How Much Calories Do You Burn Playing Drums?

Drumming is an amazing musical skill; it provides one with the ability to entertain by creating dance-worthy beats and melodious rhythm. One who plays the drum does so with lots of energy and vigour, combining the strength of all limbs to produce the right sound according to the musical tempo of the song. As drummers engage their entire body while playing, they also burn a significant amount of calories. For this reason, drumming has been referred to by many as a type of cardio exercise. So how much calories do you burn playing drums?

Drummers who rehearse and perform regularly for prolonged hours burn calories at a higher rate and this keeps their bodies in good shape. Cardio exercises refer to exercises that raise the heart rate. The heart is a muscular organ, performing cardio exercises strengthens the heart muscles which is very beneficial to the cardiovascular system. The cardiovascular system is able to deliver more oxygen to peripheral cells including those in the muscles. The cells are then able to burn more fat.

Cardio exercise requires the activity of large muscles for a prolonged period of time. Regular cardio exercise is beneficial to the cardiovascular system and also helps trim down calories in the body. Examples of cardio exercises include; running, swimming, jogging, cycling/bike riding, jumping rope amongst others. A drummer also reaps the benefit of cardio exercise as drumming for hours requires strength, endurance and it also increases the heart rate.


Drumming as a Cardio Exercise

We have established the fact that drumming is a cardio exercise especially for those that rehearse and perform for hours on end. So, drummers experience the same perks with those that jog or run regularly. According to a study carried out, a drummer and a football player are seen to have similar heart rates within a 90-minute time frame. It is important to note that persons with different levels of fitness can have equal benefits from the activity of varying intensities.

For instance, an individual who is not very physically fit can experience the same effect from walking that a more physically fit person would experience from jogging. As your body fitness increases, you would have to do more to experience the benefits of the exercise. The drummer’s heart rate increases to about 140-150bpm just like that of a footballer proving that drumming is equally as challenging to the drummer’s body as football to the body of a footballer. You do not necessarily need to be a sprinter or footballer to reap the benefits of exercise.

It is easy for one to think that drumming just involves the upper limbs (arms) but that is inaccurate. Paying attention to a professional drummer, you will notice that his/her entire body participates in the production of rhythmic beats. That also includes the feet as they actively work the pedals. This activity demands a high level of energy to produce energetic movements in a precise manner.

Drumming is not an exercise for everyone. It is a total physical activity for those who play at a very fast tempo and those who are committed to regular practice for extended periods of time. In essence, if drumming is just a hobby to you, or an activity you indulge occasionally, you might not reap the same benefits as a professional.

How Much Calories Do You Burn Playing Drums?

The continuous movements of the upper and lower parts of the body while playing the drums leads to burning of calories. According to CalorieLab, an individual weighing 185 pounds will burn up to 252 calories within an hours’ session of drumming. In a study from Chichester University which was quoted by BBC in a 2008 article, it was noted that drummers can increase their heart rates to up to 190 beats per minute. That is similar in comparison to what is obtainable from top athletes in sports.


The study also confirmed that drummers require a high level of endurance when performing. The significant increase in heart rate proves an increase in the number of calories burned when drumming.

BBC News also stated that more calories are burned within an hour of drumming than running, weight lifting or aerobics. This says a lot about the number of calories drummers lose in just a single show or a rehearsal session. It is a physical challenge to keep up the beat during a show as a drummer. One might notice that drummers prefer to put on light clothing or even take off their shirts while performing. While that might be a way to get the girls, it is also a means to get a bit comfortable as they will most likely sweat profusely while drumming.

Let’s assume you drum for at least 6 hours in a week and every hour you burn up to 200 calories. That means in a week, you will burn an average total of 1200 calories. It could be more or less than that, depending on the intensity of your rehearsals or performance. So, drumming burns as much calories or maybe even more than regular cardio exercises.

It also strengthens the heart muscles and improves the performance of the entire cardiovascular system. Of course, that will also limit the possibility of having a cardiovascular disease. Drumming does more than produce enjoyable sounds; it also improves the health and fitness of the drummer.

Final Thoughts

Conclusively, as a drummer, you do not only please your audience but also your body. Perhaps, the physical benefits of drumming might be an additional source of encouragement to make you practice regularly. Now that you know the number of calories drumming burns, you can decide to invest in drumming lessons whether or not you are a musician. And who knows? You might decide to walk down the music path.

It is like killing two huge birds with one stone. You do not only enjoy the musical genius of drumming to your favourite songs before an audience, but you also set yourself up to experience the benefits of regular cardio and of course, that involves burning calories.