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Do Push Ups Burn Fat?

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Push ups are a timeless classic in the strength-building world. We all have seen strong and muscular guys from the movies performing sets of push ups, which seemed easy and effortless. Push ups help you build strong arms and upper body, but do push ups burn fat? How can push ups influence the number of calories we burn and weight loss? How many push ups will be efficient for every day practice? So many questions and even more answers are right here. Read our guide into the push-upping world for strong arms and profound knowledge.

Are Push-Ups A Right Exercise To Burn Fat?

Push ups are a staple in the fitness and strength-building worlds. While fad diets and workouts come and go, push ups make their way into the future. By doing push ups, you can strengthen and tone the pectoral muscles, triceps, anterior deltoids, and the midsection as a whole. However, the support required from other muscles to perform a push up, makes it a multi-functional workout.

While the push up primarily targets the muscles of the chest, arms, and shoulders, it also needs supportive muscles for proper performance, thus, it makes a perfect whole body workout.

Push ups, when performed regularly as a part of a fitness routine, will help you tone your muscles, strengthen muscle tissue and burn the fatty one, thus, lowering your fat storage.


The history of push-ups dates back to Roman Empire when the warriors used the build strength in the upper body by lifting and lowering their body using the muscles of their arms and balance of the whole body. Some may find the ‘origins’ of push-ups in India, in the XX century.

Whatever the background, the push-ups are still here being a perfect athletics movement, engaging numerous muscle groups for correct and beneficial performance.

  • The ceps
  • Coracobrachialis
  • Serratus anterior
  • Deltoid
  • Rhomboid
  • Trapezius
  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Triceps

Since then, push ups are actively used as a part of strength training exercises, helping grow muscle mass and lose weight.

Different Types Of Push-Ups And Weight Loss: Do Push Ups Burn Fat?

Can push ups help you lose weight? Push-ups are stimulating fat burn and weight loss, however, not directly. How does all this stuff work then?

Weight loss and fat burn are not one and the same. Weight loss includes getting rid of water excess, muscle, and fatty tissue shrinking. It’s about making your size smaller.

Unlike weight loss, fat loss is only about fat cells and tissue. Lowering its percentage we increased our strength and endurance, as well as built lean body mass.

In order to burn fat, you have to work the entire body while the heart rate is elevated, the rate at which you burn calories. Push-ups are not that multi-functional, however, they build strength in the core muscles, chest, and arms, which, in turn, helps you to burn more calories and fat when doing aerobics and interval training.

Don’t expect to lose belly fat, love handles, lose fat in thighs, etc., just by doing the push ups.

Push-ups are an important part of the chain that leads to efficient fat loss, however, when combined with a complex approach.

The Best Part About Push-Ups

Apart from being beneficial for the body and strength, push-ups are accessible anytime and anywhere. Besides, you need no tools for that. Two things required are your willingness and the firm surface to perform the push up.

Yet another positive side is age accessibility – everyone can do it. Push ups can even be used as an indicator of heart health. According to the research, middle-aged men able to complete more than 40 push-ups had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease when compared with men who were able to do fewer than 10 push-ups during the baseline exam. [1]

How To Do Push-Ups Correctly?

Wanting to reap all the benefits from push-ups, it’s important to follow the correct form, otherwise, it will be useless, or even harmful.

Push-ups start with a prone position -lying flat with the chest down and the back up.

1. Get into the prone position, keep your feet together and the weight should be on the chest.

  • Place your hands palms down, shoulder-width apart.
  • Curl your toes towards your head. The balls of your feet should touch the ground.

2. Raise yourself using your arms – your weight should be supported by your hands and the balls of your feet. Form a straight line from your head to your heels. Brace your core muscles to keep your hips from sagging. This is a starting position called a “plank’.

3. Lower your torso until your elbows reach a 90-degree angle. Keep elbows close to your body to create more resistance.

  • keep your body in a plank and don’t drop the hips, and don’t let your butt hang in the air. Keep your body as straight as possible.

