Benefits

Health Benefits

As a sport and a high intensity workout, Racquetball fits perfectly into the hectic schedule of today’s fitness conscious individual. For those who regularly play Racquetball, the following health facts and figures are probably not a surprise. From the first serve, Racquetball offers many of the benefits sought by today’s exercise conscious society in their fitness regimens-such as:

Caloric Consumption & Total Body Muscle Tone

A one hour game of racquetball burns over 600 calories. This equates to more calories per hour than aerobics, cycling at 18 mph, circuit weight training, playing basketball, running at an 8 1/2 minute mile pace, or playing tennis. The caloric consumption attributed to racquetball makes it an ideal sport for weight loss and maintenance. You can burn 650-750 calories an hour if you’re a fairly skilled player and you play against someone adept at keeping the ball in play. As your level of playing improves, your activity level may fluctuate. Games between advanced players often come down to fast drive serves and power shots (ball speeds have been clocked at over 180 mph)—making the rallies shorter but far more intense. The average player will run a distance of approximately 3,650 feet in one 20 minute game, or over two miles in one hour of play2. In addition, you use all of your major muscle groups on the court, which develop and maintain muscle tone. Racquetball works nearly every muscle group, including sustained, repetitive use of large muscles that increase calorie burn and reduce fat percentage.

Cardiovascular

During one hour of recreational activity, the average player will run approximately two miles. During this time, the player’s heart rate increases and is maintained at 70-85% of its maximum for the duration of a typical racquetball game. This provides a solid cardiovascular fitness program for beginner level players and an excellent cardiovascular maintenance program for more skilled and advanced players. Racquetball offers both aerobic and anaerobic benefits, with both sustained high level heart rate activity and quick bursts of energy required during play.

Balance & Coordination

Racquetball offers an excellent way to improve your balance and hand-eye coordination. In an aging society, this adds an important additional benefit to your exercise program which is not available in non-sport activities.

Flexibility

The tremendous range of motion required to play Racquetball forces a certain amount of stretching, with resultant flexibility. Many participants also utilize a pre and post game stretching program to maximize their performance and reduce the risk of injury.

  1. The average number of calories burned during racquetball play ranges from moderate at 640/hour [Prevention, 1995] to 794/hour [Men’s Health, 1995] — to a high level at 13.7 per minute (or 822/hour). [Sports Training Institute].
  2. An average game will take 20 minutes, during which a player will run a distance of approximately 3,650 feet — or over two miles in one hour of play. [U.S. Olympic Training Center]
  3. Racquetball players work at a constant rate of 75 to 85% of their maximum heart rate for the duration of a typical racquetball game. [USRA Elite Training Camp, 1992]