How Many Calories Does Volleyball Burn?

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There are many ways to increase your energy usage. Find out how many calories volleyball burns and how to influence this number.

While your actual results can be different, the average person burns around 177 to 305 calories while playing volleyball for 45 minutes.

The 177-calorie estimation is for a 125-pound (56 kg) person playing 45 minutes of volleyball. On the other end, the 305 calories are for a 215-pound (97 kg).

If you are not familiar with these types of numbers, these amounts are not that many calories per minute.

Unless you really enjoy this activity or really value the other benefits of volleyball, you likely want to consider other workouts to burn a lot of calories.

That aside, this article will also go over more in-depth calorie-burning estimations, how different intensities influence these amounts, and how to burn more calories with volleyball.

Biggest factors in calories burned with volleyball

It is hard to accurately estimate (and measure) the number of calories you burn while doing something like volleyball.

This can be inconvenient for people who rely on this number to figure out what their diet should look like for goals like losing weight.

That being said, there are still ways to get some estimations. By taking the right factors into account, you can make these calorie-burning estimations for volleyball more accurate.

Additionally, by knowing what details are important for these results, you can make your volleyball routine more effective.

Some examples of things that influence the number of calories burned while playing volleyball are:

  • Body weight: The human body burns calories to keep itself alive and move around. Generally, heavier people will burn more calories to be able to do these things.
  • Muscle mass vs body fat: Two people can have the same body weight but different ratios of muscle mass vs body fat. This influences how many calories you burn with volleyball because an amount of body fat tends to require less energy than the same weight in muscle.
  • Volleyball match intensity: Playing an intense competitive volleyball match can be very different from a game among friends. The more intense volleyball matches tend to burn more calories.
  • Gym vs beach volleyball: You can play volleyball both on a flat surface in the gym or on an uneven, moving surface in the sand. The different surface makes playing beach volleyball more energy-consuming.

Chart of volleyball calorie-burning estimations

The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention has a list where they mention volleyball either burns between 3.5-7 calories per minute on a flat surface or more than 7 calories per minute on sand (1).

Luckily, there are ways to get more helpful calorie-burning estimations than this by using MET values.

MET values are numbers that indicate how intense certain activities and workouts are. You can then use these values in the formula below to get an idea of how many calories volleyball burns.

Formula: METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 = calories burned per minute

Some of the MET estimations for playing volleyball range from an MET of 3 for non-competitive 6-9 team size volleyball to an MET of 8 for beach volleyball (2).

In the first table below, you can get the calorie-burning estimations for different body weights playing general volleyball for different time frames.

After that, you can see how much of an impact the intensity of your volleyball matches can have on the number of calories burned.

It is worth noting again that all these numbers are rough estimations. Your actual results can vary due to details that are not included in the MET formula.

Besides that, knowing that a medium chocolate chip cookie contains about 148 calories helps you understand that losing weight is not only about the exercise you do (3).

Calories burned with volleyball per time interval

Since volleyball does not include any reps or sets, knowing how many calories you can more or less burn per minute can be helpful.

Weight Person
1 Minute15 Minutes30 Minutes45 Minutes60 Minutes
125 Pounds (56 kg)4 calories59 calories118 calories177 calories236 calories
155 Pounds (70 kg)5 calories73 calories146 calories220 calories293 calories
185 Pounds (83 kg)6 calories87 calories175 calories262 calories350 calories
215 Pounds (97 kg)7 calories102 calories203 calories305 calories406 calories
Calories burned with general volleyball

Calories burned with different volleyball intensities

Next, it can be helpful to get an idea of just how much different intensities of volleyball can influence your calorie-burning results.

These estimations are for 30 minutes of playing volleyball.

Weight Person
(Competitive In Gym)
125 Pounds (56 kg)89 calories177 calories236 calories
155 Pounds (70 kg)110 calories220 calories293 calories
185 Pounds (84 kg)131 calories262 calories350 calories
215 Pounds (97 kg)152 calories305 calories406 calories
Calories burned per 30 minutes of volleyball at different intensities

Ways to burn more calories with volleyball

As you will likely understand from the differences between intensities, you can positively change the number of calories you burn while playing volleyball.

First of all, playing more intense volleyball matches can help a lot. Faster movements tend to require more energy from your body.

Secondly, if you have the ability, you want to choose beach volleyball over a flat surface. Navigating the uneven and soft surface will require more energy from your body.

Thirdly, you can increase how much weight your body has to move in a healthy way. More specifically, you can build muscle with weight lifting exercises outside of your volleyball matches.

Having to move more weight is another thing that increases how many calories your movements will burn.

Lastly, as long as you avoid overtraining, you can consider playing volleyball for longer amounts of time and more often.

Individuals burning calories with volleyball

How long does it take to lose weight from playing volleyball?

All of these amounts of calories may sound nice but you are likely interested in the secondary effects of this. More specifically, how much weight you can lose by playing volleyball.

Something important to keep in mind is that exercising is not always enough for losing weight. Your habits in areas like your nutrition will influence what weight loss results you get from volleyball.

That aside, if you temporarily assume all the extra calories volleyball burns come from body fat, you can get some interesting numbers.

A 185-pound (84 kg) person can burn an extra 524 calories by playing two 45-minute volleyball matches a week. This comes down to about 0.15 pounds (0.07 kg).

The same 185-pound person following this volleyball routine for four weeks will burn an extra 2096 calories or about 0.6 pounds (0.26 kg) of body fat.

These weight loss results from playing volleyball are welcome but not the most impressive either. Many people will have to pay attention to other lifestyle areas too to actually lose weight.

Is volleyball a good exercise for burning calories?

Moderate-intensity volleyball on a flat gym floor is generally not that great for burning a lot of calories. There are many exercise alternatives that are more effective.

And while playing beach volleyball does burn a nice amount of calories, the same still applies.

If you really like playing volleyball, you could still consider this as your main form of exercise.

At the same time, it might still be worth considering other workouts too. Even if it is just a short resistance training session two times a week to build muscle.

This extra muscle mass helps you burn more calories during your volleyball sessions and the rest of your days.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.