Pickleball Calories Burned Calculator
Tempted to use pickleball as one of your primary means of burning calories? Why not? It’s a super enjoyable sport to play, burns many calories, and is not too stressful on the body.
However, before you commit to pickleball supremacy, knowing all the facts is important.
While pickleball is a great calorie burner, the calories burned in pickleball are notably lower than in some sports. That being said, you can take steps to make it more difficult if you want to.
This post will cover everything you need to know, from your expected pickleball calories burned to other help benefits you probably haven’t considered.
Pickleball Calorie Calculator
Please enter your weight in pounds:
How Many Calories Do You Burn Playing Pickleball?
Pickleball is an excellent sport for burning calories, and it’s not so intense that only very fit people can give it a go. Pickleball is a sport that people of almost any age can enjoy.
Naturally, the topic of calories burned comes up for those seeking to lose weight. It’s good that you’re seeking info here, but unfortunately, giving an accurate answer is very challenging.
There are a lot of factors that go into how many calories playing pickleball will burn. These include your age, weight, gender, and the intensity at which you play. That being said, we can estimate the figure for the average player. For this, we obtained data from our custom pickleball calorie counter.
Doctors estimate an average player burns 8-10 calories per minute. This means you'd burn 240 to 300 calories in 30 minutes. If you weigh less, you'll burn less and if you weigh more, you'll burn more. You can check out the breakdown in the chart below. Or use our calculator to estimate your calories burned playing pickleball.
|Weight (lbs)||Calories burned per minute||Calorie burned per 30 minutes||Calories burned per 60 minutes|
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Pickleball Calories Burned Compared to Other Racket Sports
|Calories burned per minute||Calories burned per 60 minutes|
(Data from Burned Calories & Captain Calculator - Based on an average 180 lb player)
When comparing the calories burned for pickleball with three of the top racket sports, it falls short of being the best calorie burner. And this is to be expected.
Tennis leads the charge as it has the biggest court and demands the most movement. It also requires more upper body muscle mass than the other three sports because of the larger court and heavier ball.
Badminton sits second, close behind tennis. This is because badminton is very high-intensity and involves a lot of in-and-out movement and working angles. Smashing is also highly prevalent, which drains your energy fast.
Pickleball is in third place with a decent lead over table tennis. While it has the same court size as badminton, the gameplay is far less intense. You play out most rallies around the kitchen without much movement.
Moreover, you rarely play games alone, as it is primarily a doubles game. As a result, you burn a good amount of calories but nothing exceptional.
Lastly is table tennis. Although we love the sport, we expected it to end here! It covers the least distance and relies on short but quick movement. Highly challenging but not the most taxing on the body.
How to Burn More Calories
- Increase the time you play: Perhaps the easiest way to burn more calories playing pickleball is to up your volume rather than intensity. You can do this in several ways. Perhaps try adding 15 minutes of pickleball to your usual session time. Alternatively, play longer or more matches. For instance, if you usually play best of 3, try best of 5 instead.
- Train more often: Another way to up the volume is to increase the number of sessions you undertake rather than their length. While not everyone has the time to add an extra session to their schedule, it will almost certainly be better at burning calories. This is because you are adding significantly more volume.
- Practice more intensely: If you don’t want to spend more time playing pickleball, this one is for you. By upping the intensity, you increase your calories burned per minute for a more efficient workout. Try hitting the ball harder and running more than you usually would.
- Pick singles over doubles: Although most people play doubles, singles are still on the table. And it’s a hell of a lot more tiring. Without a partner covering half of the court, you are forced to run for balls you wouldn’t usually have to. As a result, you can expect to burn around 25% more calories.
- Perform drills over matches: While everyone loves matches, they are not the most effective way to burn calories by a long shot. By opting for drills instead of match play, you can select grueling exercises to make you sweat more.
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What Are the Other Health Benefits of Pickleball?
