear from everyone who voted for that is how they were forced into it as a toddler and how it has been their entire life since then so they try to justify it by whining about how hard it is. I get the balance and flexibility but to those of you who say it requires more strength and conditioning than a sport like hockey or football you need to get your head checked. Horseback riding isn't even a sport! For gymnastics you can start once you learn to stand. It comes natural to everyone. For hockey you learn to stand and then need to learn to skate. And once you can skate you have to worry about handling a puck while skating. Oh ya and you also have 5 other people who you have to watch out for who are trying to kill you. I was recently in a tournament where I was cheap shotted and was hit so hard a piece of my pelvis was ripped away from it. All the gymnasts are talking about how you slip and fall and twist an ankle or sprain a wrist. There aren't any cushions on the floor for hockey players. So is hockey hard, I don't know you tell me. - Adrien_wisch

I've been doing gymnastic since I was 2 it's a hard sport balancing and doing flips on a space of four inches constantly having serious injuries doing hours and hours of strength training a day just to master one thing. I am a 24 hour gymnast six days a week twelve months a year and if you don't see the hardness behind the pretty leotards why don't you try being a national gymnast for a year and see how many injuries you get. I had a six pack at the age of 8 bigger arm muscles than most guys at school ( when flexed)... The point is gymnastics is the hardest sport I'm sure you think hockey is but that's because all you have done is hockey, the amount of strength we need to swing ourselves around a bar is amazing and even to control our flips. I really think you should be a 24 hour gymnast for a year and see how you survive

Hockey is second only to boxing according to ESPN, though I would disagree since it has no teamwork element.

Sorry everybody but hockey is officially the most difficult - or second most difficult - sport in the world.

V90 Comments

From a strictly physical standpoint, I definitely think rowing is the most challenging; no other activity hurts the same way.
Related to the physical hardship, I think mental toughness and motivation in rowing are harder to find and more essential to master than in any other sport.
You have to give other categories their due, though.
First I would give it bad marks in skill: rowing involves incredibly precise skills, but often a lack of skill is compensated with more physicality, so it isn't so incredibly important and certainly not so hard to master as the skills in many other sports; gymnastics probably takes first place in this category. Perfection in a stroke means a great deal, but is neither as important nor as difficult to achieve as the skills in a sport like gymnastics, or even some others like football.
I think consideration also has to be given to danger and risk. Altogether, rowing is among the least dangerous sports. There is some risk in training due to heat, cold, drowning, and collisions, and bad form combined with over-training can lead to injuries, but it remains on the whole a relatively safe activity. Done right, there's really no risk. Many sports have a relatively high risk of accident, and often it's unavoidable. Gymnastics again comes in higher up, as well as football and many other team sports, but all those pale in comparison anything involving extreme heights, fast vehicles, or combat sports (which take this category, in my opinion).
Many would surely argue with some of my opinions here, and often have valid points. Additionally, I'm sure the case could be made for a multitude of other categories to be included in a methodical decision. The idea of this poll itself is highly flawed because it often comes down to what people have done themselves, but I have enjoyed the discourse in the comments.
My opinion still comes to rowing as the "hardest" sport though. Clearly, much comes down to an operational definition of "hardest" and to me the term seems to emphasize raw exertion and pain. Like I said above: no other sport (or any exercise) hurts as bad as rowing. Quantitatively, there are several supporting facts. Aerobically: at an elite level, no athletes cycle more oxygen than rowers. On a per-body-mass basis, cyclists and cross-country skiers have slightly higher numbers, but that's for a pure endurance activity, and neglects the other side of the coin. Anaerobically (the really painful side): no other athlete spends as much time at or above the anaerobic threshold as rowers. Power lifters are the kings of maximum anaerobic power output, but they do it for moments. Elite rowers will spend as long as 7+ minutes redlining at the threshold, with huge burst above for at least the first 20 strokes, last 20 strokes, and several power 10s in the middle stretch.
This is all just for a 2k, which is the premier racing distance, but only a part of the yearly circuit which includes much longer races in the fall and some shorter races in the spring. The level of both endurance and power that is required and blended to accomplish great rowing is unmatched. Many will tell you as well about how rowing works the whole body. It's an absolute, all over pain. Your whole body is on fire, with needles (or maybe daggers) shoving into your thighs and forearms. The rest of you is worked as well, and at the end of a race (or a solid practice piece) you can hardly move any part of your body.
The other part of all this physicality is the mental fortitude to do it. You have to find a place where your mind can accept it. Most rowers will tell you they can't remember anything during a really hard race. It all blurs. You just keep going, pulling as hard as possible, even though you realized after the start sprint (20 strokes) that you don't have enough left in the tank to finish the race 225 strokes, or more). You can't lower the effort, even for a second; one lazy stroke ends your race and makes it all a waste. If you are in anything but a single scull, there is the enormous pressure of your teammates, often the only thing that gets a rower through a race. You realize you can't stop, because you can't let them down. You also realize you can't make it to the end, because it hurts so bad. So your mind shuts down, and you turn the pain to bliss so you can handle it. And that's just a race, which pales in comparison to the long strain of the training.
I really think there is nothing quite like it, that's why I vote it as the hardest. Other sports require more perfectly honed skills, but even then, one outwardly imperceptible mistake results in "catching a crab" and ends your shot at winning. One mistake in most sports is unnoticed. Other sports are more dangerous, but I've even had broken bones and other serious injuries that didn't hurt as bad as some pieces I've rowed, and my worst injury ever was actually an over-training related back injury from rowing, which (at its worst point so far) was so bad I couldn't walk for a week. Luckily its permanent effects are manageable without ending my athletic life.

