This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.
It’s a strange name for an activity, but perhaps the name suits it. “Pickleball” is a fun game that’s not only a great way to enjoy time with friends and the outdoors, but it’s also a great workout.
Perfect for beginners and active competitors alike, pickleball is easy to learn and is great for anyone looking to get in shape while having fun. If you’ve ever played tennis, badminton, or ping-pong, you should have no trouble playing the game. All you need is a paddle, a plastic ball with holes, and a modified tennis net.
So, how good of a workout can pickleball provide?
Is Pickleball a Good Workout?
To play pickleball, you’ll need to quickly move your body in all directions with short bursts of physical movements. It requires strength, endurance, and coordination.
The activity is more of a high-intensity, anaerobic workout, which requires immediate access to stored energy to supply the working muscles.
You’ll find your heart rate will increase rapidly, and your muscles will quickly become fatigued because of the intense nature of the sport. Not only will your cardiovascular system get a good workout, but so will your muscles. As such, pickleball is a well-rounded form of exercise that targets several components of physical health, and there are studies to back this up.
According to a study conducted by Canadian researchers, pickleball can provide a moderate workout for participants, including middle-aged and older people.  And while the game can be played with either singles or doubles, participants can significantly increase their steps per hour when playing in singles.
The number of steps taken to complete a game of pickleball may not even tell the whole story of the effectiveness of the workout. Heart rate readings show that pickleball participation may be providing more of a workout than what the number of steps may suggest.
Anyone looking to burn calories and lose weight may also want to consider adding pickleball to their regimen. Several smartwatch manufacturers, including Apple, have added pickleball as a workout. Some users decided to track their calories burned while playing pickleball and reported an average of 400 to 700 calories burned per hour while playing the game.
The goal of any workout regimen is consistency. If you enjoy what you’re doing, you’re more likely to stick with it over the long haul. If you’re looking for a new activity to participate in with the goal of getting into shape, give pickleball a try!
Items to Consider:
1. Webber, S.C., et al, “Physical Activity Intensity of Singles and Doubles Pickleball in Older Adults“, J Aging Phys Act, September 2022. Times Cited: N/A; Journal Impact Factor: 1.83.