How Strong Were Vikings

Were Vikings strong? Precisely how strong were Vikings?

Were Viking strong? In both historical and fantasized tales, the Viking people are typically depicted as large, muscular individuals, with excellent prowess in battle. Watch any modern television show about a Viking, and you’ll usually see warriors rippling with muscle and strength. However, not many people can confidently answer the question: “how strong were Vikings?”

Much of what we know about Vikings comes from historical reports written by other communities throughout the centuries, as well as archaeological findings. This means its difficult to get a read on exactly how many muscles Vikings had, or what they were capable of physically.

What we do know, however, is experts do consider the Vikings to be one of the stronger people in the early centuries. The reason for this comes down to a number of factors, including the rigorous training methods of Viking warriors, and the work involved in thriving within the cold Scandinavian region.

Here’s what we know about the strength of the Vikings…

Were Vikings strong? An introduction to strong Vikings

So, how strong were Vikings exactly? It’s difficult to say for certain. However, experts say Vikings were likely to be both physically and mentally robust individuals.

The Viking mentality was strong as a result of the religion followed by the people. Vikings believed the warriors who died in battle would be welcomed into a heaven-like place known as Valhalla.

Belief in Valhalla meant Vikings often went eagerly into battle, believing they would live on, even if they didn’t survive the fight. Vikings gave everything in their fights, unafraid of whether they would be returning home or not.

At the same time, Vikings were given a slight physical advantage of their enemies, in part as a result of their complex lives.

Vikings lived in the Scandinavian region originally, best-known for its extremely harsh winters and difficult terrains. Living in the North, where cold nights reigned, Vikings had to learn how to survive in extremely challenging circumstances.

How Strong Were Vikings

Training strong Vikings from an early age

Viking culture was based heavily around strength and training.

Vikings were even trained to be warriors from a very young age. Boys were trained to create and use their own weapons from early childhood. These weapons would often be large, bulky swords and axes, which required significant strength to use.

It was traditional for young Vikings to build their muscles by practicing how to wield hefty weapons.

Vikings would often practice their fighting prowess on a regular basis. Many younger men in their early teenage years would even contribute to battles and raids. Many older Vikings would also teach younger children, by telling them stories of their accomplishments in battle.

Even during their downtime, younger Vikings would take part in fights for entertainment. “Glima” was a form of martial arts and wrestling practiced by the Nordic people at the time.

Why were Vikings so strong?

So, why were Vikings strong? As mentioned above, there were many factors contributing to the physical and mental strength of the Vikings. Only the strong survived in a harsh environment like the Scandinavian region, and children were taught to protect themselves from a young age.

Vikings were often more robust and muscular than the average person for other reasons. Although we often think of Vikings as people constantly involved in battle and warfare, these people actually spent significant time on the farm, looking after crops and animals.

The work involved in maintaining the Viking homestead required significant strength. Vikings worked long hours, carrying, and using heavy equipment which contributed to the formation of muscles, even from an early age.

Another reason for the significant strength of the Vikings was their diet. Vikings were mostly hunters, not gatherers, due to their cold, harsh environment. Though many Vikings grew their own crops, they had limited access to vegetation.

This meant they often hunted for animals to survive, and looked after livestock. The result was access to a huge amount of protein and fat, excellent for building muscle.

Even though their environment was difficult, Vikings managed to enjoy a relatively balanced diet, and didn’t have many nutritional deficiencies.

However, the issues they did have with their diet contributed to a few changes to Viking appearance. For instance, many Vikings were shorter than the Scandinavians of modern times.

How Strong Were Vikings

Were Vikings muscular?

The Vikings we see in pop culture today are unlikely to be a completely accurate depiction of what this community actually looked like. We know through archaeological findings and scientific study, Vikings were relatively short, and had fantastic hygiene.

Since they didn’t have their own gym, they probably didn’t have six packs and glamor muscles.

However, experts believe Vikings were quite large, muscular people, capable of striking fear into the hearts of their enemies as a result of their strength and size. The physical build of the Vikings was likely to be somewhat similar to our own, but with significantly more mass and muscle.

From an early age, Vikings took part in activities which would progressively develop their strength over time, from rowing boats, to farming, and chopping wood. The heavily active lifestyles of the Vikings meant few would be “overweight” or underweight.

How strong were the Vikings really?

There aren’t any official records highlighting the strength of the Vikings in numbers we could recognize today. However, the records we do indicate Vikings took part in a lot of work which developed their tactical muscles, such as their legs, hips, and cores.

They would lift extremely heavy objects, build ships, and row to different shores.

Stone lifting was also common in Viking times. To earn respect, and a place at the head of a crew, Vikings would sometimes lift stones weighing more than 340 pounds to showcase their skill.

Some specialists also believe Vikings had higher levels of testosterone than people today, perhaps as a result of their genetics, and their unusual diet.

This excess testosterone also meant many female Vikings had more masculine features than future generations, such as broad brows and jaws. At the very least, we can say Vikings were strong enough to wield huge weapons, and lift large objects.

How strong were Viking warriors?

Viking warriors were perhaps the strongest of the Viking people. While all Vikings were said to train their muscles with the work they did around the home, Viking warriors were particularly dedicated to training.

They spent significant time practicing their skills and developing their strength.

Viking warriors were also committed to making themselves as “scary” as possible. Some Viking warriors braided their hair as a way of showing strength, and carved lines into their teeth they would fill with dye to make them appear more monstrous.

As part of this quest to be as fearsome as possible, Vikings would build their muscles and make themselves look as big and bulky as possible.

There was even a type of Viking warrior known as the “Beserkr” who would enter battle wearing bear and wolf skins, which they believed gave them the protection and blessing of the God, Odin.

The incredible strength of the Vikings

So, were Vikings strong? Much of what we know about Vikings is limited, as the Viking people simply didn’t spend a lot of time writing about themselves. However, research into questions such as “how strong were Vikings” over the years has revealed some useful insights.

Today, archaeological findings and studies indicate the Vikings were definitely fearsome people, similar to the groups we see depicted in pop culture. They were brimming not just with physical strength, but resilience too.

Years of toiling in a difficult environment gave Vikings both the muscle and endurance they needed to survive.

Vikings were trained from an early age to fight and wield weapons. They were also told stories about the gods and Valhalla which helped to strengthen their cognition too. Mentally, Vikings were incredibly brave, and unafraid of death.

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