Rowing is unique in that it requires both power and endurance. Power to jump off the stretchers in the boat and endurance to be able to put full pressure into that oar for almost 200 strokes over the course of a 2000 meter race.
A rowers description of a 2000 meter race:

0-100 Meters:
Teams usually start off with a short sprint to help set the pace for the race. I the first 10 seconds energy provided by the quick acting ATP-CP system is used up. This system does not use oxygen and does not build lactic acid. The body goes into the anaerobic system for energy and teams begin to settle into their race pace. With this system lactic acid begins to build in the muscles, specifically the legs and the mental game begins.

100 - 1000 Meters
Each stroke uses all major muscle groups in the body including: quads, biceps, triceps, lats, gluts and abdominal muscles. Lactic acid has built up enough by the end of the first 500 meters that each stroke is painful for your legs and yet you push on. Partly because of your desire to win... And also because the coxswain is screaming at you to pull harder and that there is still another 1500 meters to go. Thankfully, your body switches energy systems again and begins using aerobic energy. This provides a brief respite as lactic acid build up slows down for a few strokes but then a surge is needed to pull ahead of opposing teams or to stay in the lead so the rowers power up once more. Anaerobic energy is needed! So as you surge more lactic acid builds up and each stroke feels like torture. But the hardest part of the race has yet to come.

1000-1500 Meters
Here's where the winners are going to be decided. Crews without the training and mental toughness to withstand the now excruciating pain in their legs fall behind.

1500-2000 Meters
The finish. This is where the sprint to the end begins and the anaerobic system takes over once more. Legs screaming for the end rowers power up once more and pick up the rating in order to beat out the opposing crews. Vision starts to dim and each rower simply becomes an engine to move the boat past the finish line while maintaining perfect technique. There is no room thinking, only pain. Once the crew passes the finish line they literally fall apart. The pain is finally over and each rower can barely breath anymore. No longer required to maintain pressure and technique the body collapses in the boat, exhausted.

Rowing is one of the only sports where you can not start off as a natural as it is unnatural movements. It requires a tremendous deal of strength and technique if you are to move the boat properly. Improper timing may actually slow down the boat. There is a reason why all the heavyweight rowers are roughly 200 pounds. It is an intensive all body workout, which does not gain respite until the end of the sequence/workout. Several other sports such as football and hockey can easily swap out players when fatigue sets in and allow them to recover in addition to breaks like half-time and what not. When you start rowing you push through to the end without respite, and still throughout this time you must maintain constant diligence to keep up technique and keep up boat speed. Proper technique can take years to master, and several more years are needed for strength training. Furthermore after mass is built on the rower, you need to be toned as well. Additional fat will simply slow the boat, so yes the weight I previously mentioned should be mostly muscle and maybe 5-8% body fat for a disciplined rower, perhaps even less leading into some major races and almost for sure if you are a tall lightweight.

Rowing is not a well known sport, it is generally intercollegiate and not very much professional which is why many assume it to be something simple and mundane. Truth is rowing dates back hundreds of years and it was the pinnacle of achievement for athletes in the past to perform well in these competitions. Rowing is an endurance sport first and foremost, but as the general race length is 2km, most of the events are around six minutes. This means a rower needs to have not only a efficient cardio base, but also a tremendous amount of explosive energy (for starts and sprints). I have competed in other sports before I started rowing, I won't mention them as I don't want to diminish them, but the amount of time and dedication involved in rowing is another level beyond them.

I walk with my head held high.

I totally agree with this. I started rowing this year and just whoa.

V142 Comments
10Cross Country

I cannot believe this is not even on the list. Honestly, there's a reason why XC people practically inhale food nonstop, yet remain the thinnest people in school. The sport is so physically taxing that it's impossible to gain any kind of weight. XC is hard because you have to do it nonstop as hard as you can. Sure gymnastics is hard and all, but they're events only last a few minutes before they get another break. XC is 100% slow twitch muscle fibers, (which your body has much less of, so it's harder to build) and it's literally 100% cardio. If you don't have a strong heart, you're gonna die. You know what I want, for EVERYONE in the aforementioned sports to race 1 meet with us... (and no, don't even think about stopping, you gotta run the whole 3.1 miles no matter kind of pain you'll experience). Since half the wusses in the above sports do track, why not try the 2 mile then? If distance running is apparently so easy? You know who do the 2 mile events? Cross country kids. Everyone else do the easy sprints, dashes, and jumps... Because they're too weak to do the longer events. People seriously don't give us enough credit. They look at us, and they think we're born with it. They think it's easier for us and that's why we do it. I aced the mile in gym, and my friend who majorly lagged behind said "Well, you're in XC, I'm not. " Honey... That doesn't mean ANYTHING. No, I'm not born with magic running abilities, you could be just as good as me if you tried. (Which you don't because running is too hard of course. ) I don't care what anyone says; nothing is harder than XC.

