Which Sport Burns the Most Calories?

This age old question is one that has been debated on for years. Of course we all want to know which sport gives the best burn!

As a soccer player, I’ve always been quick to defend my own sport as the one that burns the most calories. However at SSC HQ we have many different sport enthusiasts who are all convinced “their” sport is best. So when the topic popped up again a few weeks ago,  I decided to put the question to rest once and for all .  I strapped on a Garmin watch and got to work on my newest project.

Here’s what happens when you compare workout stats from eight different sports:


  • Me! I played eight sports in three weeks and tracked my stats for each one.
  • To provide some background information, I play competitive soccer with a splash of volleyball and football on the side.


  • Garmin watch
  • HR tracker
  • Good pair of shoes


  • I chose eight of our more popular sports to compare: Basketball, Curling, Dodgeball, Floor Hockey, Flag Football, Soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, and Volleyball.
  • I contacted teams to see if anyone needed a sub for a game and then joined their team for the night.
  • I wore the Garmin throughout the course of the game and pulled my stats after



  • “Max Hr” is determined by the following formula: Female: 226 – age, Male: 220 – age E.g. My Max HR is 226 – 25 = 201
  • “Ave Hr” is tracked over the duration of the game. However the stats were tracked even when I was shifted off, which impacts the AveHR.
  • It’s worth mentioning that the Floor Hockey stats were very different from what I expected. Those stats could be invalid.


I found I burned the most calories while playing basketball, and the least while playing dodgeball.  The one big shock was how much you actually burn while curling. It tends to get the rep as one of our most social sports, however it takes way more concentration and effort than anyone may know. A HUGE thank you to all the teams who welcomed me with open arms (whether I knew how to play or not).

So whether you’re in it for the sweat or for the social, you can definitely find a sport that allows to have fun and burn a few calories while you’re at it.

~ Written by Tina Ahn

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