On the Topic of Quidditch Muscles
So, last night, there was some discussion on my dash about the existence of “Quidditch muscles” (this post and its notes, etc) and whether they are or are not a thing. And, though I’d long ago come to the conclusion that Quidditch is an athletic sport that takes strength and coordination and skill, etc, it really got me thinking in specifics about what exactly Quidditch might do for your body - or what you would do to your body for Quidditch.
Let me start off by saying that, imo, “Quidditch muscles” are definitely A Thing. Maybe (probably, definitely) not the big bulging, rippling muscles that Ashley’s referring to in her post, and definitely not ones with definition visible through a shirt (unless you’re wearing a really, really, really tight shirt and then maybe if it’s soaking wet, in which case I think you need a new shirt), but definitely something. Maybe “Quidditch muscles” isn’t the right way to put it, so I’m going to comfortably call it “Quidditch toned muscles” instead.
Like with any sport, I think that you have to be in relatively good shape to play it and be considered a competitive player. I can’t speak to Quidditch players lifting weights or running laps or anything that wasn’t explicitly mentioned in the books (though I assume that they might do these things, just like an ice skater runs or a soccer player lifts), but there is definitely canonical evidence for a workout involved in playing.
And, again, like with any sport, the bodies of the people that play it come in all different shapes and sizes (we saw more than one athlete at the London Olympics with nontraditionally “athletic” looking bodies, swimmers and volleyball players and all sorts, really), but from what I gather about Quidditch in canon and from my own thoughts on the subject, the basic run down is this:
- Core - It’s gotta take a lot of core strength to be able to balance yourself on a broom for the entirety of a game that can, presumably, last quite a while. Though a strong core is less of a concern for, say, a Seeker, if you’re in a position where you’re using your hands/arms for other things than holding on (Beater, Chaser, probably Keeper), it’s an important part of staying on your broom and something you don’t have extra attention to focus on.
- Arms/Shoulders/Back - Again, strength in these areas is mostly required from Chasers and Beaters. You want to be able to knock that Bludger or chuck that Quaffle with power and precision, after all. Keepers should also be relatively strong in these areas, since they’re often throwing the ball back into play. Seekers don’t really have to worry about this much.
- Legs/Butt - This is where things get a little complicated, because I think you would need thigh strength (and maybe some tight butt cheeks hay~) to hold onto the broom, but I also think hey, you’re going to be sitting on that broom for a while, and you could probably benefit from some extra cushion. There are probably charms/adjustments for that, though, so I’m more inclined to think that you should be able to really hold on with your legs, even direct the broom with them if you’re holding onto a Quaffle or swinging a bat or reaching for a save/the Snitch.
- Weight - This one is mostly Seeker specific rather than Seeker exclusive, unlike the others. A lot of what’s involved in being a Seeker is being quick, and while a good broom gives you an advantage, I think it’s fair to also assume that being lighter would make for less strain on the broom as well as less wind resistance. This is probably more body-type than anything else (as in, lifting wouldn’t help, since it would only build muscle and weigh you down), but running to keep fit/slim would probably benefit a Seeker.
Again, all of this would manifest itself differently according to people’s schedules, effort put in, and natural body type, but I don’t think it’s impossible to have muscles defined and toned by playing Quidditch or have toned/defined muscles for playing Quidditch.
Quidditch is a sport that definitely requires physical strength and skill and a fair bit of athleticism, and though the amount ranges between positions it would be to every players benefit to be “in shape.”
BUT, and this is a big but, this is for Quidditch as a whole - and is much more relevant if you’re talking about PROFESSIONAL Quidditch players.
Hogwarts Quidditch is, let’s be real, a glorified high school sports team. We’re talking about athletes as young as eleven and up through eighteen. While, yeah, these children could be strong and muscular and toned, chances are they’re not. I don’t know about you, but not all of the football players or basketball/baseball/soccer players at my high school looked like they came straight from Sports Illustrated or the label for some Calvin Klein boxers - and they were required to lift weights/run drills during team practices.
Basically, for all those who TL;DR - Yes, you could be toned/muscular for or from Quidditch, but we’re talking about (the Hogwarts equivalent of) high school students, and we could all benefit from everyone keeping in mind that James Potter and his teammates are regular teenagers, not Hollywood movie stars or Olympians.
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Every facet of this post
This is excellent.