I've ran 3 years of cross country and I can say that it is extremely hard. I've also ran 5 years of sprints. I've also pole vaulted for the past 4 years and am continuing in college. I will admit distance is much harder than sprints, but in no way is cross country and distance running harder than pole vault. We are literally crazy. We're also some of the fastest, strongest and most head strong athletes out there. We use almost every muscle in our body to do things you can't even imagine. And don't say that we don't have endurance cause I've been apart of plenty of meets where I'll be vaulting for hours and at points will be doing back to back jumps. That gets really tiring really fast. In my opinion pole vault is one of the worlds hardest sports. and yeah I'm biased but thousands of others will say the exact same thing.

Cross country is definitely the hardest and most mentally tough sport that will ever exist. It takes hours of practice that require so much determination that anyone who doesn't run cross country could ever imagine. I am just a freshman girl and we run at least 8 miles a day. I'm not even going to mention how many miles the boys run. It's insane! They sometimes literally just go on a ten mile tempo run at a pretty fast pace. There are no timeouts or substitutions. You have to keep going all the way nonstop. During the race you think you can't go any farther but have the will power to cross that finish line. During the summer we get to practice at 6 in the morning everyday while people in other sports are sleeping in. We run in the intense heat and literally swear through our shirts and drip sweat everywhere on our bodies. We even train for long distance track in the winter and run while it is snowing in the insanely freezing weather. I believe cross country should be ranked number one hands down. Anyone not running cross country has no idea what so ever of the pain we endure everyday during practice. Cross country is a team sport and requires the efforts of the first five runners of your team to come in. And I cannot believe someone could have ever said that rowing is a harder sport than cross country. Seriously. Really? You are moving a boat. All you need to do is push an ore as hard as you can to get to the finish. In cross country you need to do so much more. There is complete strategy and determination to get you to the finish line where you want to be. In rowing there is no problem what so ever to get to the finish line. In cross country you have to be some of the strongest people ever! How can you not say that! I have a six pack! And it doesn't matter if you have to row in perfect synchronization! Cross country runners have some of the strongest muscular legs you will ever see. The last half mile of the three mile race you have to push so hard that some people pass out when they get to the finish line or throw up. XC is my life and I believe that there is nothing harder than it in the world. Someone might think it is easy to win a race, but if everyone wants to win, which everyone does, imagine the battle! I dare you to watch one cross country race. Look at the runners' faces. See their pain and dedication. Cross country should not be overlooked.

I think it is insane that cross country isn't at least in the top 3. I understand that other sports are difficult in different ways, but for all you people that say xc isn't a real sport because "everyone can do it", try it for one week. I dare you. Try to push though our 12 mile long runs, our mile repeats, and our hill circuits, giving 100%. Try running until you have an asthma attack, pass out, throw up, or all three, just at practice. And after you experience this, don't be expecting any break. That's just how our sport goes. You'll go home and sleep, and then wake up at 5:30 the next morning to lift weights, work on core strength, and run some more. Even on our "easy days" we run 5-7 miles, oh and trust me, there's no walking either. This whole sport is based on your body breaking down so it can build back stronger.

I've explained all of the physical pain, but the mental aspect is just as challenging. You want to quit. You want to collapse so you don't have to feel the pain anymore. You cry real tears because you want to stop so badly. You wish that your own leg would break so you wouldn't have to suffer anymore. But you don't. Because something inside you forces you to keep pushing through the pain. You tell yourself that it'll all be worth it someday. It sounds crazy, but that's just because we are crazy. "Running is a mental sport, and we're all insane."

One of my experiences that I feel perfectly describes xc is the time that I passed out right in the middle of the race. I had began to have an asthma attack, and I simply couldn't breath. Things started to go black and I couldn't hear anything, and then I collapsed right at the second mile. I blacked out. A coach from another team grabbed me and pushed me to the side. I came back to pretty quickly, I was probably only blacked out for 20 seconds. I sat there, fading in and out of blackness, still struggling to breathe, and was extremely dizzy and light headed, but a member of my team passed me, calling for me, so I got back on my feet and finished the race. Seriously, does it get any more intense than that?

Very very hard always feel like your gonna barf.

