I think rowing should be higher. I think it IS easier than gymnastics, and a few other things, but that's about it. First of all, rowing is harder than cross country. We row long pieces, we go on runs for training, we don't get halftimes or subs. We push through pain, we can't stop in a race, or in a piece. One lazy stroke can cost you a race. And we have to be strong. Cross country runners don't have to be, or at least not on the same level as rowers. And you don't ahve to run in perfect synchronization with seven other people. It's just a harder sport.

Also, ice hockey. So rowing doesn't require the handling skills that hockey does. But the technique is still difficult and one slip up can cost you a race. You play for 45 seconds at a time, we get tired in 45 seconds, but we have to keep to rowing at the same pace for another 7 minutes. Also, just cause it's dangerous, doesn't make it harder. It just makes it more dangerous.

I think that because rowing doesn't require ...more

Definitely should be farther up on the list. If you've rowed a 2k before you'll know that it is basically living death.

This sport is below sports like golf and baseball. This is laughable.

Crew is pain. Wakeup at 4:45 daily, morning practice. Winter training is erging (rowing machine) till you finish the workout given by coach. You can't breathe, swallow, feel your legs, see, hear, smell, taste. The only sense in the end is pain. Tunnel vision sets in until you finish the given workout.

While I have not played any particularly grueling sports before collegiate rowing (varsity tennis does not count), many of my friends on the team have. They all agree that rowing is as hard or harder than any sport they've ever done. Oh and did I mention, I pay around 700 dollars per year for this, on top of an engineering major? If it's not the pain, the 4:45 am wakeups (try for 8 months straight and tell me how you feel) or the money that get to you, it's the shear time constraint on your life. I spend 5 hours per day devoted to crew activities. Weights, erging, rowing, stretching. It may be less time ...more

Rowing is easily the hardest physical, mental, technical and mind-numbingly painful sport there is. During a 2000 meter race, most rowers enter a state where they literally cannot remember what happened. Personally, after big races, I pull as hard as I can until the coxswain tells me I'm done. Now, from an outside perspective, this sounds difficult, but it is so much more than that. Most people don't know the amount of pain you endure in the last 1250 meters of a race. Your aerobic system is completely redlined, your muscles are screaming in pain, your head hurts, everything is dark, it's hard to hear, you cannot focus on any outside thoughts, and still you must go harder. If you think that rowing isn't difficult, I challenge you to go hop on an erg (rowing machine for all you non-rowers), and pull a 2000 meter race as fast as you can the whole time. No breaks, no off strokes, not one moment where you let go. That's what makes rowing so difficult. You're in it for the whole race no ...more

Let me tell you a thing about rowing.

The rest of these sports are challenging. But let's examine a sport where if your legs aren't shaking and you don't gag after sprinting 2000 cold meters backwards on your butt, then you get extra reps from your coach because you didn't race hard enough.

Let's begin with how rowing is a water sport. This means that in various places, like anywhere that gets below 40 degrees, you have winter training. Rowing uses all of the major muscle groups, so you have to have to train everything, on this little thing us rowers call an "erg".

Erg, I am pretty sure, is Latin or something for hell. I won't even bother trying to convince you that it makes this the hardest sport alone, before you even touch a boat. I want you to get on one of these machines after watching some of the videos about proper form (you won't have it, it takes years and years and years of practice), and then set this thing to 5000 meters and keep the big number in the ...more

Either school or crew, pick your poison. Crew has practices year round. All days of the week. Even the mornings before school. It's too cold outside to run? Get on the Ergometer. It's raining and you're freezing? Put on a jacket and launch your boat. Your hands hurt? 2k test. Your legs are cramping and you're on the edge of blacking out? Keep taking water and keep rowing. If you stop, you lose the race. No lie. Crew is a lifestyle. Unlike other conventional sports where people play for fun and pleasure, an athlete must absolutely love crew in order to keep on working. Without the slightest but out doubt, an athlete can bring down his team and in turn, lose the race. It's much different than shooting a ball in a basket, or hitting a ball with a racket. It's so much different, and so much more. There's more to this sport than meets the eye. This sport is a way of life. So stop complaining about face masks, flat balls, or rained out fields. Put down those protective pads, that bat and ...more

