Best Endurance Sports

The Top Ten
1 Boxing Boxing is a martial art and combat sport in which two people wearing protective gloves throw punches at each other for a predetermined set of time in a boxing ring..

As a boxer myself it should be number one. It's a mental and physical sport. People who say it's not an endurance sport has never been in the ring or seen a match. Three minutes per round can feel like hours. It should be number one

Boxing has to be one of the hardest sports out there. Not only mentally but physically, You're playing chess and you are the piece. Dancing, punching, pushing, and even worse, you can't kick.

This is not an endurance sport! I don't know why it's top 3. I know it's hard, but it should be on the top of top 10 muscular strength sports... Not endurance! It's only 3 minutes... Not 3 hours!

Other sports like lacrosse, hockey, they are short shifts, in boxing you go for 3 minutes for a lot of rounds. You're using your arms a lot too which takes you out.

2 Marathon

Hands down, this should be number one. I have completed a 5K race and I was in the 5th spot. You cannot imagine how much effort and endurance it takes to achieve a position in the top 5 spots in a marathon.

Marathon should be the sport with the most endurance.
Soccer (football) players stop for about 10 secs for a 'break' every time they sprint...

No matter how strong muscles you micht have. Also is a mentale challenge every second and you can even be dehydrated before half way

How is football number 2? You get a break every 8 seconds.

3 Triathlon

I would say Ironman triathlon is definitely the most endurance sport and probably the reason just 0.001% of the population has completed it. It is continuous strength from beginning to end and can take 17 hours to complete. What other sport are you continuously doing for 17 hours straight with no breaks.

People say swimming takes a lot of training but try adding running and cycling training to that. If you want to compete at a high level you have to be 100% dedicated as many of the top athletes could do well in any of the three disciplines in the olympics!

The shift from sport to another is really very aggressive. You need to change your mindset, change your used muscles set, change your outfit, change your gear, nutrition, watering, recovery...
Imagine doing this in one round, in one day consicitive

How does running a marathon require more endurance than competing in a triathlon when there is running a marathon, plus swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112 miles in an Ironman?

4 Track&Field
5 Swimming Swimming is an individual or team sport and activity. Competitive swimming is one of the most popular Olympic sports, with events in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly.

As a HS and Club swimmer, I can say from experience, swimming is one of the most intense sports in the world. People think, oh, I can swim 50 yards. Ok, cool, try swimming that in 25 seconds. People say swimming is the easiest sport, but in reality running a marathon compared to swimming, there is no difference except in swimming you are using literally every muscle in your body. It all is how you view a sport. When you do a race for running, you drop a .5 second every time if you are doing good. In swimming, you drop .05 seconds, it is the best day ever, but that is also 6 months after you last swam it. Living in a colder place means no early morning practice, but from what my dad has told me, it is not fun to do. In a 5 day period, we do near 10 miles of swimming, which may not seem like a lot, but that is a lot. Swimming is also a pure endurance sport, and that tears up people, our fly set is finally starting to get to me, it is only 600 yards of fly, but you do that 5 days a week, ...more

Track and field above swimming... Really? That's just annoying.
Swimmers train the longest and train at high intensity. The reason these sports are higher than swimming is because unless you are a swimmer you don't know what it takes.

Soccer players you are delusional it is not demanding, you have an off season, you barely train and the training isn't hard. I did soccer and swimming up until I was 12 because by 12 if I wanted to keep up I had to do what the rest of the swimmers were doing at that age and swim 9 sessions a week 2-2and half hours a session and that has just increased since, we train 51 out of 52 weeks of the year everyday morning and night for hours at high intensity and do gym and other training with no rest. You miss a session you get kicked out of the squad, you turn up late you get punished.

Endurance wise no other sports train more.

Most people are afraid of eating too much, we swimmers are afraid of not eating enough. I burn 2 days of the food I ate in only a sixth of my practice. We burn the most calories of all sports. We are glad that the pools we swim in are cold because after a while, your entire body is pretty much giving off steam. The young kids who decide to quit because swim is too hard, they still have no idea. They swam 25's. We swim 500's and more at a time. When people think of swimming, they think of diving to the bottom and coming back up. NO. It is nothing like that. Try to imagine this: You are running an 800. You are holding you breath and can only breath once every 100. You are kicking a 3 pound weight ball as you run. That is equal to a 200 freestyle.

