Most Demanding Sports


The Top Ten

1 Motocross Motocross

As a privateer professional rider I can tell you this is the most physically/mentally demanding sport there is. These pro races are 30min plus with your heart rate ranging from a low of 165 and max of 200 or maybe even more depending on the rider. To be able to sustain that max heart rate you must dedicate everything to your training on and off the track. From diet to riding to training everything must be at a 100 percent and these riders put their life on the line every single time they swing a leg over the bike. There's no time outs, no breaks, nothing just racing.

Motocross by far. Swimming is physical but you don't over heat. Soccer is cardio but the game stops ever few seconds/minutes. Motocross is 20 minutes plus of nonstop, over heated, fear of getting seriously hurt, hold on for your life, 52 horsepower fighting fun. Try it and tell me its not hard.

What people have to realize if you want to be good at any sport you have to be ready to work for it. But, what people don't realize to be great you have to go places most people don't want to go. I am a tennis coach and for this sport you have got to put in the hours to be great. You also have to do the right exercises to get the most out your game. With that being said I raced dirtbikes in the late 90's and early 2000's, there is absolutely nothing that asks more out of you than motocross. Not only do you have to be in the best physical shape to control your every move, you have to be in the best physical shape to control a 230 lbs machine that cranks out 60hp trying to rip your arms off. Yes these bikes have 14 inches of travel on the shock absorbers, but for the these 30 foot high big air jumps what takes care of the rest of the fall? Your legs! If you know anything about physical training you would know that at 180-200 hb/m (for twenty minutes) these guys are working. Now I'm sure ...more

I race motocross and it is the most physical demanding sport

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2 Swimming 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.

Hardest thing you will ever do. Swimmers train more than any other athletes. Those who aren't swimmers this is how much most good swimmers train. Swimming is usually underrated on lists because people don't understand what it actually takes and they don't know what any good swimmers do to be where they are at.

10+swimming sessions per week that go for well over 2hours each
3-5 gym sessions per week about an hour and a half each session
5 dryland sessions per week 45 mins each session
(while it doesn't make it hard we also stretch for about an hour everyday, which doesn't make it harder but also adds to the time we spend on it)

The amount of training we do is ridiculous and the intensity is worse I know of 8 and 9 year old kids who train 8sessions a week.

And all the sessions which we do are unrealistically hard, we often have people pass out from exhaustion, spew up, finish unable to walk because water doesn't give us a barrier for us to stop when we ...more

Hardest sport I trained in. Even the football players I knew that had to take a swim class said it was much harder than what they did. Think about it, not only are you swimming aerobically for hours, aerobically in between, using every muscle group, You have to hold your breath while you're at it. To swim at a competitive level you have to have skill and technique. Most people don't have the same type of experience when they swim for leisure. Its not even close to what you do when you swim competitively.

I just joined this year as a sophomore. I've done hockey which of course very very challenging and also lacrosse which is demanding as well but swimming is a whole different challenge. You have to use so many muscles and its one of the only sports you get yelled at for breathing. It's an insane sport and I'll never underestimate another swimmer again

Honestly, swimming has one of the most intense training schedule than any other sports. I have to wake up at 4 am three times a week and I have it easier than other swimmers.

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3 Boxing 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..

Until you step foot in the ring you will never understand how tiring boxing really is. Your adrenaline rush pumps your heart rate through the roof for the 12 4min rounds you are in there, and getting hit isn't as easy as it sounds either a good body shot will knock the wind clean out of you and you need to have the strength, will, determination and fitness level to be able to carry your body and mind to the end of each round at the same time as putting everything you have into the actual fight itself.

I have watched boxing for years and not until I stepped in the ring did I understand how tough it was. It is both physically demanding and mentally draining on two levels. Mentally you have to strategies like a chess player planning five moves ahead except with you whole body and mentally on another level you have to be psyched up for taking a punch or two or three or more. Total exhaustion in 30 minutes

I'm a boxer and I'll tell you right now it's not a few punches then you move on; you need serious time and effort to get in the right shape and you need to be motivated and dedicated. Once you get used to the training you just go ahead and make it harder or switch some things and if your doing it right you shouldn't get used to it in the first place. Boxing is not your grandma's sport

This is the most demanding sport. You need Speed, Strength, Mentality, Endurance, Stamina, Hard Work etc. As a boxer myself I have to train everyday improving. It demands the most

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4 Cross Country

In my mind cross country is one of the most hardest there is around, not football, not soccer, not basketball. None of those add up to cross country. It's not only a physical state but a mental state too. I'm just starting freshman year and I've ran in junior varsity but a 5k, I really realized that point in your life when you've been running for 2 miles in a meet and your coming up on the finish and you realize you don't feel anything, nothing at all. At that point the last 100 yards to go you dig down deep and push as hard as you can. That moment nothing matters but finishing, you can hear the screams of the crowds. Peace, that's peace it's like your gliding over the course, peace. That's the best part of running and few people knows how it feels but when you do know how it feels you know. No matter how much the football players talk trash you know they have no clue what hard is until they run with you.

