Top 10 Most Athletic Sports | Muscle Prodigy Fitness (2023)

Top 10 Most Athletic Sports | Muscle Prodigy Fitness (1)

What are the most athletic sports and who are the best athletes in each specific sport? You probably have been in some sort of argument about this topic with friends and family saying that you’re sport is the toughest. Well, we’re here to weigh in on the matter with a panel of experts who helped us come to the conclusion of which sport truly takes the most athletic ability and skill. First, we need to ask the question of what being athletic means? The dictionary defines it as physically strong, fit, and active. This doesn’t really answer the question.

If we are taking strength and power into the mix, we would have to include bodybuilders and powerlifters, but we obviously know that doesn’t feel right. If we’re taking just speed and agility into account, then we would just have to include track and field, but that, too, doesn’t serve this debate justice.

Therefore, our definition has to take into account a combination of 5 categories: strength (combination of raw power and muscle endurance), speed (40 yard dash time), agility (ability to change direction with quickness and explosion), endurance (stamina), and hand-eye coordination (ability to react quickly to sensory perception). We rate each out of a 1 to 10 scale.

So which sport do you think is the most athletic? Or maybe we should ask which sport has the most athletes? Or maybe the best question to ask is which sport requires the most athleticism? An athlete, by definition, can play multiple sports and succeed in every single one of them. Therefore, the best athletes can literally be professionals in practically any sport they play in. So who is the model athlete walking this Earth? No, it’s not LeBron James nor Christiano Ronaldo. The ultimate athlete in our book is the decathlon winner: Bryan Clay. For anyone who doesn’t know him up. Heoutperformed basically every NFL and NBA player you’ve ever heard in the SPARQ test, which measures true athletic performance. So our measuring stick is certainly Bryan Clay when comparing the majority of athletes in each particular sport. Let’s begin this ultimate debate.

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10.Ice Hockey

Hockey is one sport that a lot of people have a tough time competing in, partly because you’re skating on ice and partly because you’re sprinting your butt off during a shift. While you need a lot of anaerobic capacity to get through a shift, hockey players do get a lot of downtime during the course of a game. While running and playing a sport at a high level while on ice is insanely tough, hockey requires the least amount of natural athletic ability to succeed in. Most great hockey players worked so hard theirentire life to get there. Hence, this isone sport that hard work significantly transcends talent.

Strength: 6
Speed: 9
Agility: 6
Endurance: 5
Hand-Eye Coordination: 4

Total: 30/50

Most Athletic Hockey Player

Jarome Iginla


This is the dark horse you’ve all been waiting for. Badminton takes more hand-eye coordination than any sport, including baseball. With a birdie coming in at speeds close to 180 mph in a tiny court, a badminton player’s ability to change directions needs to be quicker than anybody in any professional sport. Their reaction time and ability to make explosive cuts in a 6m x 7m court needs to be impeccable if they are going to be successful at their sport. While they don’t need any strength, their agility needs to be out of this world. Watch a crazy badminton rally and you’ll see how intense it gets. Watching them dive for the shuttle is so awesome by the way!

Strength: 1
Speed: 4
Agility: 10
Endurance: 6
Hand-Eye Coordination: 10

Total: 31/50

Most Athletic Badminton Player

Raju Rai


Despite what you think about gymnastics, this is thetoughest sport in the world to be good at. Let’s see you spin in circles on the high bar, release, do a few flips, and grab the bar again. They are the strongest pound for pound athletes and have some of the best bodies gracing this Earth, indicative of the preparation required for the sport.

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Strength: 10
Speed: 4
Agility: 8
Endurance: 6
Hand-Eye Coordination: 5

Total: 33/50

Most Athletic Gymnast

Raj Bhavsar


Soccer players are forced to run around for close to 2 hours, making explosive cuts throughout the elongated sprint. They are quick and fast and have some of the best stamina around.

Strength: 3
Speed: 8
Agility: 8
Endurance: 9
Hand-Eye Coordination: 5

Total: 34/50

Most Athletic Soccer Player

Christiano Ronaldo


Five hour matches in the blistering heat. There’s a reason why a tennis player can be 30 years old and washed up and broken down, unable to compete. You will never, ever see one person over 10% body fat ever succeed in the pro tennis world. That speaks volume on how much this sport focuses on serious endurance like no other.