V151 Comments

The Contenders

11Freestyle Wrestling

The only sport where the practice is the same as competition and the same level of intensity. Wrestling requires the athlete to use every muscle in their body at the same time. A wrestling match is continuous and folkstyle matches can last up to 9.5 minutes long, 9.5 minutes of pushing your muscles to failure with no breaks or rest. In a match, you are allowed only 1.5 minutes if you receive an injury, and if you take any more time the match is forfeited. Given the weight classes, practices are very high intensity and usually are held in the basements of schools with the heat cranked up to around 100 degrees. In addition to the practices, the most successful wrestlers do things such as run the streets at night - usually in many layers (a standard in practices as well) and sometimes plastic suits to lock the heat in - no matter the weather, as well as working out in a gym or at home or attending multiple practices. My senior season I walked into my first practice at 197 lbs and finished the season competing in the 160 lb weight class. I would typically lose an average of 5 lbs a practice but I had friends who have lost 6 and even 7 lbs in a practice, and in addition to working out in the mornings before school and after practice I also ate very little to maintain my weight. If you want to be successful, most wrestlers train 12 months a year at the same intensity as they do in season and are forced to give up all other sports to accommodate for wrestling's demands. Without a doubt the toughest sport mentally and physically, and while I ended my wrestling career a little over a year ago I can say that if I ever have a son I don't know if I would want him to wrestle, because the sport if so grueling and unglamorous.

Dude come on seriously wrestling under cheerleading, horseback riding, gymnastics and water polo? Wrestling is no joke people work their living tails off on the mat. Wrestling requires muscle, stamina, quickness, toughness, mental toughness and believe it or not flexibility and lots of bravery. You will get slammed on the mat possibly break something if you're not tough enough simply because your opponent is more muscular than you. Its take tons of bravery to step onto a mat with another person who could possibly overpower you and not to mention you must remain aggressive thanks to the new rules, the coaches and refs. You have to sacrifice lots of eating time to make weight classes and the conditioning is extreme more muscle than other sport unlike football when players sit majority of the time. wrestlers always will either condition or break each others necks at practice and the only way to get really good is to work on technique and strength outside of practice. I've done wrestling for a while now in multiple weight classes usually in the lower ones like 113 up to 126 and your skills only show to how much time and effort you put into the intensity of you workouts and practices. I usually run 2-3 miles after meets and sometimes after practice and even over the weekends to lose weight and to help stamina this is usually exhausting enough. People would put your body into positions that could be potentially dangerous and you could get choked out while being pinned. The matches may seem short but honestly if you're not a cross country runner or swimmer you're gonna get muscular weak and winded during the 3rd period and seriously half the people don't survive that long. Wrestling and freestyle wrestling should be higher no doubt, only a handful of people can endure the the bone breaking steps to become good. Whatever your opponent does you have to think quick be quick and defend quick and when they have almost equal strength that is determined to pin you its gonna be pretty much a war out there from that little move, trust me its even harder when trying to stand up when they guy is behind you bringing you down. This is a sport only for a handful of people who can actually withstand this physically and mentally killing sport and have no doubts that this and wrestling should be place higher.

I think wrestling is by far the hardest sport out there. If someone tries it in middle school or something yeah it probably wasn't that hard. As soon as high school and college hits the intensity level goes higher than any other sport I've been a part of or have watched. Not only do we have 2 hour long practices in a 90+ degree room, then there is weight room after to try and maintain some of the muscle that is being lost by constantly cutting 15-20 pounds for at least the three month regular season. Then there is out of practice conditioning if you want to be any good. Which is usually done in full sweats or plastics if you happen to be really overweight that week. Not to mention the regular season occurs during Christmas and thanksgiving so you can't eat anything while you have to watch everyone else feast. Plus wrestling is a year round sport, again if you want to be any good at it. I always wrestled every off season tournament that I could. During football season is have to go to wrestling practices before or after my football practices to get ready for the high level national off season tournaments. I know just how much hard work and dedication this sport requires. 5th-10th grade I was awful, I barely won any matches, but I kept going and trained harder and harder and eventually finally started to get better. 11th grade I finally placed at the state tournament and then 12th grade I placed at a Flo Nationals tournament to become a High school All American wrestler. But it took years and years of constant training to get to that point. I know in our wrestling room, we usually start off with about 30-40 kids all thinking they have what it takes, but within two weeks of the season that number has been cut in half by kids tired of the constant punishment of wrestling. I don't know any other sports with the physical ability and mental toughness that are required while one is weak and irritable from trying to lose weight. I understand sports like swimming and gymnastics require a lot of physical ability, but they just don't have the mental toughness factor that competitive wrestling has. When you go against a good wrestler at state or a national tournament or even in college. Where you both are extremely physically fit, the sport becomes just trying to mentally break your opponent to the point where they just can't go on anymore. At those high end matches wrestling is so mentally demanding that I have seen people mentally broken after a hard match, where they can't even talk because the opponent mentally dominated them to their breaking point and they can barely hold themselves together. There just aren't any other sports at that level besides Probably UFC because it's pretty much the next step up from wrestling besides the Olympics.

