Calories Burned Playing Pickleball

Pickleball is a racket sport that’s becoming increasingly popular in North America and some European countries. It’s not only enjoyable, but it can also help you with burning calories.

But how many calories can you burn playing pickleball? Let’s figure it out in detail along with the health benefits of playing pickleball.

How Long is A Pickleball Game?

A game of mens vs womens pickleball doubles.
A game of mens vs womens pickleball doubles. Source

The number of calories burned playing pickleball mainly depends upon the duration of the game. According to the United States of America Pickleball Association, the recommended tournament scoring option is best 2 out of 3 games to 11 points.

It means that the average time of a single pickleball match in the tournament is 50 minutes.

The number of pickleball calories burned during a game also depends on your playing style.

For example, you’ll play at a slower pace in a casual game with a friend, and your body will burn fewer calories. On the other hand, a competitive game will allow you to burn more calories.

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Pickleball Calories Burned Per Hour

Professional pickleball players have a higher calorie-burning rate as compared to an average person. That’s because professional players have more aggressiveness and intensity in their playing style. The following are the calorie burn rates.

Calorie Burn Rate in A Casual Game

While playing pickleball casually, a person with 160 pounds of weight can burn up to 500 calories in an hour. Additionally, a 200-pound individual can burn up to 700 calories in a friendly game during the same time.

Calorie Burn Rate at Professional Level

The step count of professional players is somewhere between 4,000 to 7,000 during one hour of a pickleball match. It’s much higher than an average person; that’s why professional players can burn more calories.

A 160-pound person can burn up to 700 calories within an hour when playing pickleball at a professional level. Whereas a 200-pound professional player can burn up to 900 pickleball calories per hour.

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Factors Affecting Calories Burned

It’s hard to predict the exact number of calories burned while playing pickleball because it depends on multiple factors. The following are some of the most important factors influencing how many calories your body burns during a pickleball game.


Your body needs the energy to move around quickly, and it’s measured in calories. People with more weight need more energy to fuel quick body movements.

Body Composition

Body composition refers to the percentage of muscle, fat, water, and bone in your body. Two individuals can have the same weight but different body compositions. For one person, most of the weight comes from muscles, while the second person has a lot of fat.

The reason why body composition is important is that the same weight of fat requires less energy than the same weight in muscles.


The calorie-burning rate of each minute while playing pickleball can vary significantly as it depends on how quickly you move your body. If you move your body at a fast speed, you’ll burn more calories and vice versa.

Doubles Vs. Singles

Mixed doubles pickleball game on basketball court

By You Belong In Longmont image license

Just like a tennis game, you can play pickleball both “two vs. two” and “one vs. one.” In single pickleball matches, you need to move around more than double. That’s why a pickleball player burns more calories while playing singles.

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Muscle Groups Worked While Playing Pickleball

The following are the muscle groups that you need to use while playing pickleball.

  • Shoulders
  • Chest
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Forearms
  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes
  • Abs
  • Hamstrings
  • Obliques
  • Lower back
  • Erector spinae
  • Hip flexors

Playing pickleball regularly will help you grow and strengthen all of these muscle groups if you’re not involved in any exercise. However, if your muscles are used to resistance/strength training, playing this game won’t be enough to increase the mass of these muscle groups.

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Pickleball Calories Vs. Tennis

Pickleball and tennis are very similar to each other. The biggest difference between the two sports is that you need to serve overhand in tennis and underhand in pickleball. A tennis court is also bigger than the standard pickleball court.

Additionally, the numbers are also not the same when it comes to calories burned during pickleball and tennis. Because of the bigger tennis courts, players need to perform more movements and cover more distance. Resultantly, it increases the step count of tennis players and they burn more calories than pickleball players.

Related post: How to play pickleball on a tennis court

Is Playing Pickleball Good for You? Pickleball Health Benefits

Other than helping you lose weight, pickleball comes with a range of health benefits, including the following.

Boosts Strength

Pickleball can help you strengthen the loose muscle mass over time. You need to make all sorts of movements, including squatting, bending down, and reaching overhead to reach the ball. These movements use different muscles, and moving your whole body repeatedly makes these muscles stronger and bigger.

Improve Cardiovascular Health

Playing pickleball, just like any other physical activity, improves your cardiovascular health. It allows your body to keep the heart rate up in order to pump blood around faster. It means your vital organs, such as the lungs and heart, will get the required amount of oxygen to work optimally.

Improves Mental Health

Pickleball promotes the release of endorphin, a hormone, in your brain. It improves the health of your nervous system and makes you feel relaxed, positive, and tension-free. The best thing about pickleball is that it’s an easy and fun game that even kids and aged people can easily play.

It also decreases the levels of serotonin in your body which improves your overall mood. If you’re already suffering from stress or depression, playing pickleball can help you minimize the symptoms of these health issues.

Prevents Diabetes

According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, playing tennis can increase the plasma insulin production in the body. The study also shows that tennis can also prevent Type II diabetes and promotes health. As tennis and pickleball are very similar sports, they also offer pretty much the same health benefits.

Final Words

Pickleball is a great racket sport that can help you burn calories and promote weight loss for a healthy life. If you don’t like to go to the gym, you can start playing this sport with your friends to enjoy a fun game as a workout.

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