According to Harvard Medical School, an 185 lbs person can burn 294 calories playing tennis for 30 minutes. If you weigh 125 lbs, you can burn about 210 calories in 30 minutes. Not just your body weight, calories burned playing tennis also depends on various other factors such as the speed and continuity at which you are playing, your form, and your metabolism. If you are playing for fitness, you will burn fewer calories than someone who is playing a professional-grade 90 minutes tennis match. Similarly, if you are working on ‘volleys’ where you are only redirecting the ball slightly without using any force, you will burn fewer calories than a person who is actively changing his position and hitting the ball.
Our calories burned playing tennis calculator can help you find out what you can expect from your next tennis session. This tool is pretty simple and more accurate than mere calorie meters available in your smartwatch. Keep reading to learn more about our calories burned playing tennis calculator and what you can do to get maximum results.
💡 Quick Tip: Tennis is a high-impact sport. Even if you play it for leisure, you must wear well-fitted, well-designed tennis shoes such as ASICS Men's Gel-Dedicate 7 Tennis Shoes. Such shoes provide excellent cushioning to help reduce the strain on your knees. They also provide the stability you need to prevent injuries while playing tennis.
ASICS Men's Gel-Dedicate 7 Tennis Shoes
How accurate is our calories burned playing tennis calculator?
As I said above, the calculators in smartwatches and various other online tools and apps are mere calorie meters. They simply use your current heart rate to provide you with a rough idea of how many calories you burned while doing a certain activity. However, calorie meters do not use many important factors that decide the overall calories burned doing an activity. Your weight, age, gender, playing form, etc. some such factors.
This is where our calories burned playing tennis calculator comes in. It is based on a scientific formula that uses your weight and MET value to provide more accurate results. Our calculator eliminates the guesswork by using exact values.
The formula is-
Calories burned per minute= (MET x body weight in Kg x 3.5) ÷ 200
📖 Related Article: If you are looking for an adventurous activity that can help you burn as many calories as you can while playing tennis, skating is one of the exciting options that I would recommend. To find out if and how it can help you burn fat, you can use our calories burned roller skating calculator.
Metabolic Equivalent of a Task (MET) is the ratio of the energy you spend sitting idle versus the energy you spend doing a certain activity. It is usually written as the multiple of the energy you spend resting i.e. sleeping or sitting idle doing nothing except the basic life processes such as digestion, breathing, etc.
Sitting or sleeping has the lowest MET value i.e. 1. Standing has a MET value of 1.7 and walking can have a MET value of 3 to 5, depending on your speed. This means standing can help you burn 1.7 times more calories whereas walking can help you burn 3 to 5 times more calories than sitting/sleeping.
Remember that MET values are not fixed. They depend on the intensity at which you are doing an activity. Let's look at some examples relevant to tennis.
If you weigh 180 lbs and are simply hitting the balls in non-gameplay, the MET value would be 5. That's because you aren’t moving or sprinting around much as you would do if you play competitively. In that case –
Calories burned in an hour = (MET x body weight in Kg x 3.5) ÷ 200 X 60 minutes
(5x 81.5 x 3.5) ÷ 200 X 60= 427 calories per hour
If you are in a volley position, you aren’t moving at all and aren’t even applying much force. The MET value for volley playing would be 4 and you would burn= (4x 81.5 x 3.5) ÷ 200 X 60 = 342 calories.
💡 Quick Tip: Sports like tennis, badminton, fishing, hiking, golf, rowing, etc. can put excessive stress on your elbows. Repetitive stress from these activities may cause tendonitis or tennis elbow. Use Bodyprox Elbow Brace to minimize the stress, so you can play for a longer duration and with full force.
Bodyprox Elbow Brace
If you are playing singles at a competitive pace, you will burn maximum calories playing tennis. That's because you will be sprinting all around your side of the court. You will be hitting the ball with moderate to vigorous force. The MET value for such an activity could be as high as 8-10 and you will be able to burn up to 855 calories an hour or even more!
For a doubles game, the calories burned playing tennis will be less because you will be responsible for only 1/4th of the court. The distance for sprinting will be shorter and you will be hitting fewer balls. The MET value for doubles could be 6-7 for competitive games, helping you burn 600 calories an hour.
Factors that affect calories burned playing tennis
As I said above, the more you weigh, the more calories you will burn. This is true for any activity, even for walking. That's because your body needs more energy to move and manage your heavy weight. So, a 220 lbs person would burn more calories playing tennis than someone who weighs 180 lbs. The standard fitness trackers do not consider your weight while tracking your calories burned so they often provide inaccurate results. That's why you need our calories burned playing tennis calculator.
📖 Related Article: Tennis is a high-intensity activity. Even if you want to play leisurely or for fitness, you still need good stamina and strength to keep playing continuously for 45-60 minutes. If you are struggling with that, here are some insights on Why Is Your Cardio So Bad and How to Fix It.
Younger people have a very active metabolism. So, they burn more calories doing a certain activity than someone with a comparatively slower metabolism. If you are in your 40s or 50s, you will burn fewer calories playing tennis than your partner/opponent who could be in his 20s or early 30s. People with heart conditions, liver diseases, thyroid, diabetes, etc. have a slow metabolism, so they find it hard to lose excess fat. Similarly, women have a much slower metabolism than men.
In short, your metabolism is a very important factor in determining calories burned playing tennis.
The intensity at which you are playing
I have already explained it above. Basically, the more you move, the more calories you burn. And, when I say movement, it is not necessarily the movement of legs. Your upper body movement, especially your arm movement also counts. If you do a proper follow-through, you engage more muscles and burn more calories than you would burn if you gently hit the ball and stop your arms midway. That's why proper form is very important to prevent injuries as well as to get maximum benefit in terms of calories burned.
💡 Quick Tip: Massaging your arms can help relax your muscles and promote faster healing. If you play tennis regularly, you must buy a Rolflex Arm & Leg Massager or something similar. Choose a massager that provides a deep-tissue massage to help you get rid of knots and muscle tightness.
Rolflex Arm & Leg Massager
Calories burned playing tennis FAQs
How do you burn more calories when playing tennis?
- Improve your cardio. The better cardio health you have, the more and the faster you will be able to chase the ball.
- Engage in strength training. It will improve your stamina, which is necessary to hit the ball with the right amount of force.
- Practice sprints every day for at least 10 minutes. The faster you sprint, the quicker you will reach the ball. You won’t miss a chance. Plus, faster sprinting helps burn more calories.
- Practice jumping rope for at least 10 minutes a day. Jumping is an important tennis move. It can help you reach higher balls and smash them with full force. It also burns a lot of calories.
How many calories does a 5-set tennis match burn?
If you are playing competitively, you can burn around 600 to 1000 calories an hour. So, in a 5-set match, you should burn 3000 to 5000 calories.
Is 30 minutes of tennis good exercise?
Although it may not be enough to lose weight or compensate for hours of sitting, playing tennis for 30 minutes with moderate to vigorous effort is still a good way to stay fit and active.
Our calories burned playing tennis calculator is free and highly accurate. If you are on strict calorie goals, you can use it to stay on track. We also have developed several other sports and daily activity calculators such as Calories Burned Rock Climbing Calculator, Pilates Calories Burned Calculator, Calories Burned Shoveling Snow Calculator, etc. Do try them and, if you find them useful, make sure you refer them to your friends, workout partners, etc. Keep reading our website for more useful information.