I had a stupid arguement. The person who I was arguing with thought soccer was a more demanding sport than swimming. This person is wrong. You get yelled at for breathing. You have pull water and that is a lot harder than running through air. People are completely wrong when they say swimming is easy and they did it competitively. Well, you did it completely wrong! I tell people to go swim a 100 fly as fast as you can and than tell me what you think. We do more than that, but see what you think after barely a workout for swimmers. A lot of kids try competitive, but they give up young saying it's too hard.

6 Soccer Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players each. It is played with a spherical ball. The objective is to score the ball in the other teams goal.

As for team sports go Football/soccer requiring the most endurance. 90 minutes of nonstop running and with only a 15 minute break. Basketball has significantly smaller courts and 48 minutes long in total. Football/Handegg is only 60 minutes in total but if you tally up the time when the ball is actually in play, the action amounts to a mere 11 minutes. Baseball although still requires skill (like all the sports mentioned before) but is vastly less physically demanding then the rest. A lot of standing waiting for the ball to be hit and running a short distance for bases. This was my breakdown of why Football/Soccer is more demanding the the most popular sports played in the States.

In soccer you get a lot of exercise done:
Endurance=players can run 13km in a game
Strength=when you have the ball you need to train to hold your opponents off
Flexibility=when you play soccer you need to bend, twist, stretch, jump and more.

Plus soccer players do a lot for there sport like me for example, I get hurt a lot while playing soccer and even though I am young (11) and a girl I get up in other sports people just give up.

THIS IS NOT AN ENDURANCE SPORT, 90 minutes is nothing. Cyclists, marathon runners, some swimmers even. They're going at it for hours continually while here some overpaid guys pull 20 short sprints each and jog about for 60 minutes or so, it takes no energy at all compared to other sports. Putting football or soccer on here is just disrespectful to sports that actually need endurance.

Football (soccer) isn't an endurance sport when you compare it to the likes of pro road cycling (read comment in cycling) every top level footballer is using performance enhancing drugs... As they simply aren't fit enough to play as they do and there is so much money involved... It's. Corrupt sport sorry.

7 Cycling

Hands down, long distance cycling is the hardest endurance sport ever it is also said by census of ESPN...

The amount of physical strength it needs is huge but the mental strength it needs is just gruelling...

Completing thousands of kilometres on a cycle seems impossible

That's why cycling should be number 1

With the standard professional cyclists training for a minimum of 30 hours a week and having cardio vascular systems that are more efficient than any other sport due to their heart rates being high sometimes in the 170bpm for 6+ hours at a time it makes cycling and specifically professional road cycling THE most physically enduring sport there is. When you add in a Tour de France where they will compete on not only a difficult but long course but at incredible speeds 25mph for 2200 miles in 23 days the riders can drop to body fat percentages of lower than 4% and then there's the danger of crashing at speeds of up to 60 mph with little more than a small helmet (only stops your skull from fracturing), it makes it the hardest sport st the top level.

Dood there is no competition for cycling.
And really? Soccer?
You can stand in soccer the best thing you can do in cycling is stop pedaling.
For hours at a time you are either sitting on your gouch or out of the sattle pulling many watts.
If you are a competitive cyclist you could be riding up to 24 hrs a week or 772 km (480) a week and if your not riding then you ate recovering eating and stretching.
I'd like to see a soccer player ride 100 km (60m) averaging at least 30 km per hr (18 mph).
And I would love to take up a challengers kick a ball and run around a field.

Cycling IS the 2nd endurance sport, I mean soccer (football) you stand for most of it and its boring. In the cycling the PROs ride for sometimes over 6 hrs none stop sprinting, it's VERY HARD and definitely is one of the hardest sports!

8 Water Polo

On top of the fact that swimming is hard enough from lap to lap, you have to continue pass and shot on the move. Water Polo is one of the most enduring sports in which you are constantly on the move. While eggbeating you are swimming lap to lap and passing without any breaks! Can you imagine doing all of that with no stop? To make matters worse water polo is a very rough sport and involves a lot of contact including punching, kicking, and drowning.

I love water polo. the average player swims 2-5km per game, believe it or not. It is a cross between swimming, rugby, soccer, and wrestling, in water. The game is only 30 - 45 minutes, but it is tough. It is important to hydrate whilst playing as you sweat a lot without realizing it.