Cross country is definitely one of the most demanding sports. It's not what most people think it is, it's not just running around. It's about pushing you until you collapse, until you're throwing up, until your knees just can't take it anymore. Also, it's most definitely not just running, it's called cross country, you run through slippery mud, you run up hills, you run through the bumpiest trails you can find. It's demanding and takes the strongest (both physically and mentally) athletes. - Felicia22

Tough sport for sure. In high school as a freshmen I missed my pace by 2 seconds on a two mile pace run. Coach made me run another mile with the seniors / varsity at their pace. I never missed my pace again unless I was passed out or puking. -)

I die everyday

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5 Water Polo

I want everyone to go look at what's in the two spot. Swimming. I'm a year-round swimmer and water polo player. I used to be terrible at swimming, I played water polo, died the first few practices, then got better. You know why? Because water polo is a lot harder and you need a lot more endurance. Do you have to keep your head up in swimming? No. Is someone constantly scratching, kicking, trying to exploit you weaknesses in swimming? I think not. And while all that is happening, are you trying to score goals? No. Honestly, I don't know much about field because I'm a goalie, so for all the goalies, are you throwing your self in front of a ball going at at least 18 miles per hour (Or 60 if you're against that one guy from Croatia)? No. So don't start saying swimming is harder, it's not.

Water polo players practice longer and harder than swimmers. I know because I did both. Add to that, the fact that you are now playing a team sport against another team, in a pool in which you cannot touch the bottom (so you are in perpetual motion), and you are racing back and forth with your head out of your water, and you have a far more intense sport than swimming.

Not very popular sport so underrated but for as a relative novice I still train for 10 hours a week. The sport requires determination and the ability to sprint the length of the pool every 30 seconds with the only rest bite being treading water against your opponent and jumping up in front to stop them pass/ receive the ball. I can barely climb out at the end of a match.

I would say water polo is one of the most tiring sports because you need a lot of stamina, strength, you need to have good tactics and you need to be a very good swimmer.

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

Being a High school Wrestler myself, I can tell you that wrestling is definitely the hardest sport you can get yourself into. I understand how Motocross can be very intense and cause a lot of adrenaline, and swimming is a lot of conditioning and hard work on your body, but I can tell you right now why I believe wrestling is so much harder and should be number one. To start off with wrestling, there is the common saying that most young people say now a days which would be that wrestling is gay, and I won't deny it does get kinda of weird at times in certain positions, but like my coach says don't make it gay, but anyways just to clear the air. So wrestling is one of the sports where you have to manage your weight the most, and I know wrestling isn't the only sport in which you have to manage your weight obviously, but this is the least of it, and to be honest it's not that easy especially when you are trying to go down in weight or cut weight which can be so physically enduring. During ...more - WrestlingSly

Wrestling is by far the hardest sport I have ever done. I myself am obviously a sport fanatic and I have played soccer, football, and track. Wrestling beats all of those in terms of how demanding it is. In football and soccer you get a break in between each quarter, and when you are tired you can rely on your team mates to keep going. In wrestling it is an individual sport and you have to tough through the whole match (es).

Wrestling is and should be the #1 most demanding sport, it's a one on one match from the very beginning! Matches are a constant struggle to over power and out position your opponent. And for the constant training need to keep us with sport.. You need to be in top physical condition to Wrestle. Plus the constant struggle of watching what you eat & drink to maintain weight for competitions. There is no team that can pick up the slack and your not riding a motorized machine! It's all you! What you put in you get out!

More predation with making weight and being discipline in your eating and everything you put in your body. Mentally and Phyically Draining.

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7 Full Triathlon

To do this sport, one has to also do two of the others on the list and then run on top of that. The only power comes from you the athlete. No motor on the bike. Longer races require sustaining high effort levels for hours on end. No 5, 10 or even 30 minute effort and done.

You must train like a swimmer and train for distance running- equally as hard as swimming and bike on top of it. You must've an expert on 3 areas.
Nothing I mean nothing compares to the fitness of a trial athlete! How many swimmers can run!?!? Very few.

Three to four months intensive training for an event that lasts several hours. Tough but worth it when you cross that finish line.

People underestimate triathlon. you have to dedicate yor life for it and one slip up could ruin your race. Unless you have competed before you wont understand the physical and mental exhaustion it takes in order to compete at a high level, you have to train for three sports at a high level. Also you have to keep going for ages its not like football when you run 10m and stop over and over until your subed of plus you have teammates to rely on if needed but triathlon its down to you and there is no stopping during a race

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8 Rowing

As an active rower, in high school to say the least, I feel it is my duty to inform those on the demands of rowing. I will acknowledge that no one sport can truly be proven the "most physically demanding" as it will vary for each person, but I can say with absolute certainty rowing is a living nightmare. Races range from small 500 meter sprints (these are rare and for beginners), to 6000 meter races (this is a fall race such as HOCR). On races from 2000 meters and under, rowers start off unlike any other athlete would in their right mind. Rowers sprint all out as hard as they possibly can, typically getting in 40+ strokes per minute to start off. In each stroke, rowers have to be pulling not just their weights worth through the water, but the weight of an extra coxswain, along with a 200+ pound boat. In the start alone, rowers would need to race at 40+ strokes each minute for about 30 seconds. To put this into perspective, this is like squatting your body weight + 40 or so pounds 20 ...more

