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As somebody that has grown up raising horses, and having family in the professional rodeo, while also having that same family heavily involved in motocross, I can personally attest that racing motocross is way way way way harder than horseback riding in any fashion. I have trained horses, been bucked off, raced horses, etc. And I also raced motocross for 10 years and all I can say is getting on my horse was relaxation lol. I understand a horse is harder to control what they do, but when a motocross racer says they control their bike it isn't the same. A horseback rider controls the movements of the horse with the reins, and depending on training he may use slight leg pressure as well. If you are on a bucking horse you squeeze tight and hold on. But a motocross racer literally controls his bike using his entire body, not just using the handle bars. You are fully manipulating a 200lb+ machine with your body. And when people say horses are unpredictable? Try getting cross rutted while going 5th gear wide open and get thrown of your bike at insane speeds. Bikes can be really unpredictable and cause much more damage. But the proof is in the numbers. Modern studies have proven that motocross racers burn the most calories and hold a higher heart rate longer than any other sport. a professional motocross racers fitness regime is tougher than any other sport in the world, and the actual sport itself is the most tiring experience I have ever had in my entire life, and I have participated in almost every sport on this list. Argue if you want, but until you can keep up with even the slowest professional Supercross racer and tell me you've had worse then I will not give your opinion merit lol.
Motocross is not just sitting on a dirt bike and twist the throttle back around a circle. You have to have the balls to jump 100 ft jumps and to ride a turn full throttle leaning the bike and putting pressure on the outside peg. I have been racing motocross for 5 years and I have broken my foot and have bruised my kidney and I've also had three concussions. Yet I still love the sport and my love for the sport will never end. You burn about 1000 calories just being on the bike for 30 minutes. Your arms get so tired that you can't even hold onto the bike anymore. If you think the sport is easy than you get out there and try to hang with us!
I am no James Stewart or Chad Reed, I am not a professional in my sport by any means. But whenever o r where ever I ride, it demands more skill more physical experience and more mental capabilities than anyone could know. When you ride your complete hardest, you will never feel that burn on anything else. Your entire body will be struck with pain, but yet it's the most fun you'll ever have. All the other sports deal with yourself and a ball, a bat or something small in that manner. Motocross is you and a 250 pound machine with 50 horse power, depending on the bike, with all sorts of vigorous obstacles, with the danger of other riders around you as well. I think this is the most extreme sport!
I've done Motocross for many years and I have to say just a little day at the track = SUPER SORE the next day! I've been knocked out twice in races and have had 4 concussions. Motocross is often overlooked by some. But there is a reason why not many know of or do it, because it takes time, patience, balance, and skill. Its a lost art. But for those who have a passion for it and where born into it know what I'm talking about. And others might say taking a big right hook in MMA or Boxing takes more endurance that a 30 minute moto with 2 extra laps are crazy, because they have obviously never sat on a dirk bike, let alone risen one. In my opinion, from a experienced rider. It's the most physically demanding sport in the world. Cheerleading is cool and all but to a contact sport player or a motocross rider its not a sport. When someone talks about a motocross injury its either a broken bone, split something or brain injury. A dance or cheerleading injury is "! I just sprained my angle! Someone fan me! " So to conclude for the second and last time... Motocross is a serious and the most physically demanding sport.
I have played every other sport you could imagine. Baseball, football, soccer, track, and hockey, and I can say without doubt that motocross is the most extreme sport there is. I have never done anything so mentally, and physically challenging in my life. Even practicing takes so much energy. After race day I am feeling the hurt for about 2 weeks, its hard to walk, its hard to move. People say all it is, is sitting and twisting the throttle... Well.. Lets not forget the giant hills we have to climb, the giant logs we have to jump, and holding up that 250-280 pound bike. No sport compares to motocross. It takes so much mental work too, speeding through the woods going inbetween trees that you have to twist the handle bars to get through, plus the scare factor of hillclimbs and jumps. You have to be strong in all aspects to even compete in this sport. My point is proven
Been riding for about 10 years. To many concussions to count, two broken collarbones, got a handlebar under the helmet, breaking out 4 teeth, have 4 Implants, broken rib, endless fingers, and a compressed spine.. Love the sport still ride every week. Love the sport, can't get enough. By far the hardest sport around is Motocross, I've played all sports too, soccer, American football, lacrosse, baseball, golf, and free-dive aka hold breath and swim around 40 feet down stay there for 30-40 seconds while looking for fish if spearfishing, or lobster for dinner, then come back up... NONE of these are even close to the sport of motocross. The second hardest sport I've done was honestly golf. That damn ball never wants to go to the hole. I mean 400+ yards into a cup with a golf ball? Hard to break Par. Anyways, enough for rambling, motocross is #1! No one that thinks any of these sports above is harder than motocross has never ridden. But we, if you're like me, have done plenty of other sports.
Funny how you say that you've played 'all sports', yet only list a very small amount.
How did horse back biding beat this sport! What conditioning does a horse back rider have to go through to be an amazing athlete? I would agree gymnastics is very difficult and swimming is very hard too, but both are used in cross training for motocross to become a better rider with more anaerobic stamina to increase lactic acid threshold and static holding, pushing, and pulling, from gymnastics to create better endurance on the dirt bike. When swimmers and gymnasts ride for cross training then I would be sure that those are more difficult. But until that day, motocross is dominant in my mind