Believe it or not,studies have proved that SYMCHRONISED swimming is just as hard as water polo, but requires your strength in different ways. A water polo player needs violence (sort of) but a synchronised swimmer needs to use all their strength and look like it's easy and graceful meanwhile.

If you thought swimming was hard you have not played water polo. it is all of the intensity of swimming plus constant treading with throwing, catching, and shooting mixed in as well. and not to mention the person next to you in the water that will swim over you and be trying to use you to help them float easier.

9 Tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent or between two teams of two players each.

The longest Tennis match lasted 11 hours in 2010 at Wimbledon. With little break, tennis is an extreme feat of endurance.

You can be on that court for 2-3 hours, with barely any break. That pretty tough.

10 Football American football is a sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end.

They always are standing around for 90% of the game.

The Contenders
11 Rowing

This is incredibly underrated. Really I mean soccer, for endurance? And.. volleyball I mean come on guys. I have played almost every sport out there; soccer, LAX, I am also a long distance runner (this belongs on this list), and I can promise you this belongs in the top three. Have you ever anticipated something (like a 2k) with such fear that you wished that you would break a leg that day, only so that you didn't have to do it. Or you wished that you would pass out in a piece so that the pain would stop. Tell me oh soccer players, when is the last time that about 1/2 your team mates were crying in anticipation of a test. When is the last time you looked at a TEAM MATE and thought "I will do ANYTHING to get her spot." This being said I recognize that soccer IS hard, just not in the same mental endurance way that crew is. If there was a what sports require that most coordination, then soccer would win.

Most importantly though crew is addicting. The mental endurance it has given ...more

Nope... Have any of you ever felt like throwing up and kept pushing yourself until you did... Never stopping... And continuing on afterward... Rowing is pure hell of a sport but its addicting so there's no quitting. 5Ks are the worst... In the blistering heat... Your whole body aches... You feel like quitting but you have to much pride to let the rest of your boat down and your team... So you continue on and push yourself harder

I personally have rowed until my hands bled from blisters, thrown up while on a rowing machine (erg), but although it sounds all bad... I wouldn't trade it for the world... Because rowers have the BEST teammates!

Like being on the verge of passing out but your body refuses to so you have to suffer the pain. Breaks your body in the short term but there is nothing better than this for endurance and cardio.

Rowing a 2k has been scientifically proven to be as hard as playing to back to back basketball games.

12 Basketball Basketball is a sport played by two teams of five players on a rectangular court. The objective is to shoot a ball through a hoop 18 inches in diameter and 10 feet high mounted to a backboard at each end.

I did it, and I did football and others too, basketball and swimming is rly hard!

Every played basket ball it hard work and its tiring

The best sport to ever be invented

you need to run 48 minutes against the greatest atheletes who got 40 inch vertical leap and are 6 foot 7 on average

13 Motocross

Only moto riders would rate this at number 1. You are going 100% nonstop for 30 mins. People might say that all you are doing is holding on to a bike with a motor, and that's wrong. I've been dirtbiking for 6 years now and now I can jump 10 feet, and even with all that hard training for 6 years, I can't even ride 100% for 15 mins. Also every time I have a friend ride my little 110 kawi pitbike, they get tired after 5 mins of slow riding. Motocross should be at #1 and every single moto riders out there would agree with me. Also I do track and field, best in my 6th grade, and Motocross is 10 times harder that track and field, even when every body calls me a try hard because I try so hard, but Motocross is still 10 times harder and you need so much endurance for it's so I think this should be at the #1 spot.

Try holding onto something that just wants to kill you for 30+ mins while everyone around you is trying to do the same. Not to mention the crazy terrain you're travelling over at break neck speeds!
This sport is extremely difficult and not everyone can do it like soccer, NFL or swimming!

I play hockey and do motocross and motocross is way harder and you need to be more fit

Should be #1. You are moving your body every second controlling that bike. If you are joy riding no. But if you're a professional it's the toughest endurance race. 30+ minutes without a break. Can't slow down either cause you will get passed by someone who has better endurance. They are literally going 100% for 30+ minutes. Go watch a professional motocross race and see what I mean.