I'm an active member of my high school crew team and all I can say is that once you get on a rowing machine, you are almost always guaranteed to feel like death afterwards. This sport requires more mental, muscular, and endurance power than any other sport I have ever played (which is quite an extensive list including, swimming, track and field, lacrosse, soccer, basketball, etc.). Rowing is the sport in which I am most physically challenge and am forced to use all of the power I have left in my body and then some. In rowing, once you believe you can't go any more, you have to continue on for the 8 (in an 8+ shell) other people in your boat. My favorite and most realistic quote I have heard regarding this brutal yet wonderful and amazing sport is, "when you can no longer row with your legs, row with your heart". I am sure to keep this in my mind during each 5000 meter test we do on the erg as I feel that I am dying with 3000 meters to go. Crew feels like death to your body, but almost ...more

Rower's cross their aerobic threshold within the first 20 strokes of the race. Then they have 200 more strokes to go. A typical top level crew will train 600-800 hours a year for a 6 minute race. At the end of a race, if you can get out of the boat then you didn't race hard enough. People think rowing is poetic, but they're wrong. Rowing is not poetic. Inside the boat, each rower is pushing him or herself to the point of passing out and poetic movements are the last thing on their minds. The only thing each rower wants is to put their opponent in so much pain that they give up and quit. That is how a rowing race is won- enduring more pain than your opponent and not giving up. This endurance of pain is what makes rowing the most demanding sport.

Yep pretty hard

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9 Rugby

It is a beautiful combination elegance and speed, and brutality and strength. Top level athletes train like olympic sprints, lift like olympic lifters, and are capable of being able to take the force equivalent of being hit by a small car multiple time in a match.

Rugby combines strength- speed, cardiovascular endurance and mental toughness/ bravery to create what would surely be in the top 5 behind motocross, boxing, bull riding and rowing.

Played semi pro and always took a week to recover. However daughter is an elite gymnast and it is tougher and you have to be braver.

You guys are gay get your facts straight

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10 Track (Pole Vault)

You just don't know how hard it is until you hit 15' and above. Any thing lower than 15' I can see it being number 10 or below. But anything higher than 15' should be in top 3. The mental game is crazy, weather is a jerk 9/10 times, when you fall it hurts... A lot, and you fall a lot trying to get on bigger and longer poles. Plus it's a complete full body workout.

Requires incredible upper body strength, core strength, speed and balance. This is hands down the hardest sport, but probably will not win the vote because so few people understand it. Those who do will agree with me.

Son does it and all these sports are hard but running at full sprint with a 16' pole and trying to place it in a small box and then jumping completely upside down. Takes a little bit of crazy.

My daughter did this

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The Contenders

11 Cycling

Should be up higher. I transitioned from martial arts to downhill mountain bike racing. My saving grace was the level of fitness from karate. However I soon learned there was a lot more work. I was on my bike an average of 4-6 hours a day. Training was any combination of riding trails with jumps to hitting the gym for 2-3 hours. Sprints were the hardest: 45 seconds of riding as fast as you could from a standstill. The goal was to do as many as you could. The races, specifically downhill, are usually two and a half to eight minutes long. The format is simple, you take a lift to the top of a mountain with your bike. The course is pre marked (you usually have a day or two of practice) with a timer at the start gate up top and another timer at the finish at the bottom. The rider with the fastest or least amount of time wins. Here's the catch: ANY obstacle can be found on the course from small bridges and drops to long, rocky sections and jumps the size of buses. Of course, speed is key ...more

It's not a finish and get a medal sport. You only glory with a podium. It's not an entry level sport like triathlons. Even the beginner class or cat 5 is legit and you have to be in very fit just to not get dropped at the level. The advancement system beyond cat 5 insures that each class only has guys that had success in the previous group so the difficulty at each step up increases dramatically. It's not like a triathlete that is going for a personal best and tends to be weak except for the elite level guys. Cycling is full of strategy and structure and requires in depth training even to be a beginner.

"To train you do baselines where you ride until you literally fall off your bike and all other interval training almost always ends in vomit. Not to mention riding over 100miles for a race averaging 20mph or more"

Art of suffering

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12 Speed Skating

Speed skating is very demanding and intense training. Being a former speed skater. Plus you fall on the ice that hurts and you can easily get cut by your blades if you fall, and sliding into the wall hurts as well. The training for speed skating on a national level is basically a every day practice.

The leg and core strength needed is insane to speed skate. Couple that with the endurance needed and all the training for correct form to use all that leg strength. It's intense throwing yourself on the edge of a skate leaning against gravity while rocketing through a corner.