I play a lot of sports and I thought wrestling is hard I started in fourth grade I was getting pinned in like 30 seconds after working hard then I went to camps all summer long made states but didn't make it farther then even more camps every single day I got 5th at states and this year I want to be a state champ

V175 Comments

I have raced motocross since I was 3 and I'm almost 16 now. 13 years, 13 broken bones, 2 surgeries and 8 concussions later I'm not scared, embarrassed to say motocross is by far the most physical demanding and tough sport in the world. People think you just sit and turn the throttle. It take balance, strength and skill to be fast on a dirtbike!

Dangerous and physically demanding are completely different things. I think you've confused the two.

When people say its just sitting down and holding the throttle its funny because you don't sit down unless your going around a turn, also, its burns 700 to 800 calories and I have never lost my breathe so quick in my life.

I race motocross and it is by far the most physically demanding sport in the world. I recently had a crash and split my liver and had internal bleeding and I'm still on the mend no other sport is that tough and that hard.

Yeah I got it it's really demanding physically and you can get injured and even die really easily if that's the case they should put stunt double at number 6 then you guys or even just regular motorcycling I mean if you crash your just as likely to die when you are on the freeway.

This should be up the top 3

V207 Comments
13Competitive Dancing

I think if we are talking about hockey vs dance, it's more complicated than saying hockey needs strength and guts while dance needs stamina, balance, strength, flexibility, etc etc. I'm 13 years old and have been dancing since I was 3. That's 10 years. Sometimes I dance up to 12 hours a week, and I know that that's nothing compared to a lot of other dancers out there. I'm not gonna argue that dance is hard and hockey is easy or maybe vice versa, because my 10 year old sister has been playing hockey since she was 6 but she also does competitive dance.

Hockey players will have no clue how much pain we go through in an hour. We dance through blood, sweat, tears, and bodies pushed to the limit and beyond. We own the fields for strength, stamina, flexibility, speed, balance, acting, and just looking darn good... All at the same time. People definitely underestimate dance and it's obviously a sport if anyone has even noticed.

Hockey, on the other hand, requires strength, stamina, balance, and... Well that's about it but is dancers forget that they go through a lot of full-on body contact. Playing in freezing weather? Trust me, I'm a Canadian, and about every single Canadian citizen has played hockey at some point in their lives. Maybe not seriously like me, but we've all gone on a rink ONCE in our lives as stereotypical as that sounds. My sister goes through major unnecessary drama and a lot of pressure from our parents.

This is getting off-topic, but does anyone know how hard it is having your sister play hockey while you dance? Even though my dad won't admit it, I can tell he doesn't really give a crap about dance. But oh, he'll show up to every single hockey game, practice, camp, and party. Of course he'll show up to a couple of my competitions, but he won't come to all of them since "I'm just performing the same routine and he doesn't need to see it again." I know I'm not the only kid like this. Whether you dance or not, us kids will always know that our sports and bruises and aches and pain really mean nothing to them unless we went through it playing hockey.

You guys are probably thinking, why is she telling me this, and what's the point?

My point is, hockey and dance are both extremely hard. If I had to choose one, it'd obviously be dance but if anyone's noticed, we're going through that phrase "the grass is always greener on the other side" only the exact opposite. We all play sports and every single one of us is only saying our sport is the hardest because we play it. I'm sure if I never did dance but instead played water polo, I'd be voting for water polo. None of us are going anywhere by just complaining about how hard our sport is. We all play sports and we all play good, hard, painful sports. Let's just agree that they're all hard and unless someone can play every single sport on this page professionally in their life, we'll never know which sport is the hardest. Why are we arguing over this anyways?

Why isn't this in the top tens? Its easy to master sports like hockey, soccer, football etc. But dance? You are constantly learning new moves and constantly trying to improve your technique. Yeah football and hockey are dangerous. So is dance. There are many ways you can injure yourself in dance. Landing badly on a jump, hurting yourself in a flip, I could go on with the dangers of acro and break dance. And extreme partner work can put both people at risk. Dance requires hour and hours of training, whereas in other sports you show up for practice maybe 3 times a week for 2 hours. To anyone who disagrees and thinks dance is easy. Try pointe, acro, jazz, ballet, hip hop, break, etc. Acro takes many years to do well on, and so does pointe. After pointe, your feet ache an you get blisters, it is very hard to stand in pointe, yet very good dancers can pull it off with a smile on their face. You need to do ridiculously hard moves and still smile. Think hip-hop and dance are easy? Then try spinning on your head right now. Yeah, its not easy. Competition day. Hectic, crazy, yet fun. You aren't going against one team like other sports, but tons of studios at once competing for ONE top prize. You must perform in front of an audience, make sure you execute your moves properly, make sure you execute your facial expressions properly, get your timing correct, etc. Highland dance is extremely hard. I have danced highland before and it requires a lot of stamina and strength. My feet ached after practice, and I always got a good workout. You are always moving in highland. The sword dance is tough. You need to know what way you are going, where the swords are, and not to kick the swords, plus you can't look down. Its tough. That's my conclusion, dance should be on the top. - dragonfly99

