15 Scrawny Athletes Who Need to Hit the Weight Room
15 Skinniest Athletes
Being a professional athlete is difficult. Players must find the right balance between speed, endurance and strength for their sport and position, and work constantly on their bodies to achieve this balance. In sports like soccer and basketball, the constant running both in practice and in games can make it hard to bulk up. In basketball, guards can get away with being super skinny as long as they’re fast too. Many of the skinniest-looking NBA players actually weigh over 200 pounds, but they also stand close to or over 7-feet tall. For these bigger players, strength is usually valued over quickness, but it can be difficult putting weight on such a large frame.
In football and baseball, a player's size depends largely on their position. An offensive lineman in the NFL often weighs over 300 pounds, but a cornerback or wide receiver may weigh under 200 pounds. In Major League Baseball, middle infielders and outfielders can be extremely skinny as long as they’re fast. Catchers, first basemen, and of course designated hitters are typically larger because they often hit for power and their defensive positions don’t require much running. Pitchers can be skinny too, as long as they have the length and power to throw dominant pitches. Some of the heaviest players are often pitchers too, as they rarely use their foot speed.
Check out this list of 15 of the skinniest professional athletes across professional sports. Some of them can get away with it as their game benefits from great conditioning and speed. However, all of them would look significantly better if they hit the weight room and gained a few pounds.
15. Tuuka Rask
Finish goalie Tuuka Rask is one of the Boston Bruins' slimmest players, weighing 185 pounds at 6-foot-3. Rask earned a fat contract with the Bruins this summer, but if he himself got a bit fatter, he could fill up more of the goal.
14. Brandon Jennings
Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings weighs in at 169 pounds and stands at 6-foot-1. It’s not unreasonable for a 6-foot-1 guy to weigh under 170 pounds, especially for a point guard who thrives on speed, but Jennings is a professional athlete competing against enormous men. He is a pretty poor finisher around the rim, and gaining some muscle could help him slash through and improve his field goal percentage.
13. Roscoe Parrish
Free agent wide receiver Roscoe Parrish weighs just 175 pounds. He isn’t tall either at 5-foot-9. Parrish had the speed to return kicks and evade cornerbacks, but his lack of a job indicates that it wasn’t enough to overcome his shortcomings.
12. Tyson Chandler
Few would call a 240-pound man skinny, but New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler is also 7-foot-1. Chandler came into the league at just 224 pounds, so he has found a way to bulk up a bit. However, a picture surfaced on Reddit this summer of Chandler in shorts that ended well above the knee. In the photo, we can clearly see Chandler’s built upper body, but we can also clearly see legs that seem to belong under Kate Moss, not a former Defensive Player of the Year.
11. Wes Welker
Wes Welker has never let his small size hold him back. Initially, it limited his college scholarship offers, then it prevented him from getting drafted. The 185-pound, 5-foot-9 wide receiver eventually caught on with the Miami Dolphins, but it wasn’t until Welker signed with the New England Patriots that he became the player we know today.
10. B.J Upton
6-foot-3, 185-pound Atlanta Braves outfielder B.J. Upton is one of those skinny guys who is deceptively strong. He has hit over 20 home runs in three different seasons. Upton seems to have achieved a great balance of strength and speed as he’s also stolen over 40 bases three times. Upton isn’t having a great year in 2013, but as he gets older and sees his speed slip, he may put in some time in the weight room and improve his power.
9. Brandon Banks
Brandon Banks isn’t playing in the NFL this year. After three years with the Washington Redskins, the 5-foot-7, 150-pound kick returner took his talents to Canada where he plays for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Banks’ speed helped him return kicks and punts for touchdowns, but at his size, he couldn’t do much else and he likely won’t be back in the NFL unless he grows or gains weight.
8. Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis came into the league as a string bean. In an interview with Mark J. Spears, New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams said Davis was obsessed with pizza. Despite his love for pepperoni, Davis has had trouble gaining weight and is still listed at just 220 pounds at 6-foot-10.
7. DeSean Jackson
DeSean Jackson is one of the lightest non-kicking players in the NFL. He weighs in at just 175 pounds at 5-foot-10. Even with his relatively small stature, Jackson has had much success as a wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles. Jackson’s game is focused on speed, but adding a bit of bulk could make him more durable and harder to take down.
6. Nerlens Noel
In many ways, Nerlens Noel is similar to Anthony Davis. They both attended the University of Kentucky and were highly hyped NBA prospects. Both of them were seen as potential defensive game-changers due to their height and length, but both of them are also really, really skinny. Noel is even younger than Davis, and he’s skinnier too at just 206 pounds at 7-feet tall. The Philadelphia 76ers have Noel listed at 228 pounds, but that seems like wishful thinking. Hopefully he can add even more weight and become a force at center for the Sixers.
5. Austin Daye
At 200 pounds, Austin Daye is one of the lightest members of the Toronto Raptors. Daye is also 6-foot-11. He plays as a small forward despite having the height of a center, which is clearly due to his slender frame. Fortunately for him, he has a decent shot and can even hit the occasional 3-pointer. If he were able to pack on some muscle, he could be much more useful to the Raptors.
4. Chris Johnson
Chris Johnson plays center for the Minnesota Timberwolves despite weighing no more than the average guard. At 6-foot-11, Johnson weighs just 210 pounds, a figure that’s gone up since his days at Louisiana State University, where he weighed 195 pounds. Johnson has been dominant a dominant defensive player at the D-League level, but he hasn’t played much in the NBA. A big part of that is his lack of strength and weight. If he can pack on the pounds, he’ll be an NBA-caliber defensive stopper.
3. Will Barton
Will Barton is a 6-foot-6, 175-pound shooting guard for the Portland Trailblazers. Barton hasn’t played much in the NBA, and a big part of that is his lack of physical development. He is still just 22-years-old, so fans have to hope his frame will fill out a bit in the next few years. Otherwise, it’s hard to imagine a player so scrawny having much longevity in such a physical league.
2. Chris Sale
White Sox ace Chris Sale weighs just 180 lbs despite his lanky 6-foot-6 frame. The slender pitcher’s look reminds some of Randy Johnson, but his delivery is far different. Sale throws with a bizarre sidearm motion that’s worked well enough to keep his career ERA under 3.00. Many Sox fans look at the pitcher and hope his scrawny body can continue to support his monster arm.
1. Peter Crouch
Stoke City striker Peter Crouch is absurdly thin. Standing at 6-foot-8, he weighs just 165 pounds. In a sport where stamina and conditioning tend to matter more than strength, Crouch’s weight isn’t unusual. His height, however, is. Even with his absurd proportions, he has earned a long career in the Premier League.