Looking to see how hard your efforts of playing pickleball are?

The number of pickleball calories burned during a game will depend on a variety of factors, including whether you’re a male or female player.

Very fit, lightweight players will burn fewer calories than an unfit, overweight beginner.

You’ll also burn fewer calories if you engage in a leisurely Sunday afternoon game with a friend as opposed to a competitive singles tournament match.

Are you ready to see more details about calories burned playing pickleball?

How Many Calories Are Burned In A Pickleball Game?

The average 38-year-old casual female player burns around 390 calories per singles game and the average male player about 448 calories.  This is for moderate intensity for 1 game that lasts for about 45-50 minutes.

The number of calories you’ll burn during a pickleball game depends on your gender, weight, age, the length of the game, and physical intensity.

How all of these things add up in to the uniqueness that is you and how you approach your play can cause wide swings in the amount of calories burned.

So adjust up or down from what was discussed above and keep in mind that doubles play will burn less calories than singles play.

As with all exercise, the number of calories you burn for any given activity has a positive impact not only during the game but also for hours afterward.

Also, It is well-documented that a 160-pound person will burn fewer calories than a 200-pound person.

An older person burns fewer calories than a younger person. Depending on your cardiovascular health, it’s easier to increase your heart rate and keep it elevated if you are fit than if you are out of shape.

According to USA Pickleball, the average age of pickleball players in the USA is 38 years old. And a quick check online reveals that the average American male weighs 197 pounds and stands 5’9” tall. Whereas average female Americans weigh in at 170 pounds and they stand 5’4” tall.

There is some variation in all the factors that affect the calculation of calorie expenditure and basal metabolic rate (BMR), but it is useful as a measure to see approximately where you will fall based on your own set of circumstances.

Why Your BMR Is Important

Your BMR is a calculation of approximately how many calories you need for your daily activities if you are relatively inactive. Essentially, it’s the amount of daily energy you need to survive.

If you now add exercise to the equation, your BMR increases. This is because your body needs additional calories to power you through the physical activity you’re engaged in. The greater the intensity of the exercise, the greater the number of calories required.

You’ll therefore burn more calories playing competitive matches than if you’re only engaged in casual games.

Using the figures from USA Pickleball’s report, we’ve calculated the calorie usage based on a male and female player with an average age of 38 years with a weight of 197 and 170 pounds respectively.

Pickleball is a Form of HIIT

Pickleball is classified as High-Intensity-Interval-Training, HIIT for short. That is, you have bursts of intense activity interspersed with periods of lower-intensity exercise.

HIIT can burn between 25% and 30% more calories than other forms of exercise. Not only that, but the number of calories you burn will be elevated for hours after you have finished exercising.

Without a detailed study to take accurate measurements of calories burned during pickleball games, we can only estimate what the actual number of calories burned is.

How Many Calories Does 30 Minutes of Pickleball Burn?  

Exercise specialists use another unit to determine how many calories are used when you are engaged in a sporting activity.

The unit they use is a MET or metabolic equivalent which measures the calories per minute that a person expends. The MET is calculated as the amount of energy needed while you are at rest. Average (there’s that word again) adults require approximately one calorie for every 2.2 pounds of body weight per hour.

Using our earlier example, an average female pickleball player weighing 170 pounds will therefore require around 77 calories per hour or just under 1.3 calories per minute to sit quietly doing nothing.

If our average player was engaged in a competitive singles game, then she would require about six times the amount of energy she’d need when doing nothing.

That’s equal to 6 METs.

We can now calculate that she’d need 6 X 1.3 calories per minute X 30 minutes of pickleball for a total calorie expenditure of approximately 234 calories.

The problem with METs is that they don’t take into account how fit you are.

How Long Does a Pickleball Match Take?

A pickleball match is usually played as a best of 2 out of 3 games. Each game is scored up to 11 points. The average time each match can last is between 50 and 60 minutes.

If two sets are played, and the average time per match is about 1 hour, then you’ll be playing for about 2 hours.

How Much Exercise Are You Getting Playing Pickleball?

Due to the great difference between players and the type of games they play, the amount of exercise one can get from playing pickleball varies from very little to a vigorous workout.

If you want a good cardio workout, then playing singles games with a competitive player will ensure that your cardiovascular workout is strenuous.

If you are a casual player who plays socially and sticks to doubles games, then your workout can be similar to a quick walk.

Is Pickleball Good for Weight Loss?

Yes, pickleball can be great for weight loss if your intensity is at least moderate while you play and it forms part of a planned program that includes a nutritional element.

If your goal is to lose weight, reduce your blood pressure and regain your health, pickleball is an excellent form of exercise.

Weight loss occurs when there is a calorie deficit and HIIT has been shown to have long-lasting effects on your metabolism. You’ll not only increase your calorie expenditure during a competitive game, but it will keep your fat-burning going for hours after the match is finished.

Aggressive gameplay with a full range of motion will help to get your body in shape and ensure that you reach your weight-loss goals.

Final Thoughts

An hour or more of pickleball will help you to burn more calories and lose weight. The more often you play, the fitter you’ll become and the harder you’ll need to exert yourself to maintain the benefits of pickleball.

Remember, it is not about how many calories do you burn playing pickleball, but about the fun you have while playing. If you can lose weight while having fun then that’s a recipe for success.

To learn more about how you can improve your pickleball and burn more calories, check out our expert advice and drills on how to improve your pickleball game.

Related Questions

Which Burns More Calories- Tennis or Pickleball?

Sports scientists have spent a lot of time tracking the performance of professional tennis players. They estimate that a 150-pound person will expend around 400 kilo calories during a singles tennis match.

A 200-pound person playing competitively can expect to burn around 500 calories per hour.

Professional pickleball players weighing around 160-pounds can expect to burn about 700 calories per hour. So, depending on one’s weight and the competitiveness of the game, pickleball has the potential to burn more calories per hour than tennis.

Is Pickleball a Good Cardio Workout?

Yes, pickleball is a great workout.

The health benefits of pickleball for players of all ages and fitness levels are huge. Both young and old can enjoy hours of pickleball play at a level of exertion that takes into account their cardiovascular health.

Pickleball can elevate your heart rate to around 114 beats per minute and higher depending on your fitness level. With a 50-minute average match time, pickleball matches will have your fitness levels improving very quickly.

It can also be beneficial for your mental health which helps keep you going.