Strength: 2
Speed: 6
Agility: 8
Endurance: 10
Hand-Eye Coordination: 9


Total: 35/50

Most Athletic Tennis Player

Rafael Nadal


We’re not talking WWE here even though those guys are significantly more athletic than you think. We’re talking about Olympic/Collegiate wrestling. Go to a college practice and you’ll never see a group of individuals work harder in any sport. Along with their toughness and mental fortitude, wrestlers are required to do it all: hit the weights, do sprints, run long distances, and work on their technique and reaction time. Just watch professional ice hockey player Georges Laraque try to go through a wrestling practice with Georges St. Pierre (Oh yeah, he’s 100 pounds lighter than him). 7 minutes of explosive, quick short bursts using every muscle in your body is enough to make a man cry. One slip-up of putting your hands on your knees or taking yourself out of your stance for a single second and you’re on your back.

Strength: 10
Speed: 5
Agility: 7
Endurance: 9
Hand-Eye Coordination: 5

Total: 36/50

Most Athletic Wrestler

Jordan Burroughs


I am completely torn between putting boxing as #2 behind MMA as opposed to putting it behind football and basketball. Go to a gym with a ring and just run around for 3 minutes non-stop in a circle with your hands protecting your head, your abs held tight and flexed, and see how your legs and arms feel. Shadowboxing alone will leave your arms dead and gasping for air, but then get punched in the mouth and ribs a few times while doing it. It is the only sport you have to train for months on end just to get through one match. It’s a 12 round fight consisting of 3 minute rounds with only 30 second breaks in between and no timeouts or teammates to help you get through it. You can’t stand in the corner to catch your breath while you don’t have the ball either. Every other sport, you could just get up and play, but if you ever actually tried boxing, I promise you would agree it is the toughest sport behind MMA. However, I always make the argument that you see successful fat boxers from time to time who could never succeed in a sport like basketball or football (on a professional level, at least). By definition, an athlete can excel in multiple sports. This is a tough one but we’ll leave the stats to decide.

Strength: 6
Speed: 6
Agility: 7
Endurance: 10
Hand-EyeCoordination: 8

Total: 37/50

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Most Athletic Boxer

Floyd Mayweather


Outside of your typical linemen, football demands raw power, strength, agility, and speed off of a quick burst from practically every position. Football players are strong and powerful, but what separates them is the raw speed attached to their muscular frames, running sub-4.4 40’s across the field in a flash at 220+ pounds. They can also take huge hits after huge hits and keep playing at a high level. Wide receivers, running backs, and linebackers are freakish athletes, but the defensive backs are the best set of athletes on the football field. It’s a lot easier to run a route when you know where you’re going, but trying to stay in the guy’s back pocket when you have no clue as to which direction the person you’re guarding is heading adds a whole new dimension to athleticism. They do this all while they are required to make the tackle in the open field. Just go to a football field with your buddy, stand 10 yards apart, and try wrapping him up and bringing him to the ground while he tries to get past you.

Strength: 8
Speed: 10
Agility: 9
Endurance: 5
Hand-Eye Coordination: 6

Total: 38/50

Most Athletic NFL Football Player

Calvin Johnson


Regardless of what sport you play or how not tough you think basketball players are, the good ones are hands down some of the most athletic guys on this planet. Yes, we can take the Larry Birds of the sport and demonstrate how you don’t have to be athletically gifted. However, taking an extrapolation of the average professional basketball players, they will be good at any sport they try. Just ask Shaq who made a television show about it. Basketball requires an extraordinary amount of jumping, sprinting, changing direction, and explosiveness, which is a huge ingredient to athleticism. And yes, with his ridiculous speed and frame, LeBron James could be a tight end in the NFL.

Strength: 6
Speed: 9
Agility: 9
Endurance: 8
Hand-EyeCoordination: 7

Total: 39/50

Most Athletic NBA Basketball Player

Russell Westbrook


Combine boxing and wrestling together and then go for 5 minutes straight (times 3)…let’s see how you feel. Reacting to kicks, punches, and double leg takedowns is hard enough, but doing it while you are exhausted from throwing your own is on a whole new level. Doing a one on one sport completely intensifies things. From a stamina standpoint, this sport sets the bar. Not too sure if LeBron James could last 5 minutes in the octagon before being gassed enough to get knocked out, but Matt Hughes can run up and down the court for 48 minutes, regardless if the ball goes in or not. MMA is the most athletic sport there is because one wrong move and you can end your life- no other sport has quite those risks.