3 times a week is a joke

And all the sports you listed as easy to master can't be mastered your opponents are always different with different strengths with dance (if it is a sport) there's no outside pressure you learn your routine and the your set yes you need minor improvements but you also don't have to make split second decisions in the face of an opponent and try to think ahead the landings all done for you

I don't think some people realize how crucial dancing is to the body. none of us want to be injured. none of us want to wear a brace, or be out for a week, or even be in a boot. we don't do it for attention, we actually WANT to dance. half the time out injuries are ongoing because we ignore it to continue dancing. dancing is hard on the hips, knees, ankle, feet, and even your back. Dancing is proven to be one of the most physically and mentally challenging sports that there is. You throw yourself in the air, to come back down onto your knees, your back, basically anywhere. You build up muscle upon muscle in order to turn more, to jump higher, to bend further- and you do it all for the love you have for it. We have bruises in places that bruises shouldn't be, we injure parts of our body that shouldn't be injured, and we keep dancing through it all. I know girls who have danced through competitions in absolute agony whilst in tears and still kicked butt because we learn to push through pain. We work for hours a day after school or after work, in the heat, in the cold, through blood, sweat and tears, all because we love what we do. There is no where we'd rather be than in the studio. We risk countless permanent physical injuries that will last our entire lives, We sacrifice our social lives and our most common phrase is that we can't we have dance. We have hours of conditioning. Hundreds of situps, pushups, leg exercises, everything. There is only one sports that would beat dance and it's the only sports that could relate on most levels and that's gymnastics. Most of us take gymnastics and usually they take dance to improve themselves. This should definitely be in the top ten.

Dance is so hard and we work our butts off but every one says it's so easy because we smile but we push through the pain and perform on stage some people call it dance I call it blood sweat tears and life

V117 Comments
14Ice Hockey

Ya I'll be real here. I don't play this sport but I'm not going to be immature and bash on hockey. Kudos to those who play ice hockey. It IS a hard sport and this is coming from someone who doesn't even play the sport. I'm a synchronized swimmer actually and I am certainly no creampuff! I train 7 times a week each day being 3-5 hour long practices in the pool. But my point is, is that I respect hockey. And hockey players. Cause some people might think that hockey is overrated and that the guys who play it are dumb jocks, but I think it's a very physically demanding sport. Lots of injuries happen.

I play hockey and I'm a girl. Hockey is really hard. You need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner and the concentration of a brain surgeon. Sometimes it seems like the other team is chasing you with clubs trying to kill you while you skate down the ice dodging people. Other than gymnastics, hockey is by far the hardest and I think it should be higher up in the list.

Being checked into a wall and face planting into the ground and getting hit in the eye with a puck and stick and getting scratched by skates.. People really think hockey isn't hard I have had a major concussion from someone tripping me and I hit my head. I have had a ice skate cut from my wrist to my elbow it hurt like hell

Hockey has more skill than soccer, harder hits than football and needs better hand - eye than baseball And its all done on ice

V19 Comments

No rugby came before american football and soccer. Then american football added sissy pads and helmets. For rugby you need to be more fit then a huge majority of sports. Mentally and physically. And no your not wrestling if you were then the rules would be different... Actually the game itself would be different in all. Brave as they are in american football? That's a joke not only did americans mimic the sport, but like I said they wear pads and helmets! Yeah you get hurt but try getting crushed in a scrum with no protection or every tackle is followed by 4-8 different solid muscle players.

Rugby should be first. Rugby is like American football but with no breaks every 10 seconds, Its like cross country but you have to do it for 80 minutes and people constantly needing being smashed or getting smashed yourself. Some rugby tackles are measured at 7G (7 times gravity) and injuries seen in rugby are seen in head on car crashes with both cars going at 30MPH. You have to constantly work, when you have the ball, you have to dodge, pass, think, smash... When you haven't got the ball it is even worse! You have to: tackle, get smashed, run dummy lines, follow the ball carrier, help him, drive over and all that for 80 minutes.Why do you think rugby players are so massive!

Rugby is not only a Physical sport, its super mental. As a nationally ranked team player I would know. Rugby requires the physical stamina of any soccer player. Also rugby players need to know the variations of all the rules depending on a referee. Think about it, if you were playing a game of football you get the ball run, Down. 15 second break. In Rugby its Boom hit, Get up run again Boom hit. Constant contact and constant aggression and decision making under serious pressure. Rank 14 is seriously incorrect.

