I Played Pickleball for 2 Hours & Here’s How Many Calories I Burned


I never thought I would be a pickleball convert, but here I am and I’m loving it. Yes, pickleball may seem like the old people’s sport at first glance – but don’t let its modest appearance fool you!

Pickleball is a fast-paced, high-intensity game that gets your heart pumping and leaves you feeling energized and satisfied after every match.

If you’ve ever been curious about how many calories you can burn by playing pickleball, then this blog post is for you! I recently decided to find out for myself and spent two hours playing the game. 

Here’s a breakdown of how many calories I burned during my session.

What are the health benefits of pickleball?

Don’t let its easy-going vibe fool you – pickleball can be a great workout! 

Just like in tennis, pickleball players use fast movements and quick reaction time to hit the ball back and forth. This helps sharpen your hand-eye coordination and improves agility.

The fast-paced nature of the game helps to get your heart pumping and improves cardiovascular endurance. 

Upper body strength is also developed through serving, executing volleys, and returning shots. And since pickleball involves a ton of full body movements, it also helps improve muscle strength and tone in the lower half – particularly quads and calves!


Calories burned during pickleball

To give you some context, I am a 32-year-old female who weighs approximately 120 pounds. 

I played for two hours straight and my active calories burned during pickleball came in at 644 calories. This means that I burned approximately 322 calories per hour, or 5.4 calories per minute

I was pleasantly surprised! As someone who works out 6-7 days a week, I didn’t expect to burn much off a casual game. 

Also, I didn’t even feel winded or out of breath. Or maybe I was just having too much fun to notice.

You know what they say, time flies when you’re pickling!


What are active calories vs total calories burned?

In a nutshell, active calories are the ones that you burn through physical activity or exercise, while total calories include both active and passive calorie burn (aka the calories your body uses to keep living – like your heart beating and lungs breathing). 

So why do I only look at active calories burned instead of total? Well, I’m a data nerd and it gives me a more accurate picture of how many calories I’ve burned during a workout. 

Here’s a breakdown of how my calories burned during pickleball were distributed:

  • 1st Hour
    • I burned 285 calories, or 4.75 calories per minute
  • 2nd Hour
    • I burned 359 calories, or 5.98 calories per minute.

As you can see, my calorie burn increased as the game went on. Why is that? 

Well, it turns out your body needs time to warm up before it can really start burning calories at its peak efficiency. 

In the beginning of your workout, your body is using stored energy in the form of glycogen. But as that begins to run out and your muscles start to fatigue, your body switches to using other sources of fuel, like fat and protein. 

So don’t worry about not feeling it at first – just keep pushing through, because it’s in that second half that the real calorie burn kicks in! 

Keep going and reap the rewards!

How to recover after your pickleball match

So, you just finished an intense pickleball game and now your muscles are screaming at you. What’s a pickleball player to do?

  1. First, grab some water to rehydrate. Consider adding in a sports drink to replenish electrolytes lost during the game. 
  2. Next, take five minutes or so to stretch and focus on the muscles you used the most during the game. If you have access to a foam roller, give yourself a good post-game massage to work out any knots or tightness
  3. Finally, active recovery is key – don’t just sit on the couch all day after your pickleball game. Go for a walk or light jog, do some yoga, or even just take a leisurely bike ride. These activities will help improve blood flow and aid in muscle recovery

So keep these tips in mind next time you hit the pickleball court – your muscles will thank you later!


So is pickleball good for burning calories?

One thing I know for sure is pickleball has taken over my life. It’s now my favorite way to burn calories!

It’s just the perfect mix of physical activity and social interaction. Plus, the rules are simple enough that anyone can pick up the game quickly, but there’s still room for strategy and skill development.

And let’s be real, who doesn’t love smacking that little plastic ball around? 

In all seriousness though, pickleball has provided me with countless hours of enjoyment and satisfaction. I’ve made new friends and improved my physical health in the process – what more could I ask for? 

If you don’t have a partner to play with, check out some of these great rebound nets to still get your pickle-fix.

So there you have it, if you’re looking to burn some extra calories – pickleball is a great option. And if you really want to up the ante, try playing for two hours straight like I did!


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