Calories Burned During Sports


Sports are a great way to compete, stay active or just have fun; and there are many sports people can play regardless of age or ability. If you are attempting to maintain or lose weight, or if you plan to include sports as part of a workout program, you may be interested in the wide range of calories per hour different sports can burn. The intensity of the sport–how hard the participant has to work–determines how quickly it burns calories. Websites like list calorie expenditures for just about any sport.

Rock Climbing

This total body workout burns a whopping 748 calories per hour when a 150-lb. participant is ascending. The constant muscle tension and lack of rest account for this massive calorie burn. Reaching, pulling and stepping are among the many moves the climber must execute and hold for long periods of time. During the rappeling phase, a 150-lb. participant burns 544 calories per hour. Not bad for the “easy” portion of this activity.

Racquetball and Tennis

These two sports burn many calories while athletes are sprinting, backpedaling and swinging. Casual games of racquetball and tennis burn 476 calories per hour for a 150-lb. person. The intensity of competition helps drive participants past their perceived physical limitations to win at all costs. This can add more than 200 calories per hour.


Soccer is another sport that burns calories quickly, but again the effect is heavily influenced by competition. A casual game of soccer burns 476 calories per hour, while a competitive game burns 680 for a 150-lb. person. The constant movement from jogging to running to sprinting keeps players’ energy expenditure up. Since soccer games are often long, participants can expect to burn thousands of calories while playing.

Softball and Baseball

The calories burned in these two sports depend on the position played. A casual game of softball or baseball will burn 340 calories per hour for a 150-lb. position player. A 150-lb. pitcher, on the other hand, will use 408 calories per hour. While both games are fun, participants shouldn’t expect a major calorie burn from these sports.


The calories expended in volleyball depend heavily on the number of players and the level of competion. Noncompetitive games with six to nine team members will burn 204 calories per hour. A general game of volleyball will burn 272 calories per hour for a 150-lb. participant. Competitive games in a gymnasium or on a beach will cost players 544 calories per hour.


Like noncompetitive volleyball, bowling burns a mere 204 calories per hour for the 150-lb. participant. Bowling should be thought of as an enjoyable activity instead of a serious form of exercise. There is a reason professional bowlers aren’t always in the best of shape.

About this Author

John Koshuta is a health professional with two years of health writing experience for and He has a master’s degree in health studies and is a certified health education specialist (CHES). Koshuta also has undergraduate degrees in exercise science/health promotion and journalism.