Top 5 Calorie Burning Warm Weather Sports

By: Tom O’Connor, RCEP, CSCS
Exercise Physiologist

Summer fun is coming but those extra winter pounds may be coming along too! As the weather warms up – it’s time to move outside for some fun warm-weather sports that can burn off those unwanted winter pounds and get us ready for swimsuit season.

#1: Squash/Tennis – (singles only) with a high calorie rate, these exercises provide semi-constant movement.  They also involve the upper body, core, and lower body and can take a lot of effort on each body part.  You only need one other player to have fun and burn calories!

#2: Beach Volleyball – With constant movement in the sand, this high calorie burner also involves all muscle groups, but can have lag time if your partner is doing all the work!  The sand helps absorb some impact and it can initially add calories because of its difference in surface.

#3: Basketball – Basketball is a very high impact and high calorie sport, but does not require as much upper body power as squash and to a lesser extent volleyball.  It can be played with as little as one person an up to an entire team.  Flexibility in pickup games keeps basketball high on the list.

#4: Football/Field Hockey – High calories and very high intensities for very short bursts.  There is downtime often, but the very high intensity makes for a large caloric load to be expended.  The only downfall here is the need for a large group to play with and that can be difficult and deterring.

#5: Soccer – Soccer is a great team sport that also has a lot of calorie benefits.  Soccer players tend to have high aerobic capacities.   Casual soccer would yield the lowest of the five, but competitive soccer is a very high calorie and demanding sport.  The only reason soccer falls to number five is because of the large team required to play.

Squash & Tennis

Calories/Hour: 560-850

Beach Volleyball

Calories/Hour: 500-750


Calories/Hour: 440-750

Football &
Field Hockey

Calories/Hour: 500-800


Calories/Hour: 400-780