Most Demanding Sports

The Top Ten Most Demanding Sports

1 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 have played almost every sport there is. Swimming, football, track, tennis, basketball, hockey, etc... and those are walks in the park compared to motocross. Football is 5 seconds of sprinting followed by 30 seconds of rest. Swimming is a minute or two all out. Motocross is 10-30 minutes of going as hard as you can, and never letting up. There are a thousand and one things to think about when racing, and skipping one of them might end up losing you the race, or putting you in an ambulance. There is no off season. You are running and lifting the day after the season ends in order to be in shape for next season. And the horrible thing is, it is never enough. No matter how good of shape you are in, you are still gasping for air the second the helmet comes off, trying to uncurl your cramped hands that are dripping in blood from blisters popped and skin tore off from just holding on. God help you if you ever go down with any significant speed. The best way to demonstrate crashing on a ...more

2 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.

Swimming is most definitely the MOST demanding sport. I have been swimming for just over a year, and have worked my butt off, and am now at the level of swimmers who have been at it for years. Compared to other swimmers, our practices are relatively easy, and they ARE NOT EASY! Swimming uses every single muscle at the same time. Every set, you move your arms like lightning, every race, your legs feel like they are going to snap off. In a set, even if you are the fastest on the team, you swim a 200 sprint with limited breaths, and guess what, once you finish, you get 5 seconds rest and have to go and do it again, faster this time, than the absolute fastest you can go. Swimming is not just going back and forth, just like track is not just running around in circles. Swimming is the most physically taxing sport around because of you feel like you are about to die, go beat your best time in a 100 free. And if you miss the best by one hundredth of a second, you break down in tears because ...more

I have competed in soccer, football, baseball, basketball and even cross country, and I'll admit that they all have their challenges but they all fall short of swimming. Of course this website is 1000% biased because volunteerism processes never work in statistical studies, but I think I'll take a few seconds of my life to tell you that this is the hardest sport. I've surveyed 100 different high school athletes, and 89 of them said that swimming is the hardest sport. Not proof enough? Of course not. Swimmers on our team wake up at 4 AM 5 times a week for 3 months only to jump into a ice-cold pool and work our butts off for 1 1/2 hours and then after school it's back in the pool for 2 1/2 more hours with excruciating sets in which we swim just as far as the cross team runs (we're talking 8000-9000 yards a day). And another thing, swimming is extremely annoyingly mental. There's always that one kid who you work WAY harder than at practice and yet they show you up at the meets. No other ...more

In m opinion since I am a swimmer I think that this is the hardest sport. My friend and I had an argument about witch is harder hockey or swimming and hockey may be way more physically demanding than swimming but swimming is way, way, way more mentally demanding than hockey is.

All the other sports listed here are far more demanding than swimming.

3 Rugby

Rugby involves strength, endurance, speed, agility, knowledge, and so much more in order to be successful in the game. Not to mention the extreme amount of injuries and concussions many players end up playing through.

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.

4 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 a player for my school soccer team, I have had to pull through a lot of tough stuff. When a player receives the ball, they have 0.5 seconds to figure out their best passing option. This forces a ton of mental strain not to mention the fact that one wrong move, and you could screw up the game. Another reason this is, in my opinion, the most demanding sport is the fact that when a player has a breakaway, they must run as fast a they possibly can (an average of about 20 yrds in 4 to 5 seconds on my team). During practices, coaches like to work on their players core and upper body. This includes around 50 push-ups for us, 30 sit-ups, and 2 minute wall-sits after all training. This is also a plays a big factor in the reason that most teams have super tough try-outs and practices.

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.

5 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.

6 Skiing Skiing can be a means of transport, a recreational activity or a competitive winter sport in which the participant uses skis to glide on snow.

Nordic skiing is the most physically and mentally demanding sport. There is literally nothing hard

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

7 Weightlifting

I think Weightlifting is hard

Weightlifting is a very hard sport, not because of the actual weight lifting but because of the gay-ness

8 Wakeboarding

Hard work and lots of time abd practice get hurt a lot

Wakeboading a sport that you need dedication and practice, a extreme sport that is overlooked and actually a sport where the risks of injuries are high and a sport that you use all of you muscles

9 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.

This sport is the most dangerous in my opinion and should come in third on this list

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.

10 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

People say that dance is not a sport but I think it is a sport and one of the top five hardest

I am a mail ballet dancer and ballet is VERY hard and Demanding physically and mentally

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

The Contenders

11 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

There's a reason that wrestlers have been called some of the most hardcore athletes in the world. Each practice is generally 2-3 hours long, 5 days a week. This involves intense cardio, weightlifting, circuit training, practicing technique, being thrown around and bruised, and hardcore conditioning. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. These practices are often supplemented by outside "club" practices which require just as much, if not more, effort. This is merely the physical side.
What is often taken for granted is the amount of mental effort that is required to wrestle. Practices alone can make you want to give up, however, cutting weight to meet your weight class, losing matches despite all of your hard work, using every muscle in your body at maximum strength and speed output for 6-minute matches, all of this can wear and tear at your mind, making you want to give up. You must react in the blink of an eye in order to counter your opponent, or you lose. You must not be ...more

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!

