How Many Calories Do You Burn Playing Tennis?

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Find out exactly how many calories you burn playing tennis, and how it can change based on your body weight and the type and level of tennis you play.

Like most other sports, playing tennis involves a significant amount of physical strain, which of course burns calories. But just how many calories exactly? In this article we’ve explained how your body weight and the type and level of tennis you play can affect the number of calories burned playing tennis.

The Short Answer:

The average person will burn approximately 560 calories in an hour of singles tennis or around 315 calories playing an hour of doubles tennis. Of course, that’s just an estimate and the actual number of calories will depend on the person’s body weight, the type of tennis they play (singles or doubles) and the level they play at (recreational or competitive).

How Many Calories Do You Burn Playing Tennis?

So, how many calories do you actually burn playing tennis? We’ll the answer, as you’d expect, depends on these three factors:

  • the type of tennis you play (singles or doubles).
  • the level you play at (recreational or competitive).
  • your body weight.

Of course any tool used to measure the number of calories you burn doing an activity will only provide estimates, so the key is to use the same measurement / tool consistently. In our case, we like to use the calorie burn data provided by the BUPA Calories Counter. With that in mind, we’ve taken a closer look at how many calories people will burn playing tennis based on their body weight and the type of tennis they are playing.

Calories Burned Playing Singles Tennis

Singles tennis is generally more physically demanding than doubles tennis. It should come as no surprise that singles tennis involves a lot more running on court and generally requires hitting the ball more often. As such, you’ll burn more calories playing singles tennis than you will playing doubles tennis.

According to the BUPA Calories Calculator, the average 70 kg (155lbs) person will burn approximately 560 calories per hour playing moderate intensity singles tennis.

Body WeightCalories Burned Per Hour (Singles Tennis)
60 kg (132 lbs)480
70 kg (155 lbs)560
80 kg (176 lbs)640
90 kg (198 lbs)720

Calories Burned Playing Doubles Tennis

Playing doubles tennis is usually a little easier on the body. The fact your partner will be covering half of your side of the court means you’ll be doing a lot less running and you’ll probably only hit about half of the tennis balls that come over onto your side of the net.

According to the BUPA Calories Calculator, the average 70 kg (155 lbs) person will burn approximately 315 calories playing an hour of doubles tennis.

Body WeightCalories Burned Per Hour (Doubles)
60 kg (132 lbs)270
70 kg (155 lbs)315
80 kg (176 lbs)360
90 kg (198 lbs)405

Calories Burned Playing Tennis Compared To Other Sports

If your main reason for taking up tennis is weight loss, you may also be interested in knowing how the calorie burn in tennis compares to other sports. So, we’ve put together a little table comparing the number of calories the average 70 kg (155 lbs) person burns in 60 mins of a variety of common activities:

ActivityCalories Burned Every 60 Minutes
Tennis (Singles)560
Tennis (Doubles)315
Aerobic Dance511
Boxing385
Cycling560
Football560
Gymnastics266
Running686

When comparing the number of calories burned playing tennis with other activities, tennis stacks up pretty well.

An hour of singles tennis will help you burn as many calories as you would in an hour of cycling or football and significantly more than you would in 60 minutes of activities such as aerobic dance, boxing or gymnastics. And while you may not burn as many calories as you would in an hour of running, it’s safe to say that playing an hour of tennis is a great way to burn off some extra calories and have some fun while doing it.

Can You Lose Weight Playing Tennis?

Yes, you most certainly can lose weight by playing tennis on a regular basis. The simple act of burning calories won’t make you lose weight, but when combined with a balanced diet and a healthy calorie deficit, playing tennis regularly really can help you lose weight.

What Does Our PT Say About Playing Tennis?

Burning calories is one thing, but how good is tennis as an overall workout for your body? Here’s what our qualified personal trainer has to say:

“Playing tennis is a great way to exercise. Running around on a tennis court and balancing in the right position to hit a shot involves a lot of leg work, and actually hitting the shots involves muscles in the arms, shoulders, chest, abdominals and back. It’s one of few sports that involves every major muscle group in the body and really does provide a full body workout”

Melanie Gilder, Qualified Personal Trainer

Other Benefits of Playing Tennis

Of course, playing tennis is healthy in so many other ways too. Even at a recreational level, tennis has been shown to improve your cardiovascular health and prevent osteoporosis later in life. It’s even great for your mental health, as playing tennis, particularly doubles, is a great way of socialising and meeting new people, not to mention a fantastic way of relieving stress.

How To Get Started Playing Tennis

One of the best things about tennis is just how easy it is to get started. Most people start by joining their nearest tennis club and taking beginner tennis lessons or playing in their local park. Finding people to play with is easy wherever you start, and all you really need is a tennis racquet and a set of tennis balls. Whether you’re in your teens or in your 80s, just about anyone can pick up a tennis racquet and jump on court!

 

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