Most Hated Sports and Fitness Trends in the US, a National Survey 

Does the thought of calling a spin class your “soul family” irk your stomach? Do midnight running clubs give you the ick? You’re in the right place! We’re talking about the most hated sports, exercise clubs, and physical activities across the country.  

We asked 4,000 Americans their take on which sports they found the most heinous and why. With the Summer Olympics coming up, we even investigated which events are getting an eye roll from US spectators. Buckle up and hide your Lululemons because the roasts are coming!  

Key Highlights: 

  • Ultimate frisbee was ranked #1 most despised US sport 
  • Americans find Breaking to be the most annoying event in the Summer Olympics 
  • Despite having the most yearly growth in fitness trends, Pilates was voted the #1 cringiest individual sport 

America’s Most Hated Team Sport is… 

If you were anticipating the most hated sport to involve a “hut, hut, hike” you’re wrong. Traditionally, football has gotten a bad rap for being the jock table jerks, but the stigma has shifted to a sport a little more…obscure.  

Ultimate Frisbee was voted the #1 most hated sport in America. As it turns out, there’s some serious animosity towards the frisbee throwers of the country. When asked why this majority thinks ultimate frisbee was hate-worthy, respondents claimed that “people play to show off on social media.” If you’re just playing “ultimate,” as its players call it, to snap a selfie, better to stay off the field. One respondent even went on to say, “Boring! I would rather watch grass grow than watch idiots play this.” Yikes! 

The runner-up was no other than America’s new favorite: pickleball. Pickleball was voted the #2 most hated sport in America, and we don’t have to look too deep into the statistics to understand why. Stemming from its affluent cousins: tennis and squash, many Americans think it’s just a new way to keep the rich entertained. Like ultimate frisbee, most respondents said that people only play pickleball to brag on social media, but another quarter of respondents said people play the sport for its exclusivity. You can’t pickleball with us!  

Third place goes to an American classic. You guessed it – football. Unlike ultimate frisbee and pickleball, where they’re hated for their exclusive and braggy feeling, Americans dislike football for different reasons. 60% think it’s not actually the sport that’s the issue – it’s the fans. An average NFL game isn’t complete without at least a couple of bar fights, fans taking to the streets and incessant screaming. Not to mention a lot of painted bellies.  

Most Hated Individual Sports and Non-Contact Activities in the US 

Sun salutations to the most hated American fitness activities! No, yoga, you’re safe. Pilates – sorry to say it, but America hates you. Whether it’s the Athletic Greens aesthetic or the matching periwinkle-colored Pilates gear, we can’t help but cringe. Pilates was voted the #1 most hated individual physical activity in the US. The #1 cited reason people hate on Pilates was that it felt like people do it to “show off”. There are over 3 million #pilatesinfluencers on Instagram, so it’s no wonder that users are tired of seeing “navel to nose” on their social feeds.  

Raise your hand if you’ve been personally victimized by “gains”, “bulking”, “macros”, or any other gym bro banter. If so, you’re not alone. Americans cited that the #2 physical activity community they love to hate was weightlifters. Just like Pilates, respondents find weightlifting hate-worthy because of the “flaunting” aspect. We’re one gym mirror selfie away from losing our cool! 

Put down the chalk, no one wants to see your climber’s grip. Climbing was considered the #3 most hated physical activity in America. To be honest, we get it. Seeing your friends brag about clinging on to rubber grips at an indoor gym is…well…cringeworthy. The data backs this claim too. Like football, the most cited reason for climbing hatred was because of the community itself. As [deleted] Reddit user refers to them, “You mean the beanie-wearing pebble wrestlers at the bottom of my cliff?!?!” we start to understand why the “Williamsburg” of workouts is deeply shamed.  

Running Events Getting All the Hate 

Running clubs…you’re not safe either. As a positive, many respondents praised running for its inclusion and low barrier to entry, but that doesn’t mean it’s safeguarded from a good ole’ fashion roast. Haters gonna hate and that’s exactly what we’re here to do. 

Between fun runs and tough mudders, there’s so much great content for jokes and jabs. We asked our participants to rank which major running events across the US they found the most insufferable.  