As a "nationally ranked player" you should know that rugby is governed by laws not rules, maybe self praise is no praise

Rugby is a very hard Sport to play, not as much physically but mentally it is one of the hardest in the world

V32 Comments

Wrestling is so hard because of the time and effort into it. I mean anyone can wrestle, however it's the people that can wrestle well who really put the effort and time that the sport requires. People do not understand the preparation it takes to be a wrestler. It's like being in the army. When you are wrestling, you do not even have time to think about what you need to do. You just have to go out there and do it. Of course this takes practice because for your moves to be automatic you must drill them at least 1000 times before getting it perfect. And that is only one part of the sport. When a wrestler is cutting and maintaining their weight, they usually go to sleep on an empty stomach. Cutting weight is very exhausting and sometimes you question why you're even doing it. It's the wrestlers that really want it who drill the hardest all the time, and the ones who push themselves to go run 3 miles a day at least. But these people get unnoticed my the many people surrounding them. They call wrestling homosexual, meanwhile they have no idea what it takes to be a wrestler. Most of the people who criticize would not even come close to have what it takes to be a wrestler.

One of the hardest sports ever it take so much energy, power, strength it is one on one which makes it harder also you have to be so mentally and physically fit and it takes more skill then any sports

I've done wrestling one year just started it and it is mentally and physically tough! You train as hard as you can for a week for a four and a half minute match. No teammates just you and an other player going head on head as hard as you can. And yet wrestling gets no respect.

What! The most underestimated sport of ALL. Gymnastics only requires flexibility. Wrestling requires, strength, smarts, and heart to do. I think this should be #1! How do most fights end up? ON THE GROUND! So a wrestler would kill someone who isn't a wrestler in a fight.

V24 Comments

90 minute game running through down a grass field smashing into other players and trying to beat 11 people fighting for the exact same thing. Speed, teamwork, endurance, high level foot/eye coordination (which is extremely hard to develop), strong bones, perseverance, a balance of aggressiveness and calmness, rapid foresight (ability to see the play before it happens and move accordingly), fast reflexes, clear understanding of the strategy (to play well or coach. ), instinctive body language reading (to understand where the player may try to move), good ability to communicate under pressure and a natural ability in at least one position (this is the most important, the best are born with ability and develop it, the worst aren't born with a natural ability and have no chance even if they try hard. ) Not to mention a high injury rate, if your not good enough you get hurt. Not knocking other cardio-sports but soccer requires a type of skill not visible in any other game, a near complete reliance on your feet. Name another sport where hands are against the rules to use. And why? Because using feet with fine motor skills and gross motor skill so intermittently is hard and is not for everyone. How many players come from one sport (like Rugby? ) into Soccer? Now how many players can transfer their skill set into Rugby or AFL or NFL from any other team sport? More than Soccer for sure.

Soccer is for sure one of the hardest sports. People think, oh well you just kick the ball into the net, honestly that isn't how it works. When a soccer player receives the ball, millions of things are going through their head like, whether to dribble, whether to pass, whether to shoot. Once they decide, even more things go through their head. If they decide to take the ball themselves they have to decide where to dribble to, if they need to do any trick moves, and when they need to get rid of the ball. Then if they decide to make a pass, they have to think about timing, how hard the ball needs to be played, who to play it to, what kind of pass needs to be made, and then once they get rid of the ball, they have to make a run elsewhere to try to get open to receive a pass. If they shoot, they need to think where to place it and how hard to shoot it, they also have to follow up their shots.

Decision making isn't the only aspect of soccer that is important. You have to be fast with and without the ball and you need to be strong. People coming at you as fast as they can just trying to get the ball. Those people will do whatever it takes to get the ball. If it comes down to just pushing you over or slide tackling you, you have to be ready. All soccer players have the risk of injuries to anywhere. They can fall and get a concussion or get a concussion trying to head the ball. Or a lot of soccer players will pull muscles or even break bones from bad falls.

Therefore I think soccer is the hardest sport by far.

I have been playing soccer all f my life. And I can tell you that it is one of the hardest sports. Obviously rugby and gymnastics beat us in strength and endurance, but soccer takes a lot of skill. First you have to be able to sprint around with a ball which might sound easy, but until you have tried sprinting at your fastest speed you cannot talk. Also at a higher level of soccer you are more physical you have girls that are bigger and older than you slide tackling you, tripping you, body checking you, and pushing you down. Soccer also has so many aspect and different roles to make a team function. YOu have to have a goal keeper who needs to be quick on her feet and strong to be able to stop shots that could go over 40 mph. As a defender I have to be able to make the decision when to attack the ball. I need to be quick but also need to hold me ground so I don't get run over by an oncoming attacker. A midfielder needs to have endurance these players are a forward and a defender. So they need to be able to shoot and come back in a matter of seconds. And that leaves the forwards who need to have a lot of skill to work the ball around many defenders and then get a good strike on the ball to send it soaring into the back of the ball. With all of the rules and other things of soccer like throw ins corner kicks and penalty kick I personally think that soccer should be higher than 17.

You appear to have no idea of the amount of skill it takes to do gymnastics.

