Slimming: does volleyball make you lose weight?


Come summer, volleyball emerges as THE best beach sport for enjoy your vacation while maintaining your physical fitness. As Laurent Lecina, physical trainer for the French men's volleyball team, explains to us, this team sport involves rapid movements and numerous jumps, even dives. Does it allow you to refine your figure and lose weight?

Is volleyball really a physical sport?

As a reminder, the rules of volleyball are relatively simple and intuitive : two teams compete on opposite sides of a net, passing the ball between their fingertips. When one of the teams commits a foul or fails to return the ball to the opposing team, they lose the point. And contrary to appearances, this does not make it a very energy-intensive sport.

“Volleyball is more of a moderate intensity sport since it involves an alternation between playing times and rest times during which the ball must be recovered”, notes Laurent Lecina. Below a certain level, it must be recognized that exchanges between teams are often far from being fluid and coordination can be lacking between teammates… Result: we sometimes spend more time fetching the ball than playing!

That said, volleyball requires certain athletic skills, to say the least, such as speed, strength, endurance or agility. During free-flowing periods of play, players are constantly on the move, moving quickly to retrieve balls, making precise moves to serve or technical jumps to attack and parry opponent attacks. It therefore mobilizes the cardiorespiratory system et still requires all the muscles of the bodywithout forgetting that it requires great concentration and quick reflexes.

In summary, volleyball is far from being the most interesting sport for losing weight. But it still allows you to maintain your physical condition and expend energy by focusing on your team – not on the number of calories you burn! Laurent Lecina.

A fun sport that still promotes energy expenditure

At the risk of knocking down an open door, volleyball is a very competitive sport but also incredibly fun. Whether on the beach on a sunny afternoon (beach volleyball), in a gym with friends (indoor volleyball) or on a snowy mountain field (snow volleyball), matches take place often take place in a relaxed gaming atmosphere which encourages participation and movement.

As Laurent Lécina explains to us, this playful side of volleyball partly contributes to promoting energy expenditure: “When we have fun and concentrate on the game, we can forget how much we are physically active, whether attempting a spectacular smash or performing a miraculous defense, each action requires effort and burns calories – which does not necessarily mean losing weight!”, he insists.

Good to know: volleyball is a very inclusive sport, accessible to all ages and all fitness levels. Many disciplines allow the game to be adapted to the abilities of the players, such as Soft Volleyball, Health Volleyball or Sitting Volleyball. “Whether you are an experienced player or discovering the sport for the first time, there is always a place on the field to have fun and move,” assures the physical trainer of the French men’s volleyball team.

In other words, it combines the pleasure of the game with dynamic physical activity, making it an ideal choice for those looking to burn off some energy while spending quality time with friends or family!

Volleyball is engaging over time and promotes sporting activity

Volleyball is a team sport that is played in teams of six, three or two people, which generally results in a strong spirit of camaraderie and mutual aid, conducive to long-term commitment. And as you probably know, regularity is the key to success in weight loss!

Playing regularly with other people creates strong bonds and motivates you to return to the field to share moments together. It's much less psychologically costly than going to the gym alone. Laurent Lecina.

On the one hand, volleyball therefore promotes a feeling of belonging to a sporting community, which encourages people to remain active in the practice of volleyball. But on the other hand, it also offers a wide variety of skills to develop, whether serving, passing, attacking, blocking or defending. A diversity that allows players to always have new challenges to take on to progress and to maintain their motivation!

Unlike some sports, volleyball can be played in different environments, whether indoors or outdoors: it does not require a lot of equipment, which makes it accessible and allows players to easily adapt to different locations and timespromoting regular practice of sport.

Regular volleyball practice is not enough to lose weight!

It will not have escaped your attention, weight loss depends largely on the balance between calories consumed and calories burned. With its phases of intense effort interspersed with moments of rest, volleyball allows you to burn a certain number of calories, but this is not necessarily enough to lose weight: if caloric intake is greater than energy expenditure, weight loss is limited!

And Laurent Lecina clarifies: “The number of calories burned during training or a match depends on many factors, notably the intensity of the effort, its duration, but also our metabolism, our gender, etc.” Understand: to significantly lose weight through volleyball, you probably need increase the intensity of your workouts and combine volleyball with other forms of exercise, or even other complementary sports.

Please note: body composition (the muscle mass/fat mass distribution) can also influence the speed at which a person loses weight. People with greater muscle mass especially tend to burn more calories at rest, which can make weight loss easier. Furthermore, by doing sport you can increase your muscle mass and reduce your fat mass. without seeing any significant change on the scale!

The importance of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle

You will have understood, volleyball is a good way to burn calories, but it is important to remember that sporting activity alone does not guarantee weight loss! Sleep, stress, daily activity levels and eating habits can also impact the ability to lose weight. A holistic approach, including a balanced diet, adequate sleep and good stress management, is often necessary to achieve satisfactory results.

In video: “Does sport make you lose weight?” – Response from Professor Martine Duclos

What is the most physical sport (which burns the most calories)?

Difficult to answer this question… As indicated above, calorie expenditure depends on the intensity of the effort, its duration and individual characteristics. However, certain sports are generally recognized for their ability to burn a large number of calories:

  • the swimming,
  • the cycling,
  • the running,
  • the football,
  • l’rowing,
  • the boxing,
  • or rope skipping.
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