Rowing is hell on Earth. The strain you put your body through for six to eight measly minutes is incomparable to any other sport. The physical exertion it takes to perform in a race is enough to make many people throw up or pass out at the end. Not to mention, the fact that you can't slack off on technique no matter what. A crab could cost your boat the race, and nobody wants to be responsible for letting their teammates down. I'm a coxswain, so I haven't competed like my teammates have, but I've seen firsthand how the pain builds in their faces as they push through stroke after stroke. I've had a teammate tell me that she couldn't do anymore, but I had to push her past that to win the race. For lightweights, it's often even worse. My older sister is a lightweight, and at one regatta, she and her boat couldn't eat and could barely drink any water up until less than two hours before their race because they had to weigh in. The negatives of this sport seem to outnumber any positives, ...more

I definitely think rowing should be higher. The technique is so difficult to learn, it can take years to master and tiny incorrect movements can make huge differences to the speed of the boat. It's really not as easy as it looks, and is ten times more complicated in a real boat on water than on a rowing machine on land.

Endurance wise, it's a killer. Every single large muscle group in your body is being worked. Your legs, your arms, your shoulders, your abs. Everything. Imagine squat jumping over a 2k course, because every rowing stroke is a squat. And that's just your legs that would burn. You must have amazing stamina. Olympic events only require you to row 2k but in training Olympic rowers row 24k pieces and longer.

It looks simple but it's very technical and in my opinion requires a lot more stamina and strength than many of the sports mentioned here. Every muscle has to be strong and you have to be so fit it's ridiculous. It's not dangerous like motor cross, or ice ...more

Rowing has to be one the if the most gruelling if sports, it work yore while body and requires a lot of core strength, after a race if you are bit in the verge if a blackout out you did not row hard enough and make you row longer an harder, you need to b in sync with the rest of your crew if not you will not row fast enough and will slow down the boat, this sport should definitely be higher up as you don't just row you have the training outside running for miles in cold wet weather and you cannot complain why would you you choose do this sport because you love it, gym sessions, early wake ups I could go on, rowing is very demanding blisters in your fingers and hands legs about to buckle underneath you after finishing arms aching mouth dry blacking out you go through this pain because you want to row. Rowing should be higher up as it has to be one the hardest sports to do along with the pain and skill and timing with the rest if your crew it requires so much strength and skill and ...more

Honestly, rowing is absolutely the hardest sport in the world. It is a proven fact that rowing a 2k is just as mentally and physically demanding as playing TWO intense basketball games: back to back. That means that a rower is doing 96 minutes worth of work in intense basketball - in less than 7 minutes. It is extremely common for rowers to pass out after a race, or even throw up during a race, but it is unheard of that a rower would ever stop rowing. Ever. When you join a crew, you decide to put everything you have into the boat, and you don't dare quit because you've got your team right there beside you, every stroke of the way. Gymnasts say the bars tear up their hands? The skin on my hands is so thick from constantly tearing them open over and over and over again that I can hardly feel them. On average, I get 2-3 infections a year on my hands and I've never missed a day because of it. Rowing isn't some silly sport where I get to do flips and roll around of the floor, it takes ...more

Rowing is the only sport that originated as capital punishment. No one starts as a natural and the only way to succeed is through hard work, grit and determination. "Marathon runners talk about hitting 'the wall' at the twenty-third mile of the race. What rowers confront isn't a wall; it's a hole - an abyss of pain, which opens up in the second minute of the race. Large needles are being driven into your thigh muscles, while your forearms seem to be splitting. Then the pain becomes confused and disorganized, not like the windedness of the runner or the leg burn of the biker but an all-over, savage unpleasantness. As you pass the five-hundred-meter mark, with three-quarters of the race still to row, you realize with dread that you are not going to make it to the finish, but at the same time the idea of letting your teammates down by not rowing your hardest is unthinkable... Therefore, you are going to die. Welcome to this life. " -- Ashleigh Teitel

I am a rower I'm 13 years old and I started at 12 and I definitely agree with this, EVERY DAY I train my but off for 3-4 hours and I feel I get no-where. All of my friends say it looks easy so I told them to come down and try- they did- they're not coming back anytime soon. Everyday I'm on the ergo struggling for breath deprived of oxygen with aching thighs and a burn in my throat (don't get me started on the 2k tests) and every minute is hell. In the boat there is also the issue of stinging blisters! Say goodbye to your dreams of being a hand model because if you do rowing that's not going to happen any time soon, but from what I've learnt so far from my time in the boat is that nothing measures up to how your butt feels while you're in it! I think I row because it is something that I am passionate about, in pain or not, I know that if I train hard one day I will be hard to beat and that hard work really does pay of in the long run. People say I talk about it to much but honestly who ...more