Not hard. You can play it nude (but I don't suggest that). - PizzaGuy

I was talking about kick-about, not a competitive match. That one's hard! And you can't play it nude. - PizzaGuy

V80 Comments
18Power Tumbling

I am a gymnast and I agree that power tumbling should be up closer to number 2 or 3 because there are a lot of people at my gym that do power tumbling and they can get hurt a lot. I have seen people break their arms and legs before in gymnastics AND power tumbling! I is very harsh to watch but I mean I am used to it now so I don't have too worry that much. A lot of people can get hurt but some wont like break any thing but most injuries are from tumbling (especially power tumbling) and gymnastics. I agree that gymnastics is the hardest sport but I am not going to give up because of that! You have to keep trying and maybe you will be an number 1 all a-rounder one day like me! :) Good luck you folks out there and maybe I will see you in the Olympics one day and you will see me too! :P

Power Tumbling should be right up there with Gymnastics. I am a level 8-9 power tumbler and it is SO hard just like gymnastics! We have to practice multiple hours in the gym each week and we condition like crazy. We have to do floor, double mini and trampoline and each has its challenges. Lets see you guys jump on a two level tramp and do a double front on and double full off. We have to get so much power on floor in a couple of steps so we can throw double whips and what not. Not to mention the pain we go through and how much we work for things. Definitely should be up there with Gymnastics.

Power tumbling should definitely be up their further.
I have never seen power tumbling on a list before, because nobody seem to reise how painful and chanllenging it can be!
It's a lot like gymnastics so why isn't it higher!?

I think think sport is apart of gymnastics so I'm voting for both

V19 Comments
19Track and Field

I can't believe this isn't higher on the list. Most people do not realize the kind of intensity this sport brings. You constantly must train and its like power lifting, giving 100% all the time just for micro progression. And during races it is extremely taxing on the body, you must have a well built cardio vascular system as well as muscle growth. Have you ever tried SPRINTING a QUARTER OF A MILE in 48 seconds? Most other athletes only have to worry about 100 meters much less 400 meters (1600 meters in 1 mile)

Track requires pure dedication and a love for just running. If you don't run everyday you won't improve. We run outside in the rain and freezing cold. We sit at meets for hours waiting for our event and let me tell you it's not fun when it's 32 degrees and windy. Have you ever tried running in the wind? Probably not. It's hard and it hurts! I think track is one of the hardest sports that requires the most dedication.

Shotput requires more than just throwing some heavy ball (which is what most people think), it requires technique, patience, diligence, and strength... Emphasis on technique. I've been doing shotput for almost 5 years now. It is so hard and you have to work on your form everyday. Even the pros have a tough time touching up their forms. You can't just rely on muscle strengths; you rely on your hips, your speed in the ring, where your arms go, etc. Every little thing you do in the ring affects where the ball goes. Oh, and there's plenty of conditioning and weight lifting involved. You don't have to be big and strong to do this sport. You just have to be fit and determined to stick with it.

Try being a sprinter with asthma and then tell me this isn't the hardest sport.

V9 Comments
20Long-distance Triathlon

I don't think most of you have even done a twelve hour race before? Swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, run 26.2 miles, and then brag for the rest of your life. Not the average Joe can do one. The Ironman Triathlon is the toughest race in the world. Often called the hardest day in sport. It is not a sport for the weak minded. After a while, the body shut downs and the only thing keeping you moving is your mind. With high drop out rates, many question if they could even finish after racing a few hours into the race. Nutrition and hydration is key to a great race. This sport combines three tough sports into a monster challenge.

I don't understand how this is #27. I've been looking at various pages on difficult sports, and most "experts" seem to think that specific aspects of a sport is what make it hard (such as coordination, technique etc). NO. You automatically learn those things from being in that sport. You adapt. You can be the best basketball player, but be the worst in something else. Difficulty is NOT equal to practice.
What makes a sport hard is how hard you have to push your body and mind to the abosolute limit, to even compete. The foundation of all sports is in the Triathlon. I have done all 3 sports at a competitive level, and there is nothing like pushing yourself until you are going to faint or puke. You don't get that in other sports. Its not about practice, its about how hard it is for a body.
If you give anyone (fit) a (fair) amount of time (years) they can master any sport, just based on practice. On sports like triathlon, you don't get that. You have to have a superhuman body and mind. It is equally as hard for everyone that is doing it. That is why there aren't any lebron james's that are constantly winning. Because it is so hard, that you simply can't win consecutively multiple times.

This is without a doubt the most difficult, grueling sport that anyone could ever possibly imagine. I have been a competitive swimmer for most of my life, and have recently completed only sprint triathlons (of which have completely destroyed me. ) If I had to list the most grueling sports I would put cycling 1st and swimming 2nd; but combining them into a long distance event and adding a marathon at the end to make an Ironman triathlon? And THE TRAINING? Absolute hell, day in and day out. THIS IS NUMBER 1!

Do I even have to explain.

V13 Comments
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