What are the best sports to get you lean?

We all have different fitness goals - some of us wants bigger muscles, some want to stay fit and improve their endurance. And some of us want to become leaner. If you're in the last category but feel bored of going to the gym, read on!

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A great way to go about getting lean is playing sports. Not only are they fun, social, and foster a competitive spirit that will spill into your daily life, but they’re also extremely effective workouts where you don't even realise how much conditioning you’re allowing your body to go through. Mostly focused on cardio, the trick is to not do too much, and focus on sports that require intervals of intensity. This is because your body adapts to cardio and will become fuel efficient like never before. We’ve selected the top sports you should compete in to get the ultimate lean physique. 


Lean figures in tip-top condition are on offer in the world of boxing. Think Floyd Mayweather and how, even at over 40, he maintains a body many people could only dream of having.

The sport offers a two-in-one cardio and strength workout because if you aren’t bigger and stronger you’re already at a disadvantage. Boxing targets the entire body as well as improving coordination, reactivity, and agility.


These days it’s a common sight to see footballer taking their shirts off to display their ridiculously sculpted bodies. There’s a bit of vanity to it, but it takes a lot of hard work on the training pitch to get this way.

Football combines the elements of cardio, high intensity sprints to get the ball, power to shoot, innate competitiveness, and explosive power to beat opponents. It does require a muscular build but this is accompanied by a pure athletic physique.  



Explosive power over short distances is exactly how you get a lean, ripped body and there is no sport that brings this out better than sprinting because you have to be willing to leave it all out on the track.

A sprinter’s energy system is being maxed out after every performance. These athletes engage every muscle they can, coming from their legs and working its way up. Combining power, high intensity agility, and cardio, do enough sprinting and you’ll get the body you want.



Rowing actively engages all of your muscles as you move in a fluid motion. You need to be keen learner and ready to challenge yourself to push on. It also does not hurt that you get toned to your peak due to the resistance of the water.

You will also find that rowing maintains your muscle build, and is an upper body activity that’ll shred you. Your coordination skills are also working overtime as, if you are in a team, you need to work simultaneously for max output.



We’re not talking about the high-flying nature of the faux WWE sport, but actual wrestle where you’re in direct competition with another human being. You need to be able to out-muscle and out-think opponents.

It relies heavily on a strong core and the ability to maintain position that makes you lean. There is also a stimulation of the fast-twitch muscle fibers, and the necessity of keeping to a strict diet.  



Gymnastics has a whole host of benefits as you depend on all over your muscles to be able to either hold yourself up when using the rings, or somersaulting through the air off the horse.

For men and women, it requires high muscle strength, and extreme conditioning because it goes further than most sports at defying the limits of the human form. The high level of athleticism ensures that your body is always at its peak.



Save the best for last. Everyone knows what we’re talking about when we refer to the “swimmer’s body”. It’s a physique that you can only get through swimming because of the combination of muscles engaged.

Not only with you activate your type I muscle fibers, but it’s a full body workout that relies on upper body strength and kicking power. You’ll also get extra resistance training through water, broad shoulders, a defined torso and chest, and strong core. This is the zenith of sports that make you lean and build to perfection.  

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