Does Pickleball Burn Calories? 6 key points you need to know

Are you in search of a fun and efficient way to burn calories? Pickleball might just be the answer! This increasingly popular sport combines elements from tennis, badminton, and ping pong, offering a unique and enjoyable experience for people of all ages and fitness levels. But does pickleball really help you burn so many calories? Let’s find out!

Does Pickleball Burn Calories?

Does Pickleball Burn Calories?

Absolutely, pickleball is a calorie-burning machine! Depending on your intensity and how long you play, you can burn anywhere from 400 to 600 calories an hour. It’s a full-body workout that combines cardio, agility, and quick reflexes. So not only do you get to enjoy a fun game, but you’re also doing your waistline a favor!

Here are some key points to consider:

  • Pickleball is a fast-paced sport that involves quick movements, agility, and bursts of energy, making it an ideal choice for a fun workout.
  • The combination of side-to-side movements, overhead shots, and quick footwork in pickleball provides a fantastic cardiovascular workout, helping you burn calories and improve your endurance.
  • Experts estimate that playing pickleball for an hour can burn around 400 to 600 calories, similar to other popular sports like tennis and racquetball.
  • Pickleball is a low-impact activity, meaning it puts less stress on your joints, making it suitable for people of different ages and fitness levels.
  • Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned athlete, you can enjoy the calorie-burning benefits of pickleball while minimizing the risk of injury.
  • Pickleball engages various muscles and gets your heart pumping, contributing to overall fitness and weight management.

In this article, we will explore specific movements and techniques in pickleball that help you burn more calories, allowing you to achieve your fitness goals while having a blast.

Factors Influencing Calorie Burn in Pickleball

When it comes to determining the number of calories burned during a pickleball game, several factors come into play. Understanding these factors can help you gauge the potential calorie burn of pickleball calories and make adjustments accordingly.

The intensity of the game:

The intensity of your pickleball game plays a crucial role in calorie burn. Higher-intensity games, with faster rallies and more intense movements, tend to result in greater caloric expenditure. Competitive matches where players put in more effort to win points generally lead to higher calorie burn compared to casual or recreational pickleball play.

Duration of the game:

The duration of your pickleball session also impacts the number of calories burned. The longer you play, the more energy your body expends, which can contribute to greater calorie burn. However, it’s important to note that the intensity of the game is equally significant. A shorter but highly intense game can potentially burn more or fewer calories, than a longer, less intense one.

Player’s weight and fitness level:

Individual factors such as weight and fitness level influence calorie burn in any physical activity, including pickleball. Generally, individuals with higher body weight tend to burn more calories due to increased exertion. Additionally, individuals with higher fitness levels may have more stamina, enabling them to sustain longer and more intense games, resulting in higher calorie expenditure.

Playing style and technique:

The way you play pickleball can also affect the number of calories you burn. Players who engage in aggressive shots, employ strategic shot placement, and constantly move around the court will likely burn more calories compared to those who adopt a more passive or defensive style. Proper technique, footwork, and shot selection can help maximize your calorie-burn potential.

The Study on Calorie Burn in Pickleball:

Overview of the Study:

The objective of the study was to assess the average number of calories burned during a one-hour game of pickleball. By monitoring the heart rate and movement patterns of the participants burned to play pickleball together, the researchers aimed to provide insights into the potential fitness benefits of this paddle-based sport.

Participants and equipment used:

The study participants were individuals who regularly played pickleball recreationally. Their ages and fitness levels varied, representing a diverse range of players. The participants wore heart rate monitors and sensors to track their heart, resting metabolic rate, calorie expenditure, and physical activity throughout the game.

Results of the study:

According to the study, male participants burnt around 477 calories during a one-hour game of pickleball, while female players burned approximately 348 calories. These figures are based on the heart rate data of the participants and serve as a basic guideline for the potential calorie an average person could burn during a typical pickleball session.

You can use these figures to get a general range:

Does Pickleball Burn Calories?

For people who weigh about 160 pounds, the calorie expenditure can range from about 500 calories per hour during casual play to as much as 700 calories per hour during harder sessions.