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Strength: 9
Speed: 7
Agility: 9
Hand EyeCoordination: 8

Total: 43/50


Georges St. Pierre


Which sport has the most athletic athletes? ›

Gymnasts. Gymnasts are perhaps some of the most athletic people on earth, as they need to possess incredible strength, power, balance, and coordination.

Which athletes are the most fit? ›

LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo, Usain Bolt Top SI's Fittest Athletes List
Sports Illustrated's 50 Fittest Athletes in Sports
1LeBron James40
2Cristiano Ronaldo38.5
3Usain Bolt36.5
8 more rows

What is the top 10 hardest sport? ›

According to Sports Virsa, the top 10 hardest sports in the world to play in 2022 are as follows: Boxing (hardest), American football, mixed martial arts, ice hockey, gymnastics, basketball, soccer, wrestling, rugby, and water polo.

What is the most athletic sports in order? ›

Note: Sports are listed and analyzed in no particular order.
  • 1) Baseball. Baseball players may have the greatest hand-eye coordination in the world. ...
  • 2) Basketball. Basketball often requires extraordinary athletic ability in order to succeed. ...
  • 3) Football. ...
  • 4) Hockey. ...
  • 5) Soccer. ...
  • 6) Lacrosse. ...
  • 7) Rugby. ...
  • 8) Cricket.

Who is the No 1 athletic in the world? ›

100 Highest-Paid Athletes in the World 2022
2022 RankAthleteTeam
1LeBron JamesLos Angeles Lakers
2Lionel MessiParis Saint-Germain
3Cristiano RonaldoManchester United
4NeymarParis Saint-Germain
58 more rows

What is the most physical sport? ›

According to several studies about “science of muscles and movement” experts label boxing as the most demanding sport for an athlete. Boxing requires strength, power, endurance, and the ability to withstand huge hits over a period of time.

Who is the most fit NFL player? ›

THE fittest guy in the NFL is not a quarterback, cornerback or running back — he's a punter. Yes a punter. Steve Weatherford is the punter for the New York Giants and he's ripped, seriously ripped. Weatherford is almost as famous for his toned abs, bulging biceps and perfect pecs as he is for his exploits on the field.

Who is the fittest athlete alive? ›

Rich Froning Jr.
Rich Froning at Wodapalooza in 2019
Personal information
BornJuly 21, 1987 Mount Clemens, Michigan, U.S.
EducationTennessee Tech (Exercise Science)
OccupationCrossFit Athlete
11 more rows

What's the easiest sport to learn? ›

The 7 Easiest Sports to Play
  • Volleyball.
  • Table Tennis/Ping Pong.
  • Running.
  • Spikeball.
  • Badminton.
  • Cycling.
  • Bowling.

What is the hardest girl sport? ›

1 Gymnastics Gymnastics is a sport involving the performance of exercises requiring strength, flexibility, balance and control. To be honest, gymnastics is the hardest sport.
Which sport is the easiest?
  • Table Tennis/Ping Pong.
  • Running.
  • Spikeball.
  • Badminton.
  • Cycling.
  • Volleyball.
  • Bowling.

What sport takes the most skill? ›

Tenpin Bowling and swimming were considered the sports requiring the most skill. The ratings are still being recorded (this list is from December 2019), so the list order may change over time.
Top Ranked Skill Sports.
1Tenpin Bowling87.4
2Swimming (200m Free)86.9
4Water Polo85.8
6 more rows

What is America's #1 sport? ›

American football takes the crown when it comes to popularity, and this is the most-watched sport in the US.

What are the 4 major sports? ›

MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL are commonly referred to as the "Big Four." Each of these is the wealthiest professional club competition in its sport worldwide, and along with the English Premier League they make up the top five sports leagues by revenue in the world.

Who is the top 10 athletes of all time? ›

  1. Michael Jordan.
  2. Babe Ruth.
  3. Muhammad Ali.
  4. Jim Brown.
  5. Wayne Gretzky.
  6. Jesse Owens.
  7. Jim Thorpe.
  8. Willie Mays.

Who is the best female athlete of all time? ›

Jackie Joyner-Kersee is the greatest
1Jackie Joyner-KerseeTrack & Field
2Babe Didrikson ZahariasTrack & Field
3Billie Jean KingTennis
4Sonja HenieFigure Skating
96 more rows

Who is the richest athlete of all time? ›

Michael Jordan | $2.2 Billion | Basketball

After playing a total of 15 seasons in the NBA, playing for both the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards, there's no surprise that Michael Jordan is the richest athlete in the world.

