how many calories do push ups burn

How Many Calories Do Push Ups Burn? Complete Guide

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For most of us, when we want to cut some weight we only think about cutting calories in our food. We become keener on the amount of calories on our plates. Now, if you are looking to lose weight, you need to cut back on the number of calories in your food and start doing simple exercises such as push-ups.

How many calories does a push up burn? The number of calories burned per push up depends on a number of factors such as age, sex, fitness level, intensity, and body weight. But on average, you’ll burn about 7 calories per minute doing intense pushups.

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This article offers you an all-encompassing informative guide about push-ups: Proper form, benefits, variations, muscles worked, calories burned and helps you understand the factors that determine the number of calories burned.

How many calories do pushups burn? Complete Guide to push-ups 

Calories Burned Doing Push-Ups 

how many calories do pushups burn

On average, doing push-ups can burn up to 7 calories a minute. Taking an example of a man weighing 200 pounds performing 100 push ups per day or even for 5 minutes, will burn 34 calories.

Also, it is also possible to burn up to 10 calories in a minute when you perform other push up variations. A person with higher fitness level performing push-ups in the toe tap or outside leg kick variations will burn more calories.

Calories Burned Per Push Up 

According to research findings, a single push up, a person can burn from anywhere from 0.3 to 0.7 calories. Your body weight and intensity of the way you exercise are the main determinants of the number of calories burned. High-intensity exercises burn more calories while low intensity workout burn less.

These figures were arrived at by calculations based on the MET value ( Metabolic Equivalent of Task). The MET of push-ups is 8. This figure is multiplied by your body weight in Kilograms and then multiply the answer by 0.0175. Lastly, you multiply by the time in minutes.

However, it is important to note that these are findings based on normal push-ups. In the present day, fitness enthusiasts are continually coming up with tens of push-ups variations, which keeps changing the number of calories burned per push up due to their varying intensity.

There are many push-ups calorie calculator apps that have been developed to help you accurately ascertain the number of calories you burn doing push-ups. They allow you to key in your details like weight, height, and age to be as accurate as possible.

Factors That Determine Calories Burned Doing Push-Ups.

  • Weight and Height

Heavier and bigger people will metabolize more than small-bodied people. Therefore, this means that the heavier you are, the more calories you burn than lighter and smaller people. This biological fact applies in both active and resting modes.

  • Intensity and Speed

Calories burned during push ups will also depend on the number push-ups you are going to perform and your speed. When you perform push-ups faster, and in the proper form, you burn more calories than if you perform slowly and in the wrong form

Performing push-ups in their different variations also change the number of calories burned. Different variations target different muscle groups and also change the intensity and the energy required to perform them. When a variation recruits more muscles, it burns more calories.

  • Age 

Advancement in age comes with several slowdowns. You will run slower, walk slower, and do everything much slower than you did at a younger age. Your body tends to have more body fat than muscles with age.

As this happens, your body will also slow its metabolism rate. It is therefore concluded that older people will burn fewer calories doing push-ups compared to younger folks.

  • Gender

Women have more body fat and fewer muscles than men. Fats can account for between 18%-20% of a woman’s body weight compared to 10-15% in men. This because a woman’s body needs to store more energy in the form of fats for reproductive purposes.

Biologically speaking, this means that females will burn fewer calories compared to their male counterparts performing the same number of push-ups at the same intensity.

How to do Push-Ups: Proper Form 

pushup proper form

Calories burned per push up is highly dependent on the form. You need to know how to perform push-ups in proper form before you determine the calories burned. Understanding proper form will also help reduce the risks of injuries as you workout.


  1. Assume a high plank position with your palms straight under your shoulders. Maintain a straight posture from neck to heels.
  2. Breathe in and hold, then bend your elbows as you lower your body to the floor slowly and steadily.
  3. Keep lowering yourself until your chest is about one inch from the floor. Pause for a second or two, then push yourself back to the starting position.
  4. Exhale, pause, and repeat.

That sounds simple. It may not be as simple as it looks on paper, though. This is a strength exercise that intensely engages your upper body’s muscles and burns significant amounts of calories.

Safety tip

Do not arch, bend, or twist your torso while performing push-ups. Doing so may strain your spine and cause pain or injury. Maintaining a straight body should be your aim throughout the exercise.

Related: Add a workout step bench to intensify your push up routine.

7 Push-Ups Variations That Burn More Calories 

Like squats, push-ups can also be modified to increase or reduce intensity. Variations enable you to target different muscle groups on your body.

  • Decline Push-Ups

To increase the intensity of push-ups, you can perform a decline pushup variation by elevating your feet on a bench. This will make it much harder for you to push your way up. You will end up using more energy, and this will burn more calories.

