How Many Calories Do Push-Ups Burn?

Anyone trying to hit a weight goal places a lot of emphasis on cutting calories in food. This is a kind of mindset that most people share in common. They want to control the number of calories on their plates. Yet, they miss out on the fact that calorie intake is not the only thing that plays an essential role in significant weight loss. More than anything, they need to burn more calories than they consume in order to lose weight.

One of the essential ingredients of any weight loss effort and perhaps the most effective way to burn calories is exercise, such as push-ups.

Calories Burned By Doing Push Up

There are a lot of factors that influence calorie burn. On average, by performing a standard push up for one minute, a person can burn up to 7 calories. But, he can increase the calorie burn by performing modified push-ups. If the modified push-up involves higher intensity, such as decline push up, explosive push up, or diamond push up- he should be able to at the very least burn 10 calories.

The number of calories burned per standard push up is 03-0.7 calories, while each modified push up burns 0.5-1.0 calories. However, this is assuming that the person performing the push up is an average male with moderate physical strength.

To accurately ascertain the number of calories burned by doing push-ups, use calorie calculator apps. These apps allow anyone to input details like age, gender, height, and weight. With this advancement in technology, calorie counting can be as relatively effortless and accurate as possible.

Factors Affecting Calorie Burn

A person working nonstop to shed the last few pounds may complain that he isn’t burning the target amount of calories. This is because there are a lot of factors that could be affecting his results at the gym. Gender, pregnancy, age, body weight, intensity, speed, push up variation, rest period, and sleep status are the factors that determine one’s net calorie balance.

Some would include metabolism as a factor that contributes to top-level results. A person’s metabolism orBasal Metabolic Rate (BMR) can be summed up as the amount of energy required by the body to carry on with its functions, such as digesting, breathing, repairing food, exercising, etc. Most people aspire to have the fastest metabolism to eat unlimited calories and still end up with a supermodel body. Yet, metabolism is affected by many factors, and these factors also affect the number of calories a person would burn roughly during push-ups.

Gender. Men have less body fat and more muscle tissue than women. Meaning, they burn more calories during push-ups.

Accordingly, men have 10% to 15% higher metabolism than women. However, there can be some exceptions. Aside from pregnancy, some women possess a genetically inherited metabolic rate from their families. This can be reflected in their thyroid and can result in them burning calories very quickly.

Pregnancy. Push-up is safe for pregnant women in the second and third trimesters. It is an effective functional exercise to strengthen their core; this is also the best time for them to burn more calories. In the event of pregnancy, women’s bodies burn extra calories.

Age. As a person gets older, he loses muscle tissue, and this slows down his metabolism. This means that younger people burn more calories than older ones performing the same number of push-ups at the same intensity.

Body Weight. The reason behind the vast difference between the two gender’s total calorie burn is the weight difference. As men have more muscle mass than women, it is understood that they weigh more than women. During push-ups, those (men) who weigh more tend to burn more calories.

Intensity, Speed, and Push Up Variation. Calorie burn depends on the intensity and speed of the push-ups—those who perform push-ups faster and in the proper form burns more calories.

Different push-up variations also affect the number of calories burned. Each variation targets different muscle groups, changing the intensity and energy required to do them. A push-up variation that engages more muscles also burns more calories.

Rest Period. Another factor that influences calorie burn is how long of a rest period a person takes between push-ups. There will always be a compromise between the amount of rest a person takes and the number of push-ups he’s able to make. In this case, the person should find a happy medium when using rest periods of 45-60 seconds but still performing a push-up variation that recruits more muscles. This way, he can maximize the calorie burn without really compromising the quality of push-ups being performed.

Sleep Status. Finally, the last significant factor that affects the number of calories burned during push-ups is one’s sleep status. The effect is somewhat indirect and is due to the fact that quality sleep equates to quality energy. When a person sleeps more and gets a better sleep quality, the more energy he brings to the push-up training. What’s more, the more rested he is, the lesser cortisol running through his system. This, in turn, enhances the result that he gets from the exercise in general and his long-term-calorie burn potential.

How to Perform Standard Push Up in the Proper Form

The form is the main foundation of the number of calories burned per push-up. Without following the proper form, a person will not reach the desired results. Before a person even starts determining his calorie burn, he needs to understand how to perform push-ups in the proper form. Otherwise, he might suffer from injury and lower back or shoulder pain.

Steps to Proper Form:

  1. Kneel on the floor and position the feet behind.
  2. Bring the body forward to assume a high plank position, with the hands shoulder-width apart and the palms flat on the floor. The fingers should face forward, or the hand should be turned slightly in. Position the shoulders over the hands and keep the back flat and abs pulled in.
  3. Breathe in and hold, then slowly lower the body until the chest or chin is about an inch from the floor. While doing this, maintain a rigid torso and make sure to align the head with the spine.
  4. To go back in the plank or at the top of the push-up position, press upward with the hands until the arms are fully extended at the elbows.
  5. Repeat the process and work the way up to how many push-ups can be performed following the proper form.

Tips to Proper Form:

  1. Keep the back straight, and don’t let it sag down.
  2. Keep the butt lifted, not down.
  3. Keep the hands firmly rooted on the floor for maximum wrist protection.
  4. Ask a friend or a family member to evaluate whether or not the push-up form is correct.

Modified Push-Ups that Burn More Calories

As mentioned, several push-up variations target different muscle groups and change the routine’s intensity and overall efficacy. For reference, here are some of the three most popular variations of push-ups:

Decline Push Up. The decline push-up is done with the feet on an elevated surface, probably a chair, box, or bench. This puts the body at a downward angle. The higher the surface, the harder the push up will be.

  1. Kneel and put the hands on the floor. The shoulders should be placed over the wrists and elbows at 45 degrees. Then, place the feet on top of the chair. This is the starting position.
  2. Bend the elbows and lower the chest to the floor. Do this while keeping the back and neck straight.
  3. Return to the starting position by pushing into the floor and extending the elbows.

Explosive Push Up. This variation is indeed explosive as it pushes one to his limits.

  1. Assume a plank position with the hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. The body should form a straight line from the ankles to the head. This is the initial position.
  2. Bend the elbows and lower the body until the chest is an inch from the floor.
  3. Explosively press up and land with the arms extended. Return to the initial position.

Diamond Push Up. Diamond push up calls for stability and strength, making it an intense exercise for beginners to complete.

  1. Assume a standard push-up starting position.
  2. Position the hands together on the floor directly under the chest.
  3. Get the balance and slowly lower the body until the chest nearly touches the floor.

The Takeaway

Just like cutting on calories in food can help achieve the desired body weight, so can knowing the number of calories burned by doing push-ups. In general, knowing how many calories an exercise burn is vital to slimming down faster and much more effectively. Also, understanding the factors that could affect the calorie burn in relation to exercise can help anyone take a considerable step forward in the right direction.