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Do Push-Ups Help You Lose Weight? How to Lost 20 Pounds?

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Medically reviewed by Gopal Ramakrishnan, Ph. D (Biochemistry)

do pushups help you lose weight

In a world with an exponential rise in obesity and a labor-saving culture, exercise is an important factor that helps you to lose weight and maintain a healthy body. I work a 9-5 IT job. And you know that we hardly move and consume more calories than anyone. Our cafeteria is mostly filled with junk, vending machines are crammed with snacks and sodas. I was eating unhealthy food for years now and consuming a lot more calories than I should be. One day, I decided to get my cholesterol levels tested after one of my colleagues suffered from a stroke.

My doctor concluded that I was obese and my cholesterol levels are too high for my age. She said obesity is a result of excessive energy consumption and reduced expenditure that has been sustained for a long period. She asked me to practice regular push-ups and sit-ups to get rid of obesity and belly fat. I was wondering if they would really help, so I asked her, “do sit-ups really help reduce belly fat?” “They are the only way to go,” she replied. Furthermore, she also told me to boost my metabolism, build strength by strength training exercises, and told me that natural supplements like CBD can be helpful for weight loss. In this read, I will walk you through benefits, variations of push-ups and how many push-ups per day to lose weight, how many calories would be burned by doing push-ups. Without any further ado let us dig into the article.

How to lose 20 pounds doing 100 push-ups every day?

Start doing 15 push-ups a day and then slowly increase the number. Make sure that your posture is right. Also, consider doing different variations such as inclined push-ups and seated push-ups. No matter how hard you workout, without a proper diet, you will not see the desired results. So, avoid sugars, salty foods, and junk. Follow this regime consistently to achieve your weight loss goals without any hassles. 

Are push-ups the right exercise to lose weight?

Push-up is one of the most popular workouts, as they are strength-building exercises that help build muscle mass. Push-ups are upper body exercises, and they work out multiple muscle groups at go. They are body exercises, and they need zero equipment and can be done at home with ease. They use the body as resistance. Push-ups help lose weight from chest muscles, triceps, shoulder muscles, and core muscles and help gain muscle mass.  

There are two ways of doing push-ups, higher intensity and lower intensity push-ups. As a beginner I started with low intensity and then upscaled to high intensity. Once you get your push-ups right, it is best to challenge yourself and that is the key to strength building exercise.

If you are a beginner, start with lower intensity push-ups and make sure it is done right. The wrong posture can make your body hurt and hamper the process of fat burn.

How I lost 20 pounds doing 100 push-ups every day?

This depends on how much weight loss you are aiming for. My goal was to build strength. And it has worked well for me. I used push-ups as a strength building exercise for my upper body. So I did 15 push-ups of 4-6 repetitions, as it is best for beginners to start with. However, I was not able to do them with my legs straight. Trust me, push-ups are very hard in the beginning. Initially, I did knee touch push-ups, where you position your knees, hands to touch the ground. If this starting position becomes easy for you and you can do 6 reps easily then it is time for you to make it harder and push yourself further. So, next I tried incline push-ups where you place your hands on an elevated surface, bench, or a step. I was able to do 15 push-ups for 3 reps a month, and I could see progress in my posture and reps.

Further, I moved on to doing seated push-ups. Here you sit on a bench and use your arms and push down so that your body lifts up being in a seated position. Your hips and butt should be half an inch above the bench. I did this 15 times with 4 repetitions. You should do as many push-ups as possible. I kept doing these three variations of push-ups for about 4 weeks. Meanwhile, I was trying hard to do regular push-ups, as I was not able to do them right. But I knew that I was close to achieving the correct form very soon.

Increasing The Challenge

Meanwhile, I also did circuit training, compiling exercises that would help me with push-ups. Exercises like mountain jacks, mountain climbing, plank workout, lunges, squats, and dancing. If you are wondering why dancing? Let me explain. When you are choosing dancing for weight loss, you are signing up for some fun activity that lights up your mood along with giving you a high-calorie burn. The thumb rule for weight loss would be cutting down on sugary, salty, and oily food. And the golden rule to gain muscle is to work out and consume good amounts of protein. The dietary reference intake is 0.36 grams of protein per pound.

Lastly, by the end of a month, my muscular strength and endurance had improved beyond my imagination. I started doing regular push-ups. It was pretty hard even then, so the days I felt energized, I did regular ones. On the days of gym blues, I did the knee touch push-ups, and seated or incline push-ups. But remember, even on the days with gym blues. Do less, but just do whatever you could. Remember, consistency is the key to achieve weight loss. 

What is the right way to do push-ups?

By the end of six weeks, I was able to do 100 push-ups. I got into good form with push-ups. My posture was in a straight-line form. Oh, by the way, let