How Many Calories Does a Push up Burn? The Naked Truth


How many calories does a push up burn? If you’ve been doing push ups, this question must have popped up constantly in your mind. Indeed, how many calories do you actually burn doing push ups? Before we answer this question, let’s learn some hard facts about push ups and what they can do for you.

What are Push Ups?

Most probably, everyone knows what push ups are. But let’s define them anyhow. Push ups are exercises where you stay in a plank position with your palms flat on the floor and directly below your shoulders. Your lower body is supported by your toes. Your back should be flat as you lower your body until it touches the floor by bending your elbows. This workout will strengthen the muscles on your shoulders, chest, abdomen and the back of your arms.

There are several types of push ups that you can perform depending on what suits you best.

Types of Push Ups

  1. Standard push up - this is the simple push up as described above - no modifications, just a straight forward way to perform the workout.
  2. Polymetric push up - has similar steps, only you let go of the floor support (hands) as soon as you push up your body, and then bring it back down before your body brushes the floor. This strengthens the upper body more. It may be difficult for beginners, so it’s not advisable.
  3. Wide push up - this is a stance where the hands are positioned wide apart instead of just below the shoulders. This focuses on exercising your shoulder and chest muscles.
  4. Modified push up - in this position, you kneel down with your knees touching the floor to support your body as you do the push ups. This can be good for beginners who can’t perform the standard push up.
  5. Narrow push up - the hands are closer to each other as you do the push ups. This would exercise more your shoulders and arms.
  6. Decline push up - in this type of push up, the feet are elevated, instead of being in line with your body. Hence, the weight rests more on your shoulders and arms.

Depending on your weight and the type of push ups that you do, there will be corresponding calories that are burned.

How many Calories does a Push Up Burn?

Experts say that if you weigh 150 pounds, and you perform push ups for 10 minutes, you would be burning 57 calories. If you weigh 135 pounds, and do push ups for 1 minute you would be burning 8 calories. If you’re 190 pounds you will lose 12 calories of 1 minute push ups. For  10 minutes of vigorous push ups, you will most likely burn 96 calories.

Hence, doing standard push ups typically burns 8 - 12 calories per minute with persons weighing 135 pounds to 190 pounds. Based on this, we can conclude that the calories burned will depend on how intense the push ups are, your weight, and the amount of time you have spent doing the workout. Compared to other workouts, doing push ups is a superb way to burn your calories. That’s a lot of calories as compared to other exercises.

Advantages of Push ups

  • Tone muscles
  • Quick to perform
  • Increase body stamina
  • Excellent strengthening exercise
  • Almost any normal person can do it
  • Easy to perform without using gadgets
  • Strengthen majority of muscles in the body
  • Can be done in any area as long as there’s ample space for the body

Disadvantages of Push ups

  • Beginners may find it difficult to perform push ups
  • Not suitable for pregnant women


Now that you know the answer for the question “How many calories does a push up burn?", you can apply this knowledge in staying fit and healthy. Of course, when exercising, you have to vary your physical motions and the type of exercises that you do. This is to ensure that all the muscles in your body are being strengthened. Remember, to take necessary breaks - 10 seconds - after each set of 10 push ups.

It can be daunting on the first try, but through patience and diligence, you would be able to reach your beginner’s goal - which is 10 push ups in one minute. You can increase the number as your body gets used to the exercise. Your muscles will be sore for some time, and that’s normal. However, if the pain is severe, stop the exercise and consult your doctor immediately.


Hello everyone! I’m glad to have you here. I’m a medical technologist by profession. My second love is writing. So, I’m focusing on providing content to help other people with their health problems. I hope I can be of help to you.

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