13 Figure Skating Figure Skating

I figure skate, it is honestly one of the hardest things to do, especially the first few times when you fall

Figure skaters see more g force then a f 18 pilot, and hit the ground more often then a rodeo bull rider! and can do 1 legged squats all day long, marines can barely do 10!

Figure skaters are known to out do marines in 1 leg squats, they see more G force then an f18 pilot, they hit the ground more times then a bull rider, and usual;ly train 2 to 3 straight hours a day!

14 Dance

I have NO IDEA why this isn't number one right now.
I take ballet and it is the hardest thing I have ever done and I couldn't imagine anything more difficult - I could go on and on about the physical side of things, but this sport/art/activity (whatever you want to call it) is also pretty difficult in the sense of everything has to be right, you're always thinking about a million things at once, and you can NEVER be perfect.
Because there's so much to do. You can ALWAYS do more, you are ALWAYS forgetting something, you can ALWAYS work a little harder...
Another reason is the TIME - if you take ballet (specifically) and you're serious about it the schedule is very intense. You get very short breaks, train all day over the weekends, and are usually there every day as soon as school is over until late that night.
It hurts... a lot.

Ballet compared to other sports includes all the hard moves from gymnastics and cheerleading and tumbling and then multiplies the work put ...more

Dance isn't just ballet, Dance has aspects of fencing, cheer, and even tumbling. Dance commonly utilized lifts and stunts, as well as tumbling passes, and acrobatic tricks. In ballet alone you can always become better. Ideal turnout is 180 degrees or more, with flagged and pointed feet that can touch the ground. You must use every muscle while making it look like it's effortless. You can always leap higher or turn longer or balance longer, get your leg up higher, hold your core, move faster etc. now those things are some of the main aspects you try to obtain in ballet along with preforming and telling a story. To maintain skills, I am unprofessional competitive dancer only dance about 17-20 hrs a week while other competitors practice 25 hrs a week. I even dance 6+ hrs straight some days with small drink and food breaks lasting about a minute or two. Many dancers, even when they know it might not be the right thing, have to dance through pain, broken feet and ankles, sprained wrists ...more

Dancers use every muscle in their body whilst remaining fluid and graceful. to do a simple move dancers must make sure that
- shoulders are back, down and relaxed looking
- neck is high and head is lifted
- pelvis is tilted
- butt is firm
- core is activated
- arms are lengthened and curved
- elbows are being supported
- fingers are in correct positioning
- thighs are being used
- legs are turned out (from the hips)
- feet are in correct alignment
- weight is in the right spot to be able to move into any step at any time
- knees are locked
- back is straight

that's all before even moving

once you add pointe shoes, a turn, a rise, a balance, anything at all, way more things are added to think about and everything becomes much harder to keep in alignment and make it look graceful.

as a casual but senior dance student I am in the studio for at least 5 hours a week plus 3 hours for warming up and stretching before classes (an ...more

Dance is a lot harder than it looks I do not agree that it is rated 14

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15 Soccer Soccer Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. The goal is to score the ball on the other team's goal.

Soccer requires a lot of physical and mental preparation. The hardest part of a season is actually pre season because is all about getting in shape and building that team chemistry before season starts. In soccer you might just see 22 players on a field running up and down the field with a ball for 90 minutes and in knockout stages like in the World Cup recently 120 minutes, but what about their training; a soccer player doesn't just puts a uniforms on and heads down to the field and play, it takes a lot of stamina, y'all should see our full field sprints, suicides, running up and down hills, all our drills a also require running full speed, also them laps I once had a coach that would makes us do 10 laps around the field and we weren't jogging neither. Also doing some sort of frog squats around the field really killed me but it's all beneficial because you need strong legs and endurance to play a soccer game.

Soccer extremely physically demanding mentally. Your body needs to be able to explode well, reach high speeds, and maintain those high speeds. 45 minute halves with about a 10 minutes half, time and constant running. My current coach will sub out players if they stop running, because you don't stop. You legs have to be powerful for the distance, sprints, passes, crosses, and shots, so the training and preparation is grueling. Mentally you have to be either all in or out. You can't back down, especially if you're a goalie. You must know when to pass, where to pass, how to set up plays, and get open. Plus you're sprinting while doing this, and when they ball gets stolen, sprint harder.

Soccer requires back and forth movement and constant speed. Especially physically demanding for goalies. They have the hardest job on the field due to speed requirements and reflexes.

Soccer is one of the hardest sports to play and also it requires a lot of mentality and hand to eye co-ordination and also to include it requires strength and speed the most important factor

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16 Gymnastics Gymnastics Gymnastics is a sport involving the performance of exercises requiring strength, flexibility, balance and control.

I've been working out 20 hours a week plus since the 6th grade; before that it was 12-16 hours a week since before the 1st grade, and I have buddies at other gyms that workout more than me still. This is a complete year round sport, we don't take breaks and we never stop working out. When the skin rips off your hands from swinging on high bar or rings, you stuff chalk in them to stop the bleeding and keep going. I remember at 1 competition I took a bad landing on floor (first event of the comp.) and shredded most ligaments in my foot (didn't know what I did at the time) and finished the entire competition on what felt like a broken bone in my foot. Point being, most people underestimate this sport, when in reality it's high risk, high impact, and extremely demanding.