4. Raise yourself pushing off the ground. Exhale as you push back to a starting position. Remember to use the power of your arms, and the lower part of the back.

5. Continue until are almost in a straight position again; don’t lock your arms.

Keep raising and lowering as fast as you can, increasing the speed after you master the proper technique.

Types of push-ups

You typically start with the regular push ups, however, by getting better with a technique, you can move on to a more advanced option. There are three basic variations, depending on the closeness of the hands. The wider they, the more engagement of the chest; the closer they are to each other, the more you will involve the triceps.

  • Regular – your hands are slightly wider than your shoulders. This type works both chest and arms.
  • Diamond – put your hands close in a diamond shape and keep them directly under your chest. This type engages the arms’ muscles more than the standard one.
  • Wide-arm – your hands are out from your shoulders. It works your chest and requires less strength in the arms.

Read also a useful article and learn how to create a V Shaped Butt.

How Many Reps Of Push-Ups Should You Do?

How many push ups a day to lose weight? When it comes down to numbers, it’s almost impossible to give average numbers and requirements. We are all very different, with different sets of initial factors and measurements. If impossible to demand 10 push ups from people whose fitness level is none to zero. Everyone learns with a different speed of adjustment. If you rush into the numbers, you will lose strength and health, instead of weight.

Jumping straight into repetitions without learning a proper technique will cause strains and the only endurance to bear will be muscle/joint pain.

You should start with a minimum, of 1-5-10 push ups a day, following the instruction. Once you feel comfortable with low numbers, increase your limits. Start with a lower intensity, however, as your strength training exercises are being mastered, you can move on to a vigorous level. It will increase the number of burned calories, as well as build more muscle. As the muscle mass gets bigger, your resting metabolism increases, helping you burn more even on inactive days. Such changes will make you lose weight and sculpt good forms of the body.

How Many Push-Ups Should You Do In A Day?

There’s no precise answer, as everything depends on your fitness level. If you are a beginner, who has never lifted anything but a bag with a laptop, it’s better to start with up to 10 repetitions and 2-3 sets.

If you are on the intermediate level, look for 3-5 sets of 15-20 reps.

To make push ups more challenging, set the time limit, like 1 minute of push ups without stops, then increase the time to 1.30 min, 2 min, etc. Once you feel you do the reps easily – extend the horizons.

Some people overdo the push ups hoping to burn fat mass better, however, it’s better to include different types of exercises and train all the muscle groups.

If you still are looking for specific numbers for weight loss, have a check-up with a personal trainer, who will define your body type, fat percentage, and fitness level, and will help to create an individual workout plan as well as a healthy diet to follow.

 100 Push-Ups In A Day

100 pushups a day will help you tone your arms and create a calorie deficit, which will contribute the weight loss and possibly, burning fat.

To understand how many calories you burn during the push ups workout, we can use its MET index – metabolic equivalent – energy cost of sitting or lying which is 1 kcal per kilo per hour.

While sitting quietly is 1 MET, a 70 kg person would burn 70 calories for an hour just sitting.

If the MET index is higher, let’s say 3, the same person will burn 210 calories per hour. Every activity has its own metabolic value.

Met value is measured in kilograms:

MET*weight in kg=calories/hour

MET of push ups is 3,8 for moderate effort, low intensity, 8 – for vigorous. [2]

A person with 70 kg will burn:

3.8*70 = 266 calories per 1 hour performing push ups without stops.

3.8*70 / 2 = 133 calories per 30 minutes

3.8*70 / 4 = 66.5-67 calories per 15 minutes.

Now, let’s do a simple life-wise Maths:

1 hour of push ups will help you burn 266 calories,

1 doughnut 🍩 is 400+ calories.

So, one of the keys to lose weight and maintain it on a healthy level is not just to increase the number of push ups, but to decrease the number of empty calories with doubtful nutritional value.