  • Outside-Leg Kick

This variation brings in a little fun in your exercise. When you are at the top of your push-ups, you kick one leg sideways before lowering to another repetition. This way, you are engaging more muscles and therefore burning more calories. The kick recruits your leg and ab muscles.

  • Diamond Push-Ups

Get in the normal push up position. Put your hands close together on the floor directly under your chest. Get your balance and start lowering into your push-ups. This is a very intense variation, which may be close to impossible for beginners.

  • Explosive Push-Ups

Indeed they are explosive. Lower into your normal push up and bottom position, push off from the ground so hard so that your hands will lift off the floor as your upper body explodes in space. This calls for strength and stability. It is a variety that pushes you to the limits.

  • Dumbbell Renegade Push-Ups

Perform push-ups while pushing off from dumbbells. When you are at the top, pull a dumbbell on the one hand into a row before lowering back. Keep alternating the hands to a defined number of repetitions. It recruits your hand muscles more than the traditional push-ups.

  • Push-Ups with Resistance Band

It involves laying a resistance band across your shoulder and then tucking the ends in each of your palms. It offers a great additional resistance as you try to push your way up. It’s one of the best ways to add intensity to your push-ups and burn more calories.

  • Toe Tap Push-Ups 

In this version, while at the top position, you pull your knee to bring your toe close to the hip and then tap it with the opposite hand. It gives extra engagement to your legs and abs. This is a variation that brings with it a sense of the aerobic exercise.

Muscles Worked Doing Push Ups 

muscles worked doing pushups

Many people underestimate the power of push-ups. This powerful strength exercise can work for almost all your muscle groups. The muscles worked doing push ups heavily depends on the variation of push-ups. Standard push up will hit the pectorals, deltoids, triceps, abdominal and the serratus anterior(under your armpit)

There is an array of variations that will help you target different muscles from upper to lower body. This is a compound exercise that will target multiple muscles simultaneously

Related Post: Muscles worked on a 4 day workout routine

7 Benefits of Push Ups

To begin with, push-ups are strength-building workout exercises. Performing them regularly will offer you several fitness benefits.

  • Tones Entire Body

This is a compound exercise that works your entire body. It emphasizes on particular muscles depending on the variation. Regularly performing push-ups tones the entire body. It is a strength exercise that will increase muscle density.

  • Strengthens Your Core

Your torso is actively involved when performing push-ups. The oblique, lower and upper abs, are called upon to stabilize your body and maintain a proper push-up form. A strong core will help improve your body posture while sitting, walking, standing, or performing any physical activities.

  • Improves Cardio Fitness

Push-ups recruit multiple muscle groups at the same time. Doing this makes the heart work extra hard to supply more oxygenated blood to the different muscle groups. It simply means that the cardiovascular system is also exercised. This improves your heart health by reducing body fat.

  • Prevents Shoulders and Lower Back injuries

Your shoulders and lower back bear the load in most of your daily physical activities. This means that they are at high risk of injury. Push-Ups will efficiently work muscles, bones, and joints around these two essential load-bearing body parts, making them stronger. This helps them to handle loads efficiently and reduce the risks of injuries.

  • Saves Time and Money 

You can do it anywhere, anytime, and with no equipment at all. You are only using your body weight to execute this amazing strength exercise. Many people would skip training sessions at the gym for lack of time. In other scenarios, the budget may not allow you to enroll in a gym. Push-ups will come in handy.

  • Promotes the Production Of HGH and Testosterone Hormones

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a specific hormone that promotes the growth of your entire body. Production of this and testosterone hormones are promoted as your regularly perform push-ups. As push-ups engage multiple muscle groups, they trigger the production of these two very important hormones.

  • Reduce the Risk of Osteoporosis 

Osteoporosis is a skeletal system disorder that can be managed by strengthening the bones. Push-ups are a good exercise that supports stronger bones. They help you increase bone density, and this will go a long way in reducing the development of Osteoporosis.


Do push-ups make your belly flat?

Yes, do not ignore push-ups for other exercises when you are looking for a flat belly. Push-ups recruit your entire core muscles and burn fats around your belly. To engage the abs even harder, you may perform variations like outside Leg kicks, which works your abs and oblique much harder. Regularly doing push-ups will leave you with a flat belly.

How many calories do you burn doing 100 push ups

It takes a lot of effort to push yourself up 100 times. It comes with a lot of pain, sweat, and energy. Unfortunately, it is a little disappointing that 100 push will only burn an average of 34 calories. This is a scenario in which an average man weighing 180 pounds performs 100 push-ups for five minutes.

How many calories do you burn doing 10 push ups 

If an average man weighing 180 pounds performs 100 push-ups in five minutes to burn 34 calories, we can further break this down to 20 push-ups. This translates to 0.34 calories burned for a single push up. Therefore, doing ten push-ups in 30 seconds will burn 3.4 calories.