I am a gymnast myself and let me tell you, it is very challenging. I've been competing in this sport for 6 years. We never get breaks, unlike many sports. This is because even if gymnasts have one day off we could lose a skill. Normally gymnasts compete in the winter and a little bit of spring and work on new skills during the summer. It's not easy, it takes so much strength, focus, and technique. I would agree with others about this sport being demanding, if you get a huge blister on your hand, you keep going, if you fall off the beam, you get back up, if your sore, boohoo. (;

My ten year old cousin has done gymnastics for six years, and usually she is busy with gymnastics or working out training. It is insane how demanding this sport is. She worked non stop for one week during the summer until she got her roundoff back handspring full twist. She has blisters on her hands from hours of training on the uneven bars, and even cuts and blisters on her feet from beam. She is one of the most muscular people I have even seen. This sport is very high demand, she has broken many bones and torn so many ligaments. VERY high demand

People don’t realize how demanding this sport really is. You work for 30+ hours each week, and never have an “off season”. Most people can’t walk in a straight line, or even do a single push up. Gymnasts do standing flips on 4-inch wide beams, and flip higher than you can even imagine. You see basketball players sitting out with ice packs all over because they sprained an ankle. When gymnasts get hurt, they put some tape on, and go right on flipping. Also, I don’t know if it’s just where I’m from, but every time we did any type of physical activity, the gymnasts come off on top. Above the football players, above the soccer players, and above the basketball players. Gymnastics is certainly more demanding, mentally and physically, than any sports most people would think of.

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17 Hockey

How is swimming harder than this? Hockey requires incredible strength. The durability you need along with the finesse to shoot and pass accurately is incredible. I play high school hockey and practice is every day. Before you even think about checking or shooting, you need to skate well. Forwards, backwards, side to side and you need to skate very fast all while trying to control a puck and not get killed.

How could you forget hockey? I'm not even in high school hockey or anything yet and we have hockey at least 5 times a week and dry land training. Not to mention it costs $700 to play it. Then there's gear expenses, and you have to pay for hotels in out of town tournaments.

Hockey is the hardest team sport that is played in the world. Not only do you have the speed of the game and the blades on your feet, you also have 6'5 250 lb men that can come at you with incredible speeds. While all this is going on, you have to focus on keeping a little rubber puck under control. If you're a goalie, you have to deal with 90+ mph shots, some reaching nearly 110 mph, as well as sometimes having your vision blocked by opponents. Not to mention all the times someone has caught a skate blade in the neck and nearly bled out.

Hockey should be in the top 5 way harder then soccer.

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

You know this is biased when the first comment is try biking instead and see how hard it is. Football is a game of seconds. You give everything in your body and every ounce of toughness that you call your own for 6 second seconds at a time. Those 6 seconds add up real fast. I wouldn't say football isn't a sport I'm sure you've never stepped on the gridiron of a high level football team

I would love for some of you people to play football. It's a hell of a lot harder than people think. It hurts. It's tough. Its hard. Its demanding you have to loft to help you. You have to know all the plays. If your a linemen you have to know all the plays and like 4 different positions and ways for each play. Running backs wide receivers and quarterbacks get hit all the time. Just because they have pads on doesn't mean it doesn't hurt

This is an extremely demanding sport because of the Mental and Physical toughness required to play it. As a player, I can tell you this. A) Its extremely hot. Under all of the pads (especially upper body) and on a hot day, the Oxygen you intake seems to turn to pure heat. B) Its rough. Football is not a sport for the weak and faint hearted. C) Its Exhausting. Though in between plays is a break, when the ball is actually in play, it is Physically and Mentally agonizing.

Change the names please

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

this is the most demanding sport you need to work on every single muscle in your body and be mentally strong and have to have great endurance and work out every day for 10 hrs to become the best and you have to be able to return 140 miles per hour balls coming at you. you watch the players and you think its easy and they have no emotions but that's not what it is at all and you have to start at a very young age. this sport should be at the top of the list.

Tennis is the most demanding sport. I am only 14 and take all AP classes. While doing this I train up to 40 hours a week including mental and physical training. The gym and running is a must and my diet is completely revolved around tennis. Every weekend I am shoved into a sectional or national tournament with 5AM warm ups and up to 5 matches a day. I have been doing this for 10 years and am still only on the level to play college. Tennis takes movement, endurance, coordination, and extreme strategic skill.

Tennis has a high learning curve before real enjoyment of the sport. Once at the level of a pro, mental toughness becomes the significant factor of winning. Being able to focus and play with aggression for hours sometimes five hours with wee little breaks makes this the most demanding sport.

Why is even football in the top 20. I've been playing both football and tennis my whole life and I don't get why people think football is more demanding than tennis when some football games some players only sit on the bench. No one except the top players play the whole 90 minutes.

