You can burn around 474 calories playing a pickleball game that lasts about an hour.

This number is based on a 180-pound person, and it varies according to your weight and play style.

After digging into the research data, I have found a method you can use to find a more personalized and accurate calories burned number. 

We will first look at the more generalized calories burned, which is sufficient for most cases.

Then if you are interested, I will show you how I obtained those numbers and how you can calculate personalized calories burned in the last part of the article.

Pickleball Calories Burned Singles – Casual and Competitive

Here are the generalized calories burned by a 180-pound adult in different play styles:

Casual Pickleball Calories Burned

Casual hitting ball, no running around, just enjoying pickleball.

Pickleball Calories Burned
Table of Casual Pickleball Calories Burned

Competitive Pickleball Calories Burned

Something more serious, you chase every point and want to win. 

Table of Competitive Pickleball Calories Burned

Pickleball Calories Burned Doubles

It’s estimated that calories burned in a double game are 25% lower than in a single game. 

The number comes from the MET value of tennis single/ MET value of tennis double. 

So the same 200-pound guy in the upper session will burn 262.5 x 0.75 = 197 calories in 30 minutes and 524 x 0.75 = 393 calories in an hour playing a double game. 

It’s not one size fits all – What will affect the calories burned?

The calories burned in a pickleball game varies vastly based on your body and play style.

So the numbers above are just a general estimation but not necessarily your calories burned.

If you want a more personalized and accurate number, keep reading as we will show you how to calculate calories burned based on you.

But first, here are the significant factors that affect the calories burned while playing pickleball: 

Body Weight

Generally, a larger person burns more calories. Calories are a measure of energy, so the heavier you’re, the more energy it takes to move your body. 

Body Composition

Having a higher muscle mass means more calories burned when exercising. A heavier person might have a lower muscle mass than someone skinnier. 

Gender

Men usually burn more calories than women. This is because men are usually larger than women and have a higher muscle mass.

Age

As we age, we usually burn fewer calories doing exercises. After age 30, you lose 3-5% of your muscle mass per decade. As mentioned above, a lower muscle mass means fewer calories burned.

Workout Intensity

Unsurprisingly, you will burn more calories playing an intense pickleball match than hitting balls casually and talking to your friends. Workout intensity has a massive impact on the total calorie burned. 

Fitness Level

When you play more pickleball, your body will adapt and get better at doing it. You will be less tired, and your body will burn fewer calories because it has become more efficient. 

Where do these calories burned numbers come from?

The calorie burned numbers are calculated based on the Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) value of pickleball. 

They are the research results from the American Council on Exercise.

What is MET?

A MET is a way to measure how much energy a human body uses during an exercise relative to a person’s mass. 

One MET is the energy you spend while sitting relaxingly. So, an activity with a MET value of 4 means you exert four times more energy than you would if you were sitting.

The higher the MET value of an activity, the more energy your muscles is required to do that activity, i.e., more calories burned. 

Researchers have collected and recorded the MET value of popular sports, including jogging, badminton, and more. 

Since pickleball is a relatively new sport, no reliable data on its MET value exists.

To obtain the MET value of pickleball, we need to estimate it based on similar sports.

Calories burned Pickleball vs Tennis vs Badminton vs Tennis

The MET values of table tennis, badminton, and tennis are known, so we can use them to estimate the MET value of pickleball. 

Workout intensity affects MET massively. That’s why the value is a range instead of a concrete number. 

Tennis is more physically demanding than pickleball because of its larger court size. And table tennis is less physically demanding because of the same factor.

While a badminton court has the same size as a pickleball court, it is more physically demanding, according to my research and popular calorie calculators.

So MET Value in order would be:

Tennis > Badminton > Pickleball > Table Tennis 

The MET value range of Pickleball should be 4.1 – 5.4 for a casual game and 4.2 – 6.9 for a competitive match. 

MET Value of Pickleball

A 2018 study in the International Journal of Research in Exercise Physiology entitled measured METs in pickleball players. In that study, the MET response to pickleball averaged 4.1.

But we can’t rely solely on this study because the sample size is only 15, and the study is conducted on middle-aged and older adults. As we mentioned above, age impacts the calories burned during exercise.

To validate the number, I checked the estimation of pickleball calories burned from credible sites, popular sports calorie calculators, and people’s calorie measures using sports watches on forums. 

Based on the research results, I have found these estimations. 

MET 4.1 for a more casual and social game. 

MET 5.5 for a more competitive game. 

Getting your personalized pickleball calorie burned

These are the formulas to calculate the calories burned while playing pickleball.

Casual Playstyle:

4.1 x 3.5 x (your body weight in pounds) / (200 x 2.2) = pickleball calories burned per minute

Competitive Playstyle:

5.5 x 3.5 x (your body weight in pounds) / (200 x 2.2) = pickleball calories burned per minute

For example, if you are 200 pounds and play single competitively with your friends, then your calories burned playing pickleball per minute would be 5.5 x 3.5 x 200 / (200 x 2.2) = 8.75. You will burn 262.5 calories playing pickleball in 30 minutes and 525 calories in 1 hour. 

Is pickleball a good workout compared to other sports?

Pickleball has an intermediate MET value, so it isn’t the greatest in terms of calories burned. 

Other aerobic exercises like jogging and cycling are probably better cardio exercises.

But calories burned depend a lot on training intensity.

So if you chase down every point, you can still burn a decent number of calories every session. 

Also, we haven’t taken into account in time you play. 

If you play more, obviously, you will burn more calories. And if you enjoy playing pickleball, you will naturally play longer. 

Don’t let the number of calories burned stop you from trying pickleball. It is fun!

FAQ on Pickleball Calories Burned

How many calories do 30 minutes of pickleball burn?

You can burn around 177 – 289 calories depending on your playstyle and weight

How many calories are burned in an hour of pickleball?

You can burn around 354 – 578 calories depending on your playstyle and weight.

How many calories do 45 minutes of pickleball burn?

You can burn around 265 – 434 calories depending on your playstyle and weight.

Can playing pickleball help you lose weight?

Yes. Even though pickleball is less intense than sports like jogging and cycling, it is classified as High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) that can help you lose fat.

Can you get a good workout playing pickleball?

Yes. If you play in a more aggressive playstyle and chase every ball, you can burn a lot of calories, just like in other intense sports like tennis and running.

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