Haha yea well at least the thing you ride can't decide to buck you off or go for a gallop on a dressage test. You think it ain't hard to control a 1,500 pound animal? I'd like to see you last 5 minutes on my horse. She's an ex race horse who can put someone who's been riding everyday for 8 years to the test. She will have you on your ass in 3 seconds flat. Have you even ever ridden a horse? (No, being led around on a 30 year old pony at the fair when you were 5 doesn't count) I mean jumped 3 foot on an unpredictable animal that can go from 20 mph to 0 and send you hurdling through the air and hit the ground. I mean spun around a tiny barrel in a full gallop where that horse is turning so sharp it can fall and Crush the bones in your leg into splinters? Have you leaped off a horse and tackled a calf? Yea we do that. Did you know a girl got half her face ripped off when a horse fell over on her? It took 200 stitches to put her face back together. You wanna talk hard? Talk to an equestrian not a football PLAYER. Cause to equestrians it ain't just a game. A butterfly could mean the difference between living to walk out of that arena or laying dead on the dirt.
There's no reason for any of those sports to use motocross as a cross training... Riding certainly doesn't come in handy for any of the skills needed in both of those sports.
Been racing since I was 4 years old. I am now 16 years old. And just got my AMA pro license. I am homeschooled. A daily schedule looks like this. Wake up ride anywhere from 50 to 70 miles on the road bike, then go home make breakfast hit the gym for 2-3 hours gaining muscle strength and core stability. Eat lunch. Then go and ride for the rest of the day. By far the most demanding sport for many reasons. For one holding a 190 heart rate is not easy for 20 laps or 30 minutes and I can tell you from personal experience to be the best or to be a pro it is not just a sport and is not just "hard" it is way more than that. It is a lifestyle you have to live. Everyday you have to give 110 percent whether you are on the track or in the gym. And I can tell you if you mess up you don't just loose your swim meet or fall onto the ice or get a bad score... You break bones and get hurt every time.
Dude below... You do get killed in riding a horse! You think that controlling a 250 pound machine is hard? Try a 1,500 pound animal with a mind of its own. Nonriders tend to think that a horse is a something that already knows exactly what to do and does it perfectly every time... Well guess what? It doesn't! A horse must be controlled and pushed to do something, even then It can decide not to! I have been thrown, kicked, stepped on, and bitten, I've fallen off dozens of times and your probably thinking that I'm not a good rider because of it but in the competition to see who could jump the highest jump a horse came to a halt in front of a jump and the rider (an Olympic rider) fell off! So that goes to show that it doesn't matter if your good! You WILL fall off, because that horse will refuse a jump, it will spook, it will buck and rear and there is no stopping it. 100 people a year die from horse riding accidents. So yea in horse riding we do risk our lives and I've thought again after reading your paragraph
Motocross is definitely the most demanding sport in the world. If anyone has ever raced you know the strain it puts on your body. Once that arm pump kicks in every muscle in your arm feels like its on fire, and every joint in your hand feels like its being stabbed with a red hot needle. Not to mention the pain after you fall 20 feet in the air on to hard pack, there is a reason we were a couple thousand dollars worth of safety gear, it sure as hell ain't just cause we feel like it
By FAR the hardest sport and Hobby in the World. Any one can ride fast in a straight line. Please try Riding a track as hard and fast as you possibly can for many laps, you will change your mind! It's incredible hard!
Hitting them whoops, the corners, the Rough Rutted ground, getting hit with mud and stones by the rider in front (hurts), and the pure adrenaline of hitting a jump at speed, in the back of your head knowing you could come of any time and really f your self up is awesome. A lot more to say, but you would understand if you "attempted it ;)"
Anyone who thinks HORSEBACK riding is harder than MX, is a complete girl who hasn't raced before. It is the most physical demanding sport in the world, by far. It's NOT even close to being as easy as twisting the throttle. In fact, none of those 5 above sports is close to being as hard as MX. Tell your horse to jump an SX triple, swim through muddy ruts, and do a quad backflip over a kicker. Try figure skating through ruts, Try throwing a ball over a 100ft tabletop.
All I'm going to say is at least your dirt bike can't choose to buck you off.
I've raced 14 years I'm 17 now and I have to say its so physically and mentally demanding and how this isn't ranked the hardest sport is beyond me also me being a girl makes it that much harder because you have to work twice as hard to get your strength and stamina up and anyone that says all you do is sit down and twist a throttle I dare you to try the sport and you will see how hard it really is
Riding a dirt bike isn't just sitting on a motor twisting your wrist there takes a lot to do this sport. I've road dirt bikes my hole life and I know for a fact this sport is a very endurance tasking sport you have to race rain or shine, sore or broken, you brake way more bones then you should it takes guts strength and intense focus which I'm not saying you don't use this in a lot of other sports cause you do but it takes more then you think in motocross and if you have ever done motocross then you can truly know what I mean when I say this. This is definitely the perfect rating for this sport to be in.
Exclude the crashes, well you got 30 mins of pure mentally and physically demanding sport. Imagine you are riding really fast and you have to choose which line to take and keep momentum to clear all the jumps. With the rough track, your forearm will be hard as hell, your shoulder will be painful, your biceps feel like its going to torn. Plus the weight of the boots, you need put out your feet in and out when turning. Squatting all the way, you don't really sit in motocross. Balance the bike. Damn~
Of the sports I have participated in on this list I feel motocross is more demanding than:

Swimming... Is always in a completely controlled environment; the course cannot change during your race. You are not being pelted with gravel/rocks/mud coming off the competitor in front of you's wake.

Wrestling... You can get pinned so the period of maximum exertion has the possibility of lasting a very short period of time. If you are racing a 20 lap moto, unless you are really slow, you will ride 20 laps (about 20 minutes at the now closed Los Angeles County Raceway "LACR".

Horseback riding: The "Horse" in motocross can go quite a bit faster and jump WAAAY higher and farther than ANY equine. The duration of the event in motocross is also significantly longer.

Cross-country running: Very high up there in the endurance category but speeds during the race are much slower making it at least generally safe for the competitors as no special safety equipment is reuired I.E. helmet, calf high boots, knee pads/brace, gloves and long sleeves at ABSOLUTE minimum.
And the "horse" in motocross doesn't have its own mind, so it can't choose to buck you off. Yea riding a 1,500 pound animal with its own mind is way easier than riding a 200 pound machine.
don't you just love it when someone tells you motocross is nothing but just sitting on a bike and twisting the throttle? I've played all sports through school and raced for 8 years. there is a reason I only raced 8 years, too many injuries and the last one was a torn acl, mcl, and pcl... motocross is THE MOST PHYSICALLY DEMANDING SPORT in the world hands down
I think this should be number 1! Motocross is nothing but cardio and takes lots of muscle! You don't just sit on a machine and ride it, its control, and if you don't control it, it could mean serious injury or possible death. You use Almost every muscle in your body when it comes to motocross. And you use it to its fullest. At least I do anyways.
I feel that motocross is the hardest sport because it is so demanding and you push you're self to the limit because I have had rid a bike since I was 4 and I am nearly 11 I go cycling 2 times a week and swimming once a week and I practice once a week and some kids say all you have to do is sit down and twist the throttle and he dose cross country and that is the tenth hardest sport and you have to be switched on to think the quickest rut and the quickest way around the track.
Can the spelling please be corrected to "motocross"?!

Thorough, independent scientific testing used to put MX/SX as the 2nd toughest but more recent testing has proven modern motocross to be #1 by a large margin.

No other sport requires so much physical and mental stamina, strength, balance, coordination, and perceptual processing ability.

MX might trail sports higher on this list in opinion-based public voting but it is clearly #1 for knowledgeable people and experts!
I get so much crap at school when I come in waddling around because I can barely walk. One day I sick of everybody teasing me, and I told them I read somewhere that motocross (I ride off road/ endurocross, but same thing maybe harder) was the most physically active sport. I got the whole class fired up about how much BS that was, so I'm trying to prove them wrong! I think it should be 1 on the list!
I do not race but my brother races quads! It is by far the most demanding sport out there. Nobody gets it though! So many people say you just sit on the bike move your arms and your thumb! NO you do not
Just do that! Also many people get hurt, almost die, and some even die, I knew a guy that almost died fr racing quads nationally! Also some people say they race, but I can guarantee they do not ride on national tracks! I bet they don't go all over the United States! Some do though and to those people I have to hand it to them because they have guts! I mean to jump like 100 feet in the air is crazy! Everyone always under estimates this SPORT!
think of it this way: control a 700 pound bike WITH YOUR LEGS and arms. People say mx is just turning the wheel. THAT. IS. BULL. you have to keep your shoulders straight, and keep your balance the whole time so you don't tip your bike over. at the end of the day, I could fill 2 gallons with the sweat that comes off me
I started racing at 4 and am 15 now. People don't know how physically demanding the sport is! You use EVERY muscle in your body, and you have to train year round to be good, and not be too winded, because you'll always be winded. I'v broken a couple of bones, but always seem to land in my head. I kid you not, about 10 concussions. I play a lot of the sports that beat this one just to train for motocross! So when horseback riders start racing mx for training, then I might be satisfied.


I have raced my entire life. It can prepare you for anything you come up against such as mental blocks, physical capabilities, and self esteem. You go out and run the race as hard as you can for 20 minutes instead of taking breaks between plays or matches you are out there for the entire race no breaks in the middle.