Top-20 Sports Requiring Durability

Which sports are ranked highest for the ability to constantly withstand physical punishment? This list is based on an analysis of 60 sports by an expert team at ESPN. The top sports are mostly high impact contact sports, though basketball is supposed to be non-contact! In gymnastics, the gymnasts punish themselves! See rankings for other components of fitness.

ranking sport rating (/10)
1 Boxing 8.5
2 American Football 8.5
3 Ice Hockey 8.25
4 Rugby 7.88
5 Basketball 7.75
6 Rodeo: Bull/Bareback/Bronc Riding 7.38
7 Rodeo: Steer Wrestling 6.88
8 Gymnastics 6.88
9 Cycling: Distance 6.88
10 Wrestling 6.75
11 Water Polo 6.38
12 Soccer 6.25
13 Lacrosse 6.13
14 Skiing: Alpine 6
15 Martial Arts 5.88
16 Track and Field: Distance 5.75
17 Baseball/Softball 5.63
18 Surfing 5.5
19 Skiing: Nordic 5.5
20 Skateboarding 5.25


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Fitness is the key to success in sport. Following basic principles, you can develop fitness components such as strength, speed and endurance. See our colection of exercises and fitness equipment. Ensure you warm-up and stretching before any workout.

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