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20 Snocross

This category should be with motocross, it takes a lot of endurance and strength to hold on to those machines at top speeds, hitting jumps and half the time can't see where you are going with snow blinding the riders.

Should certainly be in the same category of motocross #1. Athletes train the same and during racing, the stamina, the physical demand is the same if not more!

The majority of motocross Rider do Snocross in the Winter. According to me, that was 2most harder sport

I agree, Snocross is just as much demanding as Motocross and should be included with motocross as Most demanding sport!

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21 Mixed Martial Arts 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.

Definitely more taxing than boxing. Fights against the cage or on the mat are constant battles against your opponent. There's no resting. Taking a breath with a fighter landing elbows and knees on you is a great way to get knocked out.

We have a lot to practice my practices go on for like 2 hours and that includes sparring. It's harder then any other sport besides motocross.

Way harder than any other sport. It's wresting, boxing, and getting hit/kicked in the head, the legs.

How this is not top 3 boggles my mind...

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22 Auto Racing

Formula One is insane, people have no idea the shape the drivers have to be in...

23 Endurocross

The same as motocross, but races last a lot longer, between 3hrs and sometimes up to 6 hours+.

I do this and it takes skill, performance, strength and fitness!

This is truly a difficult sport, really similar to motocross

I would say harder then motocross. fast going for 3 to 6 hours race and can be over 6 days

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24 Eventing

This should be number 1! If you disagree then you are just a flat out idiot! We work so hard! If you don't ride and you say that your sport is harder then equestrian, open your eyes! If you want to tell me that I just sit there, try it yourself or tell it to my thighs! Try doing all of this at once, heels down, eyes up, shoulders back, elbows in, fingers closed, diagonal, lead, lower leg back, thumbs on top, look where you're going, counting strides, and keep the leg on ALL while trying to remember the course and most important not trying to fall off and get killed! Always remember that our sport is WAYYY harder then yours so when you think your "tough" remember we're tougher, stronger mentally and physically! Also remember the famous saying, you play football, that's cute! That applies to any other sport besides horseback riding! Tell me again that we just sit there or that the horse does all the work I dare you!

Hours of training to develop the most amazing trust between horse and rider. Both are refines athletes who must be versatile enough to compete in the subtle and contained control that is dressage, the explosive energy of cross country jumping to the control ads in of show jumping.

Everything because every single sport have its difficulties

So much harder than you think

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25 Squash

Coming from a background of training and playing matches in a number of sports I can say squash is by far the one that gets my heart rate up to full capacity of which also stays at such a high rate for the longest! Very intense just like camping.

Squash is not 25th, I have played for a while and all my coaches said it was in top 10 physically demanding sports.

It is the most demanding on this list

Squash enables you to use every muscle in your body with a lot of fun

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26 Basketball 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.

Basketball requires high class aerobic and anaerobic fitness for an entire 40 minutes (or 48). On top of this, an athlete must be powerful throughout every major muscle group - it's not all lower body. Good luck trying not to sweat when playing a game of Basketball!

This has to be one of the most demanding sports! Non-stop movement up and down the floor with the only rest being on Timeouts or period breaks. On top of the running side of things, Basketball requires great Hand-eye coordination as well as Muscular Strengh, Muscular Endurance and Muscular Power. And to top it off you most certainly have to be Quick and be Agile. This deserves a higher rating!

Whoever made this list is poorly informed on fitness levels, speed, strength and coordination required. To lust foitball before basketball is absurd.

I has played and coached this sport. Previous comments are right on
target. Basketball used to be in the top ten. It takes continuous movement
and knowledge of what your team members are doing and communication
in understanding each others movement and when to take the open shot.
It takes hours and hours of practice to get five persons play in a fluent
motion like have five people dancing with the intent to put a ball in a
basket at the end of a Court. The dance it performed with movement to
a very fast pace.

Aloha No

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27 Badminton 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".

Probably should be in Top3...Most of the top listed games are centered around the games played in US and some European country...Badminton gives very little breathing space compared to any other individual sport or team sport. It tests your heart rate. To sum it up Badminton is all about Speed, Skill, Stamina and Strength, all put together

You get 5 min max rest time games last for minimum 1 hour and there is no teammate you rely on EXCEPT YOU unless you play doubles

Highest demanding sport in the world

Badminton is really demanding it tests you on your Stamina, Speed, Strength, Reaction time shuttles reaching over 400 KMH and you skill. Really demanding not like any other sport out their

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28 Rhythmic Gymnastics
29 Aussie Rules Football

AFL(Australian Football League or Aussie Rules) is easily one of the most demanding sports across the board. If you haven't seen a match before you wouldn't be able to comprehend it. It is a very technically, physically and mentally advanced sport which requires athletes to perform at their peak every single week. Players have to run between 15-30 kilometres during a game at high intensity ranging from normal running to intense long distance sprints.

