How Many Calories Does Kayaking Burn

Kayaking has to be a great calorie burner because even Harvard Health Publications note the fact.

All over, kayaking offers a great body workout and enjoyable means of exercise as you venture into the great outdoors.

You can work your upper body muscles, and depending on how fast you paddle or the amount of time on the water, and it can lead to more significant weight loss.

Kayaking as great outdoor workout

However, if you are new to the sport, then you may be wondering, how many calories does kayaking burn?

Carry on reading, and you will find the answer along with much more information.

Muscle Groups Used When Kayaking

Before you count the calories burned kayaking, it is good to learn the muscle groups in use because the larger the number of muscles in use, the higher the calories burned.

Once you see this, the length of time on the water multiplies your total and can indicate how much kayaking you need to do to lose weight.

Here is a breakdown of the muscles you will use, and you can quickly see, you use the same, if not more, groups of muscles than you would use in a stuffy gym workout.

Heart and Chest

The chest has a lot of action when kayaking. One of the most effective methods of improving heart health is cardiovascular exercise; this also helps increase calories burned.

With one arm countering the other as you move the paddle through the water. With each stroke, your pectoral muscles pull the arms while at the same time steadying your other shoulder.

You can paddle slowly, or sprint and your heart, lungs, and chest receive fantastic physical activity with each stroke of the paddle.


Kayakers love the kayaking burn in their core muscles, as this signifies a successful workout. Your trunk stretches from your neck to your waist and continually operates in turning and anti-rotation motions. Doing so improves balance as well as stabilizing your spine.

With each rotary action, your obliques and abdomen are deeply involved, and consequently, accountable for your overall kayaking efficiency. If you have a weak core, you will feel it after your session.

Kayaking Body Workout to Burn Calories

The Back

Each stroke works the lats to some extent for every arm movement as you paddle. During each stroke of one arm, the opposite receives a good stretch in addition to contraction.

You will receive a fantastic back exercise. It doesn’t matter which tempo you prefer or your grip, be it narrow or wide grip, you will receive the best back workout all the time you burn calories.


It’s not possible to work on your back and not on your shoulders. When it comes to kayaking, shoulder training is more engaged than regular back training.

The paddle has to move up and forward with every stroke. Thus transferring weight from the lateral muscles to the shoulders. Here, it strikes the front, side, and rear deltoids and increases calorie burn if you paddle faster.

Biceps and Hands

Your biceps get a fantastic workout when rowing. Besides, your triceps also contract with each stroke when kayaking.

Each forward extension of an arm while the other reaches backward works the biceps on the one side to deliver more torque on the paddle.

While your biceps and triceps are working out, don’t forget how much your forearms and hands (grips) are doing while you hold the kayak paddle in the water and drag it backward in every hour of kayaking. (Read Hiking Calories Burned)

How Many Calories Do You Burn Kayaking?

When you try to determine how many calories kayaking burns, you need to consider a few things.

You have the transport of your kayak to the water’s edge for one. If you have a hike to get there, calories are burned before you get on the water.

Besides this, you have to consider your weight and the length of time you are on the water.

Studies show, on average, a paddler who weighs 125 pounds can burn around 283 calories per hour. A person weighing 150 pounds will see 340 calories burned kayaking for the same period.

Similarly, Harvard Health Publications claim a kayak weighing 125 pounds will see 150 calories burned per hour on principle. The heavier the kayak on the water, the higher the number of calories you burn. A 200-pound kayak will see a burn rate of 454 calories for that period.

Benefits of Kayaking as Aerobic Exercise

Kayaking vs. Other Watersports

Even with all its health benefits, comparing any kayaking calories burned against other water sports is good.

Stand-up paddleboarding offers similar benefits to kayaking; however, you can’t do this activity for as long as you can go kayaking.

In one hour, you can burn more at around 350 calories for the 125-pound paddler. Likewise, the heavier the paddler, the more they consume.

Water skiing, in contrast, can burn 324 calories over an hour and offers many fitness benefits in its own right. (Find the Best Fish Finder For Kayaks)

All your back, legs, abs take an intense beating in short spells, and you are more likely to see durations of ten or fifteen minutes at most.

Benefits of Kayaking

Kayaking will eat through those calories and offer you great aerobic exercise in the process. It is more than capable of helping anyone lose weight, along with building up your stamina.

You can also find your stress levels reduce, not only from the exercise but also the locations you are visiting in the middle of nature.

Mental health gets a boost, you top up on your vitamin D levels, and it is delightful for any family member.

How Many Calories Does Kayaking Burn