For people who weigh about 200 pounds, the calorie expenditure can vary from roughly 700 calories per hour during casual play to as much as 900 calories per hour during more intense sessions.

Remember that these numbers are only approximations and may change depending on the player’s intensity, style of play, and degree of fitness.

Additionally, depending on the intensity and type of play, playing pickleball can add anywhere between 4,000 and 7,000 steps to your daily step total.

It’s important to note that different methods of calculating estimates may yield slightly different figures. Some professional pickleball players have also tracked their calorie burn using fitness trackers like Fitbits and Apple Watches, and their reports align with these estimates.

Comparing Pickleball with Other Physical Activities

To exactly how many calories and better understand the calorie burn in pickleball, it can be helpful to compare it with other popular physical activities.

Pickleball vs. tennis:

Compared to tennis, pickleball generally involves less court coverage and shorter rallies. This can result in slightly lower calorie burn during a pickleball game. However, due to the nature of the sport and the continuous back-and-forth movement, pickleball can still provide a significant cardiovascular workout while being gentler on the joints.

Pickleball vs. walking/jogging:

Walking and jogging are excellent aerobic exercises that contribute to calorie burn and overall fitness. While the calorie burn rate during pickleball may not match the intensity of jogging or running, it offers a more engaging and dynamic experience, combining physical activity with strategy and competition.

Pickleball vs. swimming:

Swimming is known for its low-impact, full-body workout. It provides excellent cardiovascular benefits and can burn a high number of calories. While pickleball may not offer the same level of calorie burn as swimming, it serves as a viable alternative for individuals who prefer a land-based activity or are looking to diversify their fitness routine.

Tips to Maximize Calorie Burn in Pickleball

Tips to Maximize Calorie Burn in Pickleball

If you’re looking to maximize your calorie burn during pickleball sessions, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Engage in more competitive games: Competitive matches often involve more intense rallies and strategic play, resulting in a higher calorie burn compared to casual or recreational games.

Increase the intensity of your shots: Incorporate power and speed into your shots to elevate the intensity of the game and increase the number of calories burned.

Incorporate interval training: Alternating between periods of high-intensity play and active recovery can boost your metabolism and calorie burn. For example, you can incorporate short bursts of intense play followed by brief periods of rest or slower-paced rallies.

Maintain proper form and technique: Efficient movement and proper technique not only improve your game but also help you maximize calorie burn. Focus on footwork, shot placement, and maintaining a good posture to engage more muscle groups and increase energy expenditure.


In the end, pickleball is a dynamic and engaging sport that offers significant calorie-burning potential. With its fast-paced nature, quick movements, and strategic gameplay, pickleball provides a cardiovascular workout while being gentle on the joints. On average, players can burn around 400 to 600 calories per hour, making it comparable to other popular sports like tennis and racquetball. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, pickleball offers a fun and effective way to improve fitness, endurance, and overall well-being. So grab a paddle, hit the court, and start reaping the calorie-burning benefits of pickleball today!


  1. Can pickleball help with weight loss?

    Yes, pickleball can contribute to weight loss when combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise routine. It offers a calorie-burning workout that can aid in creating a calorie deficit, leading to weight loss over time.

  2. Is pickleball suitable for older adults?

    Absolutely! Pickleball is highly popular among older adults due to its low-impact nature and social aspects. It provides an excellent opportunity for seniors to stay active, improve mobility, and enjoy a sense of community.

  3. How many calories can I burn in a pickleball session?

    The number of calories burned in a pickleball session can vary depending on factors such as intensity, duration, weight, and effort. On average, pickleball can burn between 400 to 600 calories per hour.

  4. Can pickleball improve cardiovascular fitness?

    Yes, pickleball is an effective cardiovascular workout that can enhance heart health and improve overall cardiovascular fitness. The continuous movement and engagement of various muscle groups contribute to an increased heart rate and improved endurance.

  5. Are there any specific equipment requirements for pickleball?

    To play pickleball, you’ll need a paddle and a plastic ball, both of which are specifically designed for the sport. It’s recommended to wear appropriate athletic shoes and comfortable clothing that allows for freedom of movement.

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