Calories Burned Pushups

Pushups condition all the main muscles in the upper body, including chest, back, shoulders and arms. They also benefit the core which supports and aligns the body during movement and exercise. Pushups help to increase bone mass and metabolism, and develop lean muscles. But how do pushups compare to other exercises?

How Many Calories Can Be Burned by Doing Pushups?

In terms of calories burned, pushups can be of some help, but the exact amount varies depending on your weight and your speed of exercise. Higher weight means you will be pushing up more weight and therefore leads to burning of more calories. Pushing up faster quickens your heart rate and causes your body to burn more calories.

Calories Burned During Pushups by Body Weight and Exercise Time


120 Pounds

150 Pounds

200 Pounds

250 Pounds

5 Mins

36 Cal

45 Cal

60 Cal

75 Cal

10 Mins

72 Cal

90 Cal

120 Cal

150 Cal

20 Mins

144 Cal

180 Cal

240 Cal

300 Cal

30 Mins

216 Cal

270 Cal

360 Cal

450 Cal

60 Mins

432 Cal

540 Cal

720 Cal

900 Cal

The table shows that by doing pushups for 30 minutes or longer, you can burn a substantial amount of calories. However, pushing up for 30 minutes is a real challenge; most people can't keep doing pushups for so long time. Actually, a few pushups will only burn few calories.

Should You Rely on Pushups to Lose Weight?

While pushups are a good way to keep fit, they are not recommended for losing weight. Pushups are a great way for muscle and strength building. With calories burned, pushups help you to develop lean muscles and keep an overall well-toned body, which is better able to burn calories throughout the day. While this may help you maintain a healthy weight, it is not a direct result of the pushups.

To burn more calories, engage in rhythmic cardio activities that involve your body’s main muscle groups for extended amounts of time. For instance, a 180 pound individual burns 178 calories by walking at 3 miles per hour for 30 minutes. If the same person jogs at 6 MPH for 30 minutes, the result is 410 calories burnt. The same individual burns 356 calories in 30 minutes by riding a bike at 12 miles per hour. Professionals recommend that you put in no less than 250 minutes of cardio per week.

Exercise to Choose for Weight Loss

1.     Walking

You can easily walk your way to a healthy weight. All you need is a pair of walking shoes. The low impact exercise is appropriate for most people including those who are overweight or have heart problems. It poses minimum danger of injury and helps to gain better overall health. Walking at 4 MPH helps burn more than 5-8 calories per minute.

2.     Kettlebell

Kettlebells work in a different way from the traditional weights. Made in a shape suggestive of kettles, the weight of the cast iron balls with single handles is not distributed uniformly. When exercising with kettlebells, your body works to counterbalance them by engaging the main body muscles. This leads to substantial calorie burning of up to 400 calories within 20 minutes. Kettlebells also strengthen the core and improve posture and balance.

3.     Swimming

Swimming is a low impact exercise that burns 400-700 calories in one hour. And it doesn’t matter how good you are at swimming; provided you play in the water, you will benefit. This exercise works for everybody, even for the heavily pregnant and those with musculoskeletal conditions, obesity, arthritis and asthma. Swimming exercises most of the body muscles, including those in the legs, glutes, abdomen, back and arms.

4.     Cycling

Bicycling is a low impact exercise that challenges pushups. Depending on your weight, speed and the terrain, you can burn 350-1100 calories in one hour of cycling. Bicycling is easier on joints than running and is a great way to exercise even for the overweight. Whenever possible, opt for outdoor cycling where you can face challenging terrain that works your muscles and heart harder.

5.     Running

Running is a great exercise for losing weight and keeping fit. It helps build and maintain strong bones and connective tissue. It also pushes up your heartbeat to a healthy rate, thereby protecting you from heart disease, stroke and some cancers. Running for one hour can help you burn 600 calories. 

6.     Tennis

Similar to running, tennis can help you burn as much as 600 calories within one hour. Tennis is a whole body exercise that is perfect for those who enjoy competition or those who are not fond of exercising but love ball games. It exercises most of your body’s muscles and improves flexibility, posture and balance. It also helps to reduce stress by diverting attention to the game and exercising the brain.

7.     High Intensity Interval Training

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is an effective exercise for weight loss. It involves fast bursts of activity at intervals that typically total to 20 minutes per session. Doing this three times in a week is adequate to lose weight and maintain a healthy form. You can incorporate HIIT in activities such as running, cycling, swimming, walking and weightlifting. Avoid HIIT if you are starting to work out until two months later.  

8.     Jumping Rope

When it comes to heart benefits and burning calories, ten minutes of jumping rope is equivalent to an 8-minute mile. Push this to one hour and you can burn 800 calories. Jumping rope engages arms, legs, abdomen and the core. It strengthens bones, joints and connective tissues. It also builds endurance and improves coordination. This high intensity exercise gives better results than calories-burned pushups.