14 Hockey

Field hockey is the most revolutionary sport in terms of speed and intensity. Rules are changed frequently just to speed the game up! Professional teams require around 22 on a yoyo test. Much higher than most other sports.

15 Cross Country Skiing

Arguably the most hardcore sport one can subject themselves to... 15th is a large understatement... almost as large as THESE GUNS yeet skiing is the epitome of endurance, feel free to fight me on it because I'll probably win

Cross country skiing has been proven a number of times to be the most cardio demanding sport their is.. Absolutely no unfit athletes, rock hard abs and training every day of the week not to mention racing at -20, sometimes for as long as 50km and the best in the world can do this in 1hr:30 and yes, that's 50km!

50km races in 1hr:40min at -20 and no bench breaks!... This is extremely demanding phisically and mentally I don't see why boxing is before cross country skiing!

Non stop upper and lower body motion over snow

16 Wrestling Wrestling is a combat sport involving grappling type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds.

I run cross country, I've played football, I've tried soccer, but nothing compares to the difficulty of wrestling. Wrestling doesn't receive a lot of credit, but it sure requires more than every other sport I've tried. Imagine working full force in practice, then going home to constantly monitor your eating habits just to make weight. I've never seen that out of any other sport in high school

Go and ask one of your buddies to wrestle for two minutes. Then see how winded you are afterward. Then, imagine doing that against someone who's better than you and won't quit til the whistle blows. Toughest sport I've ever done.

It is the overall most difficult contact sport because of all of the skill and strength you have to have. And even though a match is only 4 minutes and 30 seconds long it's still the longest time of your life.

Wrestling should be right there next to boxing...in a ring 3 minute periods and having to battle for your life you need a lot of endurance

17 Lacrosse Lacrosse is a contact team sport played between two teams using a small rubber ball and a long-handled stick called a crosse or lacrosse stick.

You run up to 5 miles as a midfielder, and yes there are breaks but you are always running as a middie on the field.

In you run so much more than most sports mainly in midfield and they also have to check shoot and hit people at the same time. My coach told me that if he ever sees any of us walking on midfield we’ll be taken out and won’t want to play us again so it’s like we have to run or we don’t play.

18 Cross Country Running

You think it's easy, til you try it. I went in already fit from years of soccer, swim, volleyball, and other sports, but none had prepared me for this. Training starts in May and continues thought the entire summer, even though the season officially begins in September. Practice is everyday for at least 2 hours, and regardless of hot/cold/rainy/ or muddy it is, meets and practices are never canceled. Truly one of the most physically and mentally demanding sports.

Case A: our sport is your sports punishment
Case B: it's all about endurance
Case C: run 70+ miles per week without an off season and come back and complain about your sport is harder. These are quality miles, not just a 15 minute jogging pace. I think that marathoners do deserve number 1, but this should be second. We do all the ab and arm conditioning as other sports, in addition to one or two running workouts a week.

This sport is by far more physically and mentally demanding than most sports above it. I am sure that if told anyone not running cross country to go run the 3-5 mi they would refuse and if they did try they would not make it the whole way without walking. Also xc is one of the most mentally demanding sports there is.

I do agree that this is hard but I mean 2 WORKOUTS A WEEK! Train harder if you want to succeed... no harsh feelings

19 Badminton Badminton is a racquet sport played using racquets to hit a shuttlecock across a net. Although it may be played with larger teams, the most common forms of the game are "singles" and "doubles".
20 Rugby

Rugby 7s requires you to run non-stop for 7 minutes, water break and then another 7 minutes. Within this period you often need to tackle other players going their fastest (takes a lot out of you) or you need to be sprinting, and throwing the ball. This sport works everything! definitely should be #1

Rugby is #22?! I'd like to think it's one of the manliest, grittiest sports out there.

It should be above soccer.

21 Volleyball Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.
22 AFL

AFL is a clear #2 behind Marathon, perhaps because people don't know about the sport...

An average AFL player runs ~15km (9.5 miles) per 2 and a half hour game, along with incororating the physical hardness of tackling, bumping and well...fighting, AFL is EASILY the #2, if not #1...

23 Squash

Lots of stop and starting/twisting motions

24 Mixed Martial Arts Mixed martial arts is a full-contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, from a variety of other combat sports and martial arts.
25 Endurance Motorsport

Le-mans goes for 24 hours (up to 10 hour per driver)

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