12 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

In rowing, you have to use ALL of your muscles. Rowers have to pull the whole crew and a boat. You literally have to wake up at 4 in the morning to train. Then you train more throughout the day. By the end of the day, you're both physically and emotionally exhausted.

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.

13 Endurocross

How is this not #1 when the races are so long it is hard to think of anything more demanding in one continuous period.

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

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

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. (;

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.

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

I mean really, Elites train for 6-8 hours a day, every day of the week for most of their lives. They get their conditioning programs from the navy. The mental and physical strength, along with skill you need for this sport is insane.

15 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

Even though this sport only uses your legs it is one of the most difficult :(

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.

Cycling is harder than most that are above and I have done them

16 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. -)

Was doing a very challenging cross country with my high school team at high altitude, one runner collapsed, I got an asthma attack and my coach throws the inhaler at me and says "don't stop till you collapse". Finished amongst first 20 (out of over 100 runners)

17 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..

The whole point of this sport is your opponent trying to give you a concussion...

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

18 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.

In NHL can play 100 games per year in a confined area unable to run out of bounds to avoid a collision. Likely has fewer players over age 30 than any of the major sports due to the enormous wear and tear a player endures. Factor in the extreme travel as well. No other professional sport even close.

19 Water Polo

I have been playing ODP water polo for the past month. It is easily the hardest sport one could possibly imagine playing. For example, I am only 13 and my ODP program requires 3 hour plus practices 3 or 4 times a week. It is exceptionally arduous, and very underrated as water polo players do not receive the credit that they deserve for partaking in such a difficult sport. It is physically and mentally demanding, for one participating in water polo is always swimming or treading water (treading water being the closest thing to a break one could get in a water polo game) and mentally demanding because one must have a strong mentality to be able to do the things required of them. Despite the fact that my overall physique is good, I often struggle to leave the pool when a heated game has come to a close.

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.

20 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.

Lots and lots of training! But still fun!

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

Tennis may not be the most demanding sport, but it certainly deserves to be top 5 on this list. Let's look at the physical, psychological, technical, and strategic demands.

Physical: Tennis is a sport that combines anaerobic and aerobic exercise to a extremely difficult level. In any match where opponents are at similar skill level (and singles players are at minimum low intermediate or doubles players are high intermediate) pacing yourself during and between points is crucial. Two hour matches are not uncommon in these situation, and in the pros, this often can expand out to 4-5 hours. But despite it being crucial to have endurance, tennis is a sport where fast sprints and constant direction change are required in almost every point. It's one thing to be able to run for an hour or two. Its another to be be sprinting half the time. And if you think that the breaks between points allow you to 'recover', think again. Sprints are anaerobic, which means breathing is limited. ...more

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.

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.

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.

22 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!

23 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.

I played Varsity my Freshman year. I worked hard. But I can't say that it is as hard as Motocross or Endurocross, I race both now, and I have to say that I never worked as hard my Freshman football year then 30 minutes on a motocross track. Football deserves to be in the top 10 though.

24 Figure Skating Figure skating is a sport in which individuals, duos, or groups perform on figure skates on ice. It was the first winter sport included in the Olympics, in 1908. The four Olympic disciplines are men's singles, ladies' singles, pair skating, and ice dance.

The amount of times a skater falls before a jump is learned & until it’s consistent is too many to count. The average person can barely skate never mind learning a double axel to a quad toe loop!

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

I am really sad right now why is skating 24th!

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!

25 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.

Did it for 4 years and it's not the conditioning for the weight training for the cardio it's the mental aspect of doing something that every time you're risking your life 20 feet in the air and hoping the pole doesn't break and skewer you right through the gut

26 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...

27 Auto Racing

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

That is correct 6G under braking
Temperatures of over 50 degrees
The brake pedal is so stiff that you need 120 Kgs to press ot

28 Squash

Squash is a highly demanding sports requiring agile reflexes and stamina than most others sports. It further intensely quick eye-contact with ball and fast movement within the court. In my opinion it should be rated above Tennis.

What 28? Squash is like 40% of boxing while doing german drill in basketball (suicides).

Also, soccer at no.4, Lmao. Bball is any day more demanding than football.

Squash should not be 25th, it should be at first place. It's the healthiest sport in the world and the toughest sport (toughest with badminton and boxing)

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

29 Eventing

I've trained ballet, swimming and riding for years and without a doubt, riding is the most demanding. Especially eventing. It involves cross country, dressage and show jumping - each of these is difficult on its own! It demands strenght of both horse and a rider, quick decisions and precision. The cross country part is extremely dangerous as well. You really have to be an amazing athlete both physically and mentally to do well in eventing. You have to have very precise control over every single muscle in your body.

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

30 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.

It's so hard!

31 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.

32 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".