Rowing is so much harder than 13TH! Really this sport should be way further up on this list. And really! I agree with the other people here cheerleading and sports like that have NOTHING on rowing. Try the early mornings, the EXTREMELY HARD trainings where you want to vomit because you can barely see anything anymore it is tilting so much- you are that dizzy and out of breathe AND EVERY muscle in your body KILLS. This is not an easy sport and it has a lot of technique, hard work and between the cost, early mornings, and amount of trainings it should be so much further up on the list. Plus like what the others have said trying to keep in time perfectly with the other people and making sure you don't let them down, so racing your hardest no matter how much you wish you could stop or you could take a break! You have to keep going meaning it is a lot more demanding then anything ESPECIALLY cheerleading.

Seriously, this sport belongs above any of the conventional sports, except maybe wrestling. Take an highly capable athlete from any other sport: swimming, football, lacrosse, and they will most likely find it to be beyond anything they've tried before. Quite honestly, it is torture, and your success is based on how well you can endure it.

Personally I think rowing should be a lot higher up the list. Most people think that rowing is just sitting in a boat and pulling an oar, and they think that it does not take much skill, only physical strength, but they're wrong. It takes a vast amount of coordination with your fellow oarsmen and with your oar, because the technique to rowing I would say is a lot more complicated than soccer or football. And then obviously there is the painful side. No other sport, and I mean NO OTHER racing sport would even begin with sprint at the start- it would seem ludicrous! But in rowing, everyone you see is racing to start and you have to stay with them. And there's the fact you can't see where your going, you put all your faith in a scrawny cox and sometimes even no cox (boat steerer). It is top 3 physically demanding, and usually people out it down for he lack of technique needed, but actually there is a lot more to it than you think-try getting in a single scull and going for a paddle, I ...more

There is nothing harder than rowing because since it is a sport that works all of your body, you have the ability to put out all the energy you have available and that is what I train for 5 hours a day 6 days a week, and I am just a high school rower. Also, in motocross, breaking legs, undergoing surgery, and "surviving concussions" doesn't make you brave nor a good athlete, it only means that you have broken your leg, undergone surgery, and had concussions. The thing about rowing is that when you want to give up, you can't and you can't even think about thinking about wanting to give up because if you do then you wont have the ability to be focused on making each part of the stroke perfect. Trust me I have done almost every sport on this list, and as soon as I rowed for the first time I was amazed at how difficult and addictive it was.

Rowing is quite unlike any other sport and many people don't realize how hard it is the dedication involve. A lot of people think you only use your arms which is actually the wrong way to row its all in the legs which requires extreme conditioning and even if you wanna give up you know you can't because there are actual people in your boat depending on you and if you give up you could put the entire boat in jeopardy you have to stay in time you have to pull hard you have to master the sport which it takes most people years the endurance you need to build is ridiculous you truly are using every muscle in your body when rowing although its mainly in the legs you have to use all your muscles and you will never run out of breath faster than in this sport at the end of a race you wanna just die and your lucky if your coxswain says let it run after a race.

Will someone please just I mean horse riding really? How. I DO ride horses. and I did gymnastics for three years and I can guarantee to you that rowing is SIGNIFICANTLY harder then both of these. I have broken my arm badly while I was skiing, and let me tell you there are some moments in my 2k where I would rather break my arm again then have to finish it (these are called "delusional rowing thoughts"). We don't get a break, not during a race and not ever. If you are in pain, to bad if you stop and complain everyone will hate you, good luck ever getting your seat again. We have to off season, sometimes we spend ENTIRE days practicing, and this is only at the high school level. Every single day I get evaluated by my coach. They are constantly watching to see who gets to be in the V8. What makes rowing so hard is the mental endurance it takes to get through this both physical (we throw up and my calf's bleed (calf bites) like every time I get in a boat) and mental (I have honestly ...more

Rowing is definitely harder than Cross Country or Figure Skating, endurance sports. With any race sport like those, you can go at your own pace if you are getting close to your breaking limit, but in a rowing eight, you cannot stop if you are in pain or else the whole crew goes down. So you have to keep going.

