For someone weighing 155 pounds, they would have to do push-ups at a moderate pace for about 18 minutes to burn 100 calories. Someone weighing 185 pounds would have to do push-ups at a moderate pace for about 15 minutes to burn 100 calories.
Push-ups don’t need any fancy equipment and can be done anywhere. This makes them a versatile exercise that also includes major muscle groups. Push-ups strengthen the triceps (back of the arms), chest muscles, shoulders and also the core and leg muscles.
Doing push-ups everyday is recommended by some health experts because it targets so many muscle groups.
See also: Sit ups vs crunches
Doing push-ups the proper way entails keeping your spine neutral and long. Don’t stick your hips up or tuck them down. Bend your elbows to as close to 90° as you can and push yourself back up.
Even starting with one push up and working your way up gradually can help tone your body.
Many websites suggest if you are trying to do push-ups every day, add 2 push-ups a day to increase your endurance.
How many calories you burn when doing push-ups, or any other exercise, will vary based on body size, sex, age and other genetic factors.
Burning 100 calories from push-ups alone can be done, but be warned this will take quite a bit of push-ups.
There are other exercises you can add in, even if you don’t have any fancy equipment, to increase your calorie burn and endurance.
How many calories will 100 push-ups burn?
If you want to do 100 push-ups a day, this is a realistic goal. Doing this many push-ups every day will increase your strength especially in your upper body and core.
However, doing 100 push-ups for most people won’t necessarily burn 100 calories.
For example, if someone averages 20 push-ups per minute, doing 100 push-ups would take 5 minutes. This 5 minute time frame of exercise will probably result in less than 50 calories for most people.
Does this mean doing push-ups aren’t worth it? Absolutely not. Resistance exercises that strengthen muscles are important beyond their calorie burn. They help build and maintain muscle mass.
What it takes to burn 100 calories from push-ups
For someone weighing 155 pounds, they would have to do push-ups at a moderate pace for about 18 minutes to burn 100 calories.
Someone weighing 185 pounds would have to do push-ups at a moderate pace for about 15 minutes to burn 100 calories (1).
If you increase the intensity for doing push-ups, a person weighing 155 pounds could burn 100 calories in about 10 minutes if they are doing high intensity effort.
Someone weighing 185 pounds doing high intensity effort push-ups could burn 100 calories in just under 9 minutes.
Exercises you can do anywhere to burn 100 calories
Doing push-ups for 15-18 minutes at a time to burn 100 calories is possible. However, even though push-ups are an efficient exercise for targeting many muscles at the same time, it’s not the only exercise you can do to burn calories and build strength.
There are other exercises you can include, besides push-ups, that don’t require any extra equipment.
Instead of doing only push-ups for 18 minutes, you can still get in a 100 calorie burn exercise session from incorporating other body weight exercises such as: plank, squats, lunges, sit ups, calf raises, etc. All these exercises can be done with or without weights.
You could do your own circuit training between 4-5 different exercises doing anywhere from 8-15 reps at a time.
Below is an example circuit you can cycle through for certain amount of minutes or simply go through a few times and start adding on more and more as you gain strength.
- Lunges each leg (10)
- Push-ups (10)
- Plank (30-60 seconds)
- Squats (10)
Variations of push-ups
If you are not able to do a few full out push-ups on your toes and hands, there are modifications you can take to still get the strength benefits of push-ups. You can do push-ups on your knees instead of your toes.
This will still build strength up in your upper body and core. The same recommendations apply for proper form during a push-up: keep your hips and back straight, not sticking hips up or dipping them down.
Another variation for push-ups you can do if you don’t want to get on the ground is doing a push-up from a chair, table or even a wall.
If you are using a table or chair, make sure it is sturdy to hold your weight during your push-up without moving.
After building up strength with this modification, you may be able to do a full push-up on the ground!
If you are comfortable with doing full push-ups in the proper form, you deserve some credit. Doing full on push-ups, especially more than a few, is not easy.
If you want to add an extra layer of difficulty, you can try the following:
- Keep one foot lifted while you do push-ups. The extra instability this causes will cause more work for your core. You can switch half way through your push-ups so you lift both feet and work both sides equally.
- As you lift your body up in a push-up, bring one knee up to your elbow. Alternate bringing one knee in as you lift up. You can focus on keeping your knee out to the side closer to your elbow or focus on bringing your knee in straight closer to your midline. You should be using your core muscles to bring your knee in as you push-up.
- Take your push-ups into burpees. A burpee includes doing a push-up in proper form. After you push-up, jump both feet in close to your hands and jump up. After jumping up, get down on the ground straight into another push-up. This extra layer will get your calorie burn and heart rate up in a hurry.
- If you dare, there is another layer you can add on while doing push-ups: take a clap in between each push-up.
- If doing 2 handed push-ups are fairly easy for you, take it to the next level by doing one handed push-ups. You may need to change your hand and feet placement to balance yourself, but just using one hand will intensify the strain on the muscles you use on each side of your upper body.