What is the most tired sport? ›

Having got the honourable mentions out of the way, here's a countdown of the 10 most exhausting sports in the world:
  • Basketball. ...
  • Boxing. ...
  • Australian Rules Football. ...
  • Ice Hockey. ...
  • Cross country skiing. ...
  • Marathon. ...
  • Road cycling. ...
  • Ironman Triathlon.
Jan 1, 2017

What is the hardest sport to go pro in? ›

Here are the top 5 hardest sports to make it pro in (statistically).
  • Ice Hockey. If you enjoy the majesty of gliding over the ice and the thrill of smashing into other adults, you might want to pursue a career in hockey. ...
  • Baseball. ...
  • Soccer. ...
  • Basketball.

Who has the lowest body fat in the NFL? ›

San Francisco 49ers star Nick Bosa said he has the lowest body fat percentage on his team, and he believes his new high-protein diet is the reason for it.

Who has the biggest biceps in football? ›

Bulked Up Bengals Linebacker Carl Lawson Might Have The Biggest Biceps in The NFL.

Is there a 7 foot NFL player? ›

According to Pro Football Reference, there have only been two players in NFL history to stand 6-foot-10 or taller and make a regular-season NFL roster -- Morris Stroud, who stood 6-foot-10 and played for the Chiefs from 1969-74, and Richard Sligh, who became the only 7-foot player in NFL history when he played one ...

Who is the fittest female athlete? ›

The athlete rated the fittest was gymnast Simone Biles, who was also voted the fittest in 2017.
The Top-20 'Fittest Women' of 2019.
1Simone BilesGymnastics
2Caterine IbargüenTrack and Field (jumps)
3Tia-Clair ToomeyCrossFit
4Dina Asher-SmithSprints
16 more rows

Who is the fittest 14 year old? ›

A County Down athlete can claim to be the 'Fittest Teenager on Earth' after coming out on top at the CrossFit Games in the USA. Lucy McGonigle saw off all competition to win the 14-15 age group at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

Who is the oldest fittest person? ›

Ernestine Shepherd
BornErnestine Shepherd June 16, 1936
OccupationCompetitive body builder
Years active1995–present
Known forOldest living competitive bodybuilder at one point
1 more row

Is dance a sport yes or no? ›

Sport is an activity involving physical exertion and skill, with an individual or team competing against others for entertainment. In all senses of this definition, yes – dance can be considered a sport.

Is cheerleading a sport yes or no? ›

But unlike football, cheerleading is not officially recognized as a sport — neither by the NCAA nor by U.S. federal Title IX guidelines.

What sport requires the most stamina? ›

The Top Endurance Sports
  • Ultra-marathon running. ...
  • Cross-country running. ...
  • Trail running. ...
  • Road racing. ...
  • Gravel biking. ...
  • Mountain biking. ...
  • Canoeing & rowing. ...
  • Strength sports. Here is a list of the best sports for strength:
4 days ago

What is the easiest girl sport? ›

What is the easiest sport to get into?
  • Badminton. Hands down, one of the easiest and most rewarding sport to learn is Badminton. ...
  • Swimming. Swimming is a sport that can be learned at any age. ...
  • Cycling. ...
  • Table Tennis. ...
  • Volleyball.

What sport begins with T? ›

Some sports that begin with the letter t are tennis, table tennis, taekwondo, triathlon, and t-ball.

What is the cheapest sport to learn? ›

Here are just a few.
  • Skateboarding. While the popularity of skateboarding has waxed and waned since it was invented in the 1950s, it was recently named an Olympic sport. ...
  • Frisbee/disc golf. Frisbee golf can be played with two to many players. ...
  • Badminton. ...
  • Soccer. ...
  • Dance. ...
  • Basketball. ...
  • Hiking. ...
  • Swimming.
Jun 16, 2021

What sport do girls like best? ›

The results revealed that 57% of women found climbing attractive, making it the sexiest sport from a female perspective. In second place was extreme sports (56%), followed by football (52%), and hiking (51%). At the bottom of their list came aerobics and golf, with just 9% and 13% of the vote, respectively.