Let’s start with the good news: the more “serious” marathons, like the NYC Half and the Boston Marathon, were safe from ridicule. As we make our way down the East Coast, however, and more specifically to a certain tourist destination, the hate commences. Mickey Mouse will need to run because the Walt Disney World Marathon was overwhelmingly voted the #1 most hate-worthy marathon in the country. It’s something about the ears and tutus that turn the more serious running community against them, while the layman joins in to mock the Mickey Mouse fans too. The almost 15,000 finishers don’t let it bother them however, as they get to soak in glory and Florida sunshine! 

If you’ve ever swiped no to someone on a dating app because their main photo is them covered in mud leaping over a wooden hurdle, you’re in good company. 40% of the replies in the /toughmudder Reddit thread used the word “elitist” or “elitism” which just about says it all. Tough Mudder races were considered the #2 most hated racing event in the US. Why anyone would want to splash around in the mud, run for their lives, and have to pay $109 is beyond us. 

The Olympic Events Getting All the Cringe 

It became a bit of a national running joke when curling became a medal sport in the 1998 Olympics. The common opinion at the time echoed that of outlandish sentiment. 25+ years later, and it’s not so disregarded, but new sports have entered the mix. We asked respondents to share which Olympic event they found the most hate-worthy out of the upcoming 32 events, some old, some new.  

In order, here is the ranking order of the most hated summer Olympic sports

  1. Break Dancing 
  1. Handball 
  1. Judo 
  1. Archery 
  1. Cycling 
  1. Sport Climbing 
  1. Basketball 
  1. Skateboarding 

If curling has taught us anything, we judge what we don’t know. Maybe in a few years, after break dancing has matured in the Olympics scene, it will be more widely accepted.  

Most Hated Sports by State 

What’s popular in California might be loathsome in Virginia and vice-versa. We wanted to know what were the most hated sports at a state level and the results didn’t disappoint.  

  1. Alabama, Pickleball 
  1. Alaska, Lacrosse 
  1. Arizona, Ultimate Frisbee 
  1. Arkansas, Pickleball 
  1. California, Ultimate Frisbee 
  1. Colorado, Football 
  1. Connecticut, Pickleball 
  1. District of Columbia, Pickleball 
  1. Florida, Ultimate Frisbee 
  1. Georgia, Pickleball 
  1. Illinois, Football 
  1. Indiana, Ultimate Frisbee 
  1. Iowa, Ultimate Frisbee 
  1. Kansas, Football 
  1. Kentucky, Pickleball 
  1. Louisiana, Football 
  1. Maryland, Ultimate Frisbee 
  1. Massachusetts, Ultimate Frisbee 
  1. Michigan, Football 
  1. Minnesota, Pickleball 
  1. Mississippi, Ultimate Frisbee 
  1. Missouri, Ultimate Frisbee 
  1. Nebraska, Pickleball 
  1. Nevada, Football 
  1. New Hampshire, Ultimate Frisbee 
  1. New Jersey, Pickleball 
  1. New Mexico, Ultimate Frisbee 
  1. New York, Ultimate Frisbee 
  1. North Carolina, Football 
  1. North Dakota, Ultimate Frisbee 
  1. Ohio, Ultimate Frisbee 
  1. Oklahoma, Football 
  1. Oregon, Football 
  1. Pennsylvania, Ultimate Frisbee 
  1. Rhode Island, Football 
  1. South Carolina, Pickleball 
  1. South Dakota, Tennis 
  1. Tennessee, Pickleball 
  1. Texas, Ultimate Frisbee 
  1. Utah, Pickleball 
  1. Vermont, Padel 
  1. Virginia, Ultimate Frisbee 
  1. Washington, Football 
  1. West Virginia, Ultimate Frisbee 
  1. Wisconsin, Pickleball 

Please note that states with insufficient data were omitted from the list.  


Although we shouldn’t hate on anyone for getting active and doing something they love, there’s no harm in picking a little fun! Americans left the classics like basketball and baseball out of the mix and focused their sneering on newer sports such as pickleball, ultimate frisbee, and the Olympics’ break dancing. Some American faves couldn’t be left out of the roast however, as the NFL gets third-place hatred. Do what you love no matter what the haters say, but don’t be surprised if your Peloton becomes the butt of the joke.  


In June 2024, we surveyed 4,000 Americans asking a number of questions regarding the sentiment of sports and physical activities identified in Google Trends top lists. The age range was between 18-65 with all participants residing in the United States. Over half — 56% — were female, 42% were male, 1% identified as trans or non-binary, and 1% listed “other”.   

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