Running close to a marathon every game. Half of that is sprinting. Crashing into and tackling 95kg beasts. All while trying to score goals over a 400m field. I'd love to see people try

Because I am Australian and have you seen those spekies

The only reason this isn’t number one is because no one outside of Australia has even heard of it, let alone watching or playing it. The average player runs 15+ kilometres a game with grown men running into them. Also the amount of effort it takes to kick a ball that heavy is pretty underrated. Watch any half close Grand Final and you will see that it really is like no other sport.

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30 Field Hockey

Much harder than ice hockey, smaller surface area of stick, only use one side of the stick, incredibly demanding and there is no stop in the running, whether or not you have the ball. The stick handling is incredibly complex and there's at least 9 different ways to shoot, depending on your exact positioning and the situation. Constantly analyzing the field and running works your mind and your body and unless you've played its unlikely you would know how hard it really is

The intensity of field hockey is really underestimated by non-players. There is a reason to why the amount substitutions a coach can make is unlimited, players are expected to give their all for 8-10 minutes, then rest for 5 and go again. The fact that the stick used in field hockey is relatively short also adds another tough phsyical aspect to the game, since the length of the stick makes it so that players have to run bend over. Try 5 minutes of sprinting whilst bend over, pretty hard.

31 Baseball Baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of nine players each who take turns batting and fielding.

While not every pitch is 100 mph and not everyone can throw a baseball... trust me I have seen people try and haven't been able to get it to second base from first. But anyone can just pick up a dart and throw it. There's just nothing to darts.

There's no way darts are before baseball! Come on how about you try to hit a 100 mph baseball coming at you with less than a second to decide if it's coming at your face or it's a pitch to hit!

You can't just step into a batters box and hit a 90 mph fastball from 60 feet away into the outfield, with five fielders guarding it, overnight - opinionated4

It should be higher

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32 Nordic Skiing

So... someone thinks that motocross is hard because "pro races are 30min plus with your heart rate ranging from a low of 165 and max of 200 or maybe even more depending on the rider". Geez, would hate to see these guys suffer on my ski tracks. Xc ski races range in time from 2min to 2hrs and that's pretty much flat out the entire time. This is the sport that results in the athletes with the highest VO2 Max's (this is THE indicator or aerobic fitness). And guess what, while we don't get breaks either in the middle of our races, we also don't get a gasoline filled engine to propel us. Some people, I tell ya.

How the hell is golf and darts ahead of XC skiing? And what is "snooker"? Just look at the finish line at any serious ski race and examine what you see. Watch everyone collapse to the ground in pain after skiing their heart out for up to two hours depending on the race. You'll never see anything like that in any other sport. Skiers have to go out in blistering cold, insane winds, storms, etc. no matter what. I know because I ski competitively and I'd like to see any golfer, darts player or hell even basketball or hockey player do what we do on a regular basis. I'd like to see them ski a 15k classic mass start with 90+ racers and 100km/hr winds. I'd like to see them do a two hour interval workout in -30 Celsius. If you want to challenge your strength and endurance to the extreme, look no further than this sport.

33 Ice Hockey Ice Hockey Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice, usually in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponent's net to score points.

Why has no one mentioned ice hockey it must be one of the most physically demanding!

I play hockey all winter and race mx all summer...I would have to put hockey up there for sure, but mx is a more extreme beast in about every way.

34 Sailing

People don't give sailing enough credit. It is both mentally and physically challenging

Though I am biased, because I am a sailor myself. sailing is not given enough credit, some boats will really push you to the limit, and if your at a high standard, sailing isn't just a hobby, or a sport, it is a way of life. 7 days a week you're in the gym and out on the water

I can say sailing is far more difficult than soccer

Finn sailing. you are allowed to pump. that is where you pull the sail as hard as you can you row the boat downwind. the load in the main sheet it around 50-70kg much more than rower experiences while keeping your head in the game thinking about tactical advantages and what is going to happen to the wind.

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35 Lacrosse 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.

Try being a midfield player in lacrosse and run about 20 fast breaks total. You'll realize when cradling a ball and carrying a helmet and pads with you things are gonna get real tiring. It fully works your upper body and at the same time you need to run like a horse. Should easily make the top 10 in this list, beating basketball and soccer by far.

SOCCER, and BASEBALL ARE MORE DEMANDING THAN THIS? What the heck? Soccer is only "hard" because the wusses like to make it seem like they get hurt. Heck, besides stuff like swimming and motorcross and stuff like that, this is the hardest sport with a ball except for Rugby. But this is not far behind.

Midfielders run all game long and are also carrying up to 7 pounds of equipment, and have to control the ball, dodge, shoot, all the time being hacked at by metal poles.

You have autism

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36 Rock Climbing

People see rock climbing as a run, easy going sport, which it can be until you see the true colors behind it. Scaling 2000 foot mountains and going on multiple mountaineering journeys and trips is where this sport lies.

Climbing trad at the top of your ability is hard.

To fight gravity you need a long way to go.

Just mad

V 3 Comments
37 Handball
38 Golf Golf Golf is a club and ball sport in which players use various clubs to hit balls into a series of holes from a range of 80 to 600 yards on a course in as few strokes as possible.