Which sport is most liked by girls? ›

Globally, soccer is the most-followed women's sport, followed by badminton, basketball and tennis. Serena Williams is the highest profile currently active athlete in women's sport, with Naomi Osaka in second place.

What's the safest sport? ›

Swimming is the safest sport to take part in. Its easy on the joints and can be an aid in recovery after an injury so making it the safest sport in America.

What sport runs the fastest? ›

Speed Sports - the highest ranked
rankingsportrating (/10)
1Track and Field: Sprints9.88
2Speed Skating8.88
3Swimming (all strokes): Sprints7.88
4Ice Hockey7.75
16 more rows

What is the fastest sport to play? ›

The fastest projectile speed in any moving ball game is c. 302km/h 188mph in Jai-Alai (Pelota). The most lethal ball of any sport, the pelota is 3/4 the size of a baseball and harder than a golf ball.

What is the top 3 most popular sport? ›


250 million people play the sport in 200 different countries, and there are around 3.5 billion fans worldwide. The next three most popular sports are field hockey, which has 2.2 billion fans globally, basketball, and cricket, which has 2.5 billion fans (2 billion).

What is the top 10 most watched sport? ›

The Most Watched Sporting Events in The World
  • Tour de France – 3.5 Billion Viewers. ...
  • World Cup of Soccer – 3.3 Billion Viewers.
  • Cricket World Cup – 2.6 Billion Viewers. ...
  • Summer Games – 2 Billion Viewers. ...
  • Winter Games – 2 Billion Viewers.
  • Women's World Cup – 1.12 Billion Viewers.
  • Boxing – 1 Billion Viewers.
Jul 25, 2022

What is the #2 sport in America? ›

2. Baseball. Known as “America's pastime,” baseball is the second most popular sport in the United States and is the 7th most popular sport in the world. Professional baseball in the United States is played by the teams that make up the Major League Baseball (MLB).

What is the 2nd most popular sport? ›

Cricket is an immensely complex game, but it is also the world's second-most popular sport.

Which sport has the most fans? ›

Soccer / Association Football

What are the Big 5 sports in America? ›

Overview. The most popular team sports in the United States are American football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, and soccer.

What is the 5th best sport? ›

Ice Hockey. Ice hockey is the fifth most popular sport in America with 4% identifying it as their favorite sport.

What is the 6th popular sport? ›


Volleyball is the 6th most popular sport in the world, with 900 million supporters spread over Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Australia. Volleyball is a team sport in which a net separates two teams of six players.

What Olympic sport has the most athletes? ›

Which Olympic event features the most athletes? Track and field has the most Olympic athletes, 2,176 of them representing 200 countries and vying for medals in 47 events.

What sport is hardest to go pro in? ›

Here are the top 5 hardest sports to make it pro in (statistically).
  • Ice Hockey. If you enjoy the majesty of gliding over the ice and the thrill of smashing into other adults, you might want to pursue a career in hockey. ...
  • Baseball. ...
  • Soccer. ...
  • Basketball.

What is the least physically demanding sport? ›

Croquet is one that comes to mind. And lawn bowls would be another. Also let's not forget darts. Golf, bowling and snooker/pool are some others that do not demand much in the way of physical fitness.
These categories are:
  • Athleticism.
  • Skill.
  • Mental Toughness.

What 10 sports are not in the Olympics? ›

It was a demonstration sport in the 1928, 1932 and 1948 Games.
Great Britain taking on the United States in the tug of war during the 1908 Olympics in London.
  • Cricket. ...
  • Tug of War. ...
  • Water Motorsports. ...
  • Distance Plunging. ...
  • Basque Pelota. ...
  • Rope Climbing. ...
  • Croquet. ...
  • Lacrosse.
Jul 14, 2021

What is the least popular sport in the Olympics? ›

What is your least favorite Olympic event?
CharacteristicPercentage of respondents
Synchronized Swimming8%
9 more rows
Jun 20, 2012

What sport gets the most injuries? ›

Believe it or not, basketball actually has more injuries than any other sport, followed by football, soccer and baseball. Common sports injuries include hamstring strains, groin pulls, shin splints, ACL tears and concussions.

What is the hardest sport for a girl? ›

What is the hardest sport mentally? Gymnastics is one of the most physical and most mentally challenging sports in the world. Many people don't realise the amount of strength that it takes to tumble, twist, and vault and also many people don't realise the constant pressure of competing against yourself.


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