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How many calories do push-ups burn?

WebMD Commentary
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

One push-up - or press-up - probably burns at most one calorie. However, as with any exercise, the exact number of calories burned from doing push-ups will depend on a person's body weight, how vigorous the whole workout is and how long it continues. So in some circumstances a push-up may burn less than a calorie.

It may not sound much, but every little helps, and push-ups are good exercises as part of a toning workout. They strengthen the chest, shoulders, triceps and core muscles. And remember, muscle continues to burn calories after the workout is finished.


In 5 minutes of vigorous push-ups, an average man weighing 13.16 stone (83.6kg), or an average woman weighing 11 stone (70.2kg), would burn around 45 calories.

To do a push-up, with arms straight, put your hands on the floor, palms flat, fingers forwards, with the hands directly under your shoulders.

With your toes on the floor and your legs and back straight, lower your body bending the elbows to 90 degrees until your chest is a couple of inches off the ground.

Straighten your arms, pushing your body back up, and keep repeating this until your planned workout is finished.

With any workout, start with a small number of repetitions, and build up gradually. If you haven’t exercised for a while, seek medical advice first.

Reviewed on October 20, 2017

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