1. Muscular Endurance
Pickleball involves plenty of moving from squatting down to reach short balls to overhead smashes for those balls that pop up too high. As a result, your muscles go through quite the workout. And it’s not just one set of muscles either — playing pickleball is a full-body workout which is the best kind!
2. Cardiovascular Endurance
As discussed earlier, pickleball isn’t the most taxing sport, yet while this is true, it certainly gets your blood pumping. This helps to keep your heart and lungs in great condition and means that you can train for longer periods without needing to take a break.
3. Relieves Stress
Anyone who has played pickleball before knows that it is lots of fun and the perfect way to let loose. With the stresses of everyday life, we all need a good endorphin hit for relief and relaxation. Obtaining this hit from physical exercise is more rewarding than a non-active source such as gaming or television.
4. Helps You Develop Friendships
Like many sports, pickleball helps to develop relationships. Furthermore, as pickleball is primarily a doubles sport, whereas most others are not, you can easily make a case for pickleball being a superior social sport to most.
So try joining a club and get playing. There will probably be plenty of like-minded players around, and you may well form friendships that will last a lifetime.
5. Improves Balance & Agility
Pickleball places many demands on the body. Two of these demands are balance and agility. Twisting, changing direction, and reaching all test your ability to balance. And by playing regularly, you ensure that you have a good balance, reducing your risk of falling — something older individuals are susceptible to.
As for agility, pickleball is commonly played near the kitchen area. This is very close to the net, so it gives you little time to react to the incoming ball. Regular practice gives you super reaction time and agility, which are transferable to other sports you might play.
6. Not Too Demanding
Like table tennis, pickleball has the advantage of being challenging yet not too demanding or injury-inducing. The sport relies more on skill level than flat-out fitness, perfect for people who are out of shape, old, or otherwise prone to injury.
Is Pickleball Good for Weight Loss?
While pickleball doesn’t burn as many calories as tennis or badminton, it is still a great sport for weight loss. An average 180 lb player can expect to lose 429 calories when they play for an hour.
Is Pickleball a Good Workout?
Pickleball is a superb workout. Not only does it burn a lot of calories, but it also improves other elements of your health. These include cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, and mental well-being.
Is Pickleball a HIIT Workout?
Pickleball certainly falls within the parameters of HIIT training in our eyes. You get repeated bursts of demanding activity during points and short rest periods between points. So while pickleball might not be a conventional HIIT workout… it is!
How Many Calories Can You Burn Playing Pickleball for 30 Minutes?
The amount of calories you burn while playing pickleball depends on many factors. However, we can provide a rough estimate based on average play relative to body weight.
For 140 lb players, you can expect to burn 167 calories in 30 minutes. If you’re 180 lbs, this rises to 214 calories; for 220 lb players, it’s 262 calories.
How Many Calories Can You Burn Playing Pickleball for 60 Minutes?
As a rough guideline, we estimate that 140 lb players will burn 334 calories playing pickleball for 60 minutes. However, you'll burn more calories if you’re of a bigger build.
Players weighing 180 lb will burn 429 calories, whereas 220 lb players will instead shed 524 calories.
Which Burns More Calories, Tennis or Pickleball?
Tennis burns more calories than pickleball by some margin — 0.8 calories more per minute, to be specific. This may not seem like a lot, but it totals 51 more calories burned over 60 minutes. Double that for a two-hour session, and you have 102 more calories burned which may be sufficient for your daily calorie deficit if you are trying to lose weight.
Final Thoughts: Time to Hit the Court!
Armed with all the necessary information, it’s time to get playing and burn some calories. While it’s true that pickleball calories burned don’t quite weigh up to the likes of tennis or badminton, the average of 429 calories for a 60-minute session should be plenty for most people.
Moreover, you can follow the steps above to burn more calories when playing pickleball.
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Freelance writer. Table tennis enthusiast. Lover of all things online. When I’m not working on my loop game I’m probably binge-watching some fantasy show.