In high school golf competition, we had to walk all 18 holes while either carrying or pulling our bags. Hot, cold, windy- player has to be good at adapting to changing environments. This is more of a mental game and you have to be in the right mindset with a positive attitude if you want to stay consistent. Lots of pressure from good players watching you. Tiger showed that people play much better and have increased endurance when they're in shape. Up until Tiger, no professional golfers worked out. Professional golfers today do workouts that help with their swinging form. Try swinging a club 60-100 times and hitting the ball perfectly every time!

While it is hard to play golf, is not really physically demanding at all

39 Synchronized Swimming

Go do your sport and take out the breathing part. Go do handstands on the bottom of the pool then try to hold yourself up, while upside down, not touching the bottom- at all. Ever. Good luck.

You just take 1 look at this sport and then decide where it should be on this board go on google it! Then come back and vote!

Synchronized swimming is HARD and DEMANDING! I am ready to rage whenever someone says it is easy, not a sport or cheer leading in water.

I'm in a small club in Canada, where we have swimmers who swim from mermaid recreational levels to national stream. I'll walk you through an average synchro life and see how you feel now.

You come to practice early, to start stretching and land drilling in the hallways. You keep on doing different sets and laps until your coach comes and starts land practice. You land for another half hour until you've done a full landrill, with the whole team sharp and on count. Then, you have cardio...bum kicks, high knees, abs, push ups, sit ups, half jacks...etc. then stretching, posture, sets, splits, flex. Then centres, the middle splits device, squats, headstands, double latter, ariana. After that you have 5 minutes to drink, have a snack and get into a tight suit, a cap with every single hair tucked neatly inside, goggles and a competitive nose ...more


40 Tae Kwon Do


41 Volleyball 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.

In Volleyball you are always practicing. You have to do whatever it takes to get the ball. Go to a hard gym floor, jump in the air and belleyflop onto the floor. In volleyball season all good players have bumps and bruises on their arms, shins, legs, faces even. You have to stop a ball that is going 85Mph with whatever body part you can get to it. Everybody thinks volleyball isn't a sport, but you won't say that after a day in Practice.

42 Bowling

Being a fairly good Bowler I can say that bowling is probably one of the most mentally demanding sports, it's not to physically demanding.

Throwing a 15 or 16 pound sphere 60 feet down a lane with accuracy under the stress of competition, hundreds of time in a day.

43 Skateboarding Skateboarding Skateboarding is an action sport which involves riding and performing tricks using a skateboard. Skateboarding can also be considered a recreational activity, an art form, a job, or a method of transportation.

There's so much technicalities and the way you have to have everything perfect or you are going to fall hard. You have to have balance, consistency, board control and a big set of balls.

You can never master skateboarding because the amount of skills, tricks and spots are endless.. There is so much more to it than standing, pushingaand jumping. People think skateboarding is simple. Its about timing, skill, balance, consistency and skateboarding is so techniqual. You need a big set of balls to skate, big gaps, leaps and just facing fears is huge. Skateboarding should be in such a better place than 25th.

Although u do not have to be as physically fit to do skateboarding compared to other sports if your constantly jumping over things and falling hard frequently, skateboarding takes a real toll on your body especially on the ankles and knees. If u want to get good at this sport u have to be willing to take a beating. To learn how to ollie gaps and skate a half pipe youd expect to have had twisted ankles, sprained wrists, grazes on the arms and legs. This I'd why I think that should put this sport in the top 10

Half pipe skating use almost every muscle in your body. Airobically equal to boxing. 5 minutes of half pipe skateboarding equal to 2 full games of rugby league.

44 BMX Racing

The competition is at an incredibly high level, even in the younger expert level kids.

45 Olympic Weightlifting
46 Wheelchair Basketball

This more demanding than just Basketball because it's all arms pushing, shooting and passing!

47 Beach Volleyball Beach Volleyball Beach volleyball is a team sport played by two teams of two players on a sand court divided by a net. It has been an Olympic discipline since the 1996 Games.

Volleyball is a very physical demanding sport and it should at least be in the top 10

48 Skiing

Nordic skiing is tough, 6 days a week practice, hours of hill work UP hill, intervals, plus all your equipment which easily exceeds $1000

All big muscles are used to its maximum in skiing competition, and I'm not talking about downhill here..

Good but not as good as sailing

Have you tried? It is hard

49 Motorcycle Racing

Half an hour of motor cross equal to playing 10 games of football back to back. A days motor cross 4 races at 25 minutes per race equal to a day of Tour de France bicycle race.

No one realises how physically demanding motocross is untill they try it, not only do you need to be fit, you need to be bike fit, something that's is completely diffrent to just regular fitness


50 Water Ski Racing
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List Stats

10,000 votes
81 listings
7 years, 278 days old

Top Remixes

1. Cross Country
2. Swimming
3. Track (Pole Vault)
1. Swimming
2. Water Polo
3. Full Triathlon


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