And Horseback Riding and Motocross, while causing a lot of pain, does not build much muscle. It doesn't mean a sport is particularly difficult if you're scared of being thrown and breaking something, it means you can take a high amount of pain.

Any athletes of these other sports should try a 2k test, then say that their sport is hardest. And a girl definitely made this list. Competition Cheerleading? Please.

Honestly, I agree that Gymnastics is the hardest, but a lot of these are not as hard as rowing. I have done swimming EXTREMELY competitively, and am at that same level now at rowing. Honestly, rowing is harder. Rowing uses more muscles that swimming, and you have to not only pull your full effort for every stroke for about 7 minutes, you have to have your technique on point (on the water) or you might just cost everyone the race, and it is also mentally demanding. No other sport truly encompasses the amount of pain you are in even right after you start, but you continue, and you finish the race. Lastly, it is LONG. Yes, I think swimmers are the closest to this, but most other sports people are not going full tilt for a straight ten minutes or so, you can swap out, or take breaks, in rowing, as soon as it starts, you have to make every single second count.

As a former competitive gymnast and cyclist and current rower, I can say that rowing is incredibly physically demanding. While to me, gymnastics will always be more difficult, rowing still drains an incredible amount of strength and energy. I started rowing with a background of working out for eight hours a day or for five hours straight and yet after just 10 minutes on the erg or less, my entire body is unable to move. Rowing, uses so much mental power and toughness to keep going and finish a piece/race despite the fact that you stopped breathing a few minutes ago and your legs, arms and back are on fire. Rowing uses so many muscles and cardiovascular strength and I believe it is greatly under-appreciated as a tough sport.

This is below golf?
Rowing is so much harder than all the sports above it. The pain you get from rowing is greater than any other sport. I swam before I rowed and although it is painful getting off a rowing machine makes you dizzy if you rowed right. Also rowing isn't like baseball or football where if you mess up its all good there is still 2 hours left of the game. No rowers train their whole careers for 6 minute races. If you don't pull with every single muscle in your body then your training was a waste. There are no fouls or redos. What happens happens.
Waking up before the sun every morning is hard by itself. Not only do you have to be strong, you have to be lean too. Every single muscle has to be worked and you have to have amazing cardio and timing. Even hand eye coordination to follow the person in front of you.

For this to be 12 on this list is a complete joke. Nobody really knows how hard this sport is until you try it. Early wake ups only to go put your body through hell for a couple hours before school then school and after a long day of learning you wanna go home and relax right? Well you can't cause then back to crew practice for a couple more hours. There were days where I didn't get home until 8 or 9. And if your a lightweight in this sport don't even get me started. Monitor your eating 24/7. If your not under weight on race day you put on every layer of clothing the team has and you run and run and run until you get under the limit. Then after no eating and running until you're almost passed out you have a race to row sweetheart sometimes even more than that. And in the winter it gets even worse. Erg workouts every day. 10ks 2ks 6ks sometimes all in one day. And people look at us and say it's easy and that anybody can do this. I've seen this sport tear the bulkiest people apart. I've ...more

Rowing should definitely be higher on this list. Of course its not the hardest sport on this list. I've been in several sports throughout my life (including swimming and water polo) and this sport by far is the most difficult sport I've ever been in. My training in swimming and water polo built my endurance and upper body strength for rowing, but that's not all that's required... You have to use your whole body in this sport and you are forced to build technique at all times. The thing that's annoying about crew is that you get very bad hand blisters and you bleed a lot in this sport. You may even throw up pass out during a race because that's how much you need to put into rowing. Overall, though, I actually really like rowing. It's fun

This sport is the most demanding sport I have ever played. I was a swimmer for five years and I know how hard it is. After a 2000 metre sprint test I threw up 3 times and passed out. Don't tell me that it isn't hard. Every time you finish a race you just want to die. The training is intense. You have to have endurance, power and you have to be mentally strong. This sport pushes you like no other. It also works every muscle like swimming. Your legs, your arms, your core, your back, everything. It is very painful too. One morning I could barely walk after a competition because we worked so hard and the training sessions are very difficult. I have to say that this is one of the most difficult sports and anyone who says otherwise clearly hasn't don't it