Professional badminton is very exhausting. If you play singles, you have a huge area to cover in the short amount of time due to the fast shuttle. You need a lot of stamina for the long game and consistent running, fast reflexes and good ability to change direction to cope with trick shots. I feel that badminton should at least be equal or even more exhausting than tennis but is highly underrated due to how easy it is to play at a beginner and recreational level

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

33 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

I like to stand around all day and not break a single sweat. So enduring

34 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.

If this was a thing in america this would be top 5 easy

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

35 Rock Climbing

This should be at least in the top 5 this sport is so physically demanding along with very challenging mental aspects how in gods name is motocross higher than this. I’m both angry and disappointed.

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.

36 Rhythmic Gymnastics
37 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.

38 Cheerleading

Both of my kids participate in competitive cheer, 12 year old daughter (flyer) and s 15 son (tumbles and stunts girls). Teams practice 2 nights a week for 3 hours, every Saturday, and during competition season added practices. On top of that add entire weekends of choreography and skill building throughout the year, these days can last anywhere from 5 - 7 hours, sometimes two days in a row. If they're in more than one team, multiply those times by the number of teams they're in. We get 2 weeks off a year, for family plans. The rest of the year they live in the gym, school or we are traveling to competitions all over the country. My 15 year old son can lift a girl at extension with one arm. They deal with daily muscle aches, bruises and headaches. Their little bodies take a beating but they do it because they live the sport. I agree when people say this sport is under appreciated. But unless you're involved, you would have no clue.

I coach kids that practice 2-4 times a week for two and five hours a piece and for 10 months out of the year. Our conditioning rivals that of military physical fitness (being in the military I can attest to that) and have witnessed more injuries and serious injuries than most other sports combined. The force of a kid coming down from a basket toss and being missed is more than that of a football player and there are no pads. My kids sweat, bruise and bleed on a daily basis and use immense amounts of strength, agility, endurance and core strength that most other sports can't even begin to utilize.

I work my butt off 3 times a week to cheer for football and basketball players and may loose my voice to cheer for them and get nothing at the end also I go to competition and we have work out to make sure we can handle the hard work I am a base and I get hurt all the time will the flyers towing and we have to lift every single practice but I live what I do and I am the captain and very proud of the team

By far the most demanding sport I've ever participated in. 3 hour practices 4 nights a week. I've sprained my back, broken my nose, and permanently sprained my ankle. And all of the injuries seem worth it because at the end of the day- you love what you do.

39 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.

40 Sailing

Sailing combines physical endurance and strategic thinking that is dependent on ever changing weather conditions. Other sports are almost entirely about physical conditioning. Sailing is strategy, knowledge, agility and strength all rolled into one sport.

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

41 Horseback Riding Horseback riding (or Equestrian) is one of the most intense sports known to man. Not only because it's physically challenging, but it takes more than athleticism. Horseback riding takes commitment, time, patience, and most importantly building a bond with your horse. If you don't have a good relationship more.

It's not just the training of the horse and rider it's the 365 days a year we care for them too. In all sorts of weathers and all times of day and night. We lug heavy bags of feed, hay, haylage, bedding, water buckets, tack and anything else our equine partners need to function. Poo picking the fields in the elements be it boiling hot or freezing icey rain or snow. The grafting at normal jobs to be able to afford such an expensive sport. The massive ups and downs we experience throughout our equestrian careers, the massive risk we put ourselves in from getting on these beasts, the heartache when it all goes horribly wrong either when your horse gets injured or the partnership gets it wrong and you have one of those "bugger this is going to hurt" moments. But equally the pride and sense of achievement when all these previous statements have paid off and we win, place or simply have a great round is something that makes all the naff times worth while.

Ask yourself when you think ...more

See the reasons horse riding is the most demanding sport are:
1. Our teammate speaks a whole different language.
2. If a horse doesn't want to do something it doesn't do it.
3. Miss a penalty? Ah bless well try missing a stride!
4. This animal weighs 3/4 of a tonne, every time you get on its back you are trusting the fact they will carry you and not do you harm.
5. We do not just sit there... If you haven't ridden a horse before then getting a horse to walk in a straight line will be a struggle.

Horses are living, breathing animals with brains. They are flight animals which means their first instinct is to run when they are scared. Their trust in us is the reason they do not.

Horses are a living breathing team mate that talk a completely different language and can potentially kill you, just over a difference of opinion, sometimes you don't have to do anything wrong, there's just something scary in the hedge... From hobby riders to high end competition riders, we ride regularly, from 2/3 times a week up to 2/3 times a day (per horse)
And that's without the day to day care of them (hard work would be an understatement) and its 365 days a year regardless of the weather or your health.

We work all year long for 2 minutes to show all of our hard work. Our teammate can kill us at any second. We fall and break bones. Our leg muscles work harder than any other sport

42 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.

I play lacrosse and not as hard as motocross but I have had my elbow and wrist broken

43 Tae Kwon Do

Why is Taekwondo only at #43? You work just as hard, if not harder than other sports, also the fact that your opponent is actively trying to hurt you


44 Handball
45 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

46 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.

47 BMX Racing

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

48 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


49 Olympic Weightlifting
50 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.

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