Do Push-Ups Burn Fat And Build Muscles?

Push ups complete the chain of things you need to reach success on the weight loss journey. Let’s dig deeper into the benefits of this workout.

Increasing A Person’s Metabolism

Metabolism is the process that occurs within our organism to keep it functioning. It has three main functions:

  • turning energy from food into the energy which runs cellular processes
  • conversion of food into building blocks – proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, and carbohydrates.
  • getting rid of waste.

In layman’s terms, metabolism shows the rate at which your body burns calories. A person with a “low” (or slow) metabolism will burn fewer calories at rest and during activity and therefore has to eat less to avoid being overweight.

Fatty tissue is less active than muscular one, in terms of energy usage. That’s why people with muscles need more food and burn more calories – their tissue burns more while resting. And vice versa, fat tissue uses less energy, letting almost all the calories be stored, thus, creating more fatty cells.

Pushups help to develop chest muscles and tone up the body; intensive workout help to get jacked, growing the muscles and increasing your resting metabolic rate. [3]

Being Part Of A Circuit Training

Circuit training is a combination of six or more exercises performed with short breaks between them for a chosen amount of time or a number of repetitions.  One circuit is completed when all the exercises are done. One session can have one circuit training or more, targeting different groups of muscles. Pushups make a great addition to the circuits with the aim for upper body strength and shoulder muscles in particular.

Increasing The Challenge

While mastering the form, increase the number of pushups with higher intensity. Don’t be satisfied with the minimum, if the key to strength is a challenge. Your body creates good resistance, so use your chance to build more strength with it.

Benefits Of Doing Push-Ups

1. They Help Build Strength

Physical exercises are not only about the number of calories to burn, it’s about making your everyday duties ‘lighter’. Pushups help you build upper body muscle strength, toning up your muscles. The stronger your upper body is, the easier you’ll find performing daily activities.

2. They Help Improve Flexibility

Push-ups are a great way to stretch your chest muscles and improve your range of motion. As you keep your muscles working, you increase the range of activities you can do. Besides, your muscles become more responsive and flexible.

3. They Help Improve Your Posture

Push-ups are a great way to strengthen your back muscles and upper body, helping you with your posture. You will notice that slouching will no longer accompany you.

4. They Are Cheap

Push ups for weight loss are also efficient cost-wise. You need nothing but a firm surface. Besides, they use the body as resistance, so no extra tools are required.

The Bottom Line

Are pushups good for weight loss?

Push ups can help you initiate gaining muscle mass, which, in turn, will contribute to extra pound shedding. When losing weight you can’t exercise only with push ups or squats expecting to see the long-term effect and immediately toned up body.

Push ups and their types create efficient ways of burning fat. However, the existing variety of workouts gives you a big choice and opportunity to engage all the muscle groups. This way you will really build muscle mass, increase your metabolism, burn more calories and fat, and, eventually, lose annoying fat.


🔥Will push-ups burn belly fat❓

Push ups mainly focus upper body and have a relatively low impact on the abdominal area. The only way to lose belly fat is to help create a caloric deficit so that the body starts using fatty tissue as energy.

🔥How many push ups should I do to lose weight❓

If you really want to lose weight doing the push ups, you need to do a 45–60-minute push ups workout at least 3 times per week. To create a caloric deficit you need to follow vigorous intensity.

🔥Is doing 50 push ups a day good❓

There are no bad or good limits. Physical activities are always beneficial. To maintain the strength of upper body muscles, an average person can do 50-100 push ups a day. However, the benefits are possible when you perform everything with a proper technique.

🔥What burns fat the quickest❓

The most efficient ways to reduce the overall body fat percentage include HIIT training and cardio workouts. Both target fat burn and benefit the overall weight loss.


  1. Push-ups as a ‘quick and dirty’ predictor of heart health

  2. Metabolic equivalents. 
  3. Does metabolism matter in weight loss?

Annette Nelson

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