How many Calories Does one Pushup Burn?

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Pushups are one of the best forms of exercise that you can do at home, outside, or anywhere else imaginable. It requires no special equipment, no special training, or anything for that matter. All you need is the proper form, adequate amount of space, and you’re good to go. A lot of people tend to include this in their daily workout routine or even just as a causal workout in between breaks as it helps get the blood pumping, targets large muscle groups, and greatly increases strength.

Despite its many benefits however, it’s important to remember that pushups are a form of strength training exercise and not cardio thus it’s not geared towards burning calories. It’s one of the core workouts for any fitness regimen but how many calories does one pushup burn, exactly?

Before we answer that question, it’s important to remember that it’s largely difficult to pinpoint an exact amount as it depends on a variety of factors such as your age, your physical state, and the frequency of the exercise. It’s also important to remember that there are different types of pushups that you can do. Another huge factor is the speed at which you’re going. The faster you go, the faster your heart rate is, the more calories are burned. High-intensity workouts that elevate your heart rate, no matter what you do, are the best ways to actually burn fat and reduce weight.

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The Answer:

In order to come to any sort of definitive conclusion, we’ll have to assume that you’re an average male of moderate physical strength. As again, it’s largely dependent on several factors, having an ideal scenario will help at least create some sort of standard or basis and provide insight as to how effective push ups actually are for burning calories.

1. For Standard Push Ups:

How many Calories Does one Pushup Burn
  • Form:

For standard push ups, you’ll be in a high plank position with both hands directly under your shoulders. Your legs are completely straight and you lower your entire body while using your feet as your fulcrum.

  • Effects:

With standard push ups, most of the physical effort exerted is focused on your shoulders, chest, and upper arms. By targeting these muscle groups, you do manage to build up on upper body strength.

  •  Calories Burned:

For the standard form at moderate or standard speed, you will most likely burn about 0.25 – .5 calories per pushup. This is a very insignificant amount in regards to your overall workout routine.

2. For Modified Push Ups:

How many Calories Does one Pushup Burn

For those of you who don’t know, there are actually several variations of pushups you can choose from. Each varies in terms of targeted muscles as well as intensity and overall efficacy of the routine. For your reference, here’s a list of some of the most popular pushup variations:

  • Wide-grip pushup
  • Narrow-grip pushup
  •  T pushup
  • Single-leg pushup
  •  Feet-elevated pushup
  •  One-arm pushup
  • Clap pushup
  •   Eccentric push ups
  • 1.5 pushup
  • Single-arm medicine ball pushup

These are just some of tons of variations that may be more effective in certain aspects. Some modified push ups definitely vary in terms of intensity and physical exertion and thus produce different results from the standard. That being said, the difference is almost negligible as the effects of one pushup are nowhere near the efficacy of actual cardio workouts.

  • Calories burned:  

If your modified pushup requires more movement or even higher intensity, such as the one-arm pushup, clap pushup or even the eccentric push ups, you should be able to at the very least burn 0.5 – 1.0 calorie per pushup which is still not that big of a step from the standard pushup.  


Anyone who lives an active lifestyle or at least commits to some form of workout has wondered about the ratio of calories burned per pushup. However, as its main purpose is for strength training, you’ll only burn about 0.25 – 1.0 calorie depending on what type of pushups you do and your current physical state. Even if you consistently do 50 pushups at a time, the average person would only end up burning around 10 calories per session which is a lot of effort with very insignificant results.

On a side note, while pushups don’t actually help you burn massive amounts of calories, it can in fact help your metabolism which in turn helps you lose weight. This is, however, an indirect result of strength training in general. Another thing is, if you perhaps do some cardio before your pushup session, you may burn a little bit more due to oxygen deprivation and elevated heart rate.

With that, I hope that this article has provided insight into your current workout regimen. Planning out your cardio vs strength training is the key to maximizing your workout and getting optimum results. If this article has been helpful in any way or if you still have remaining questions for your unique situation, it’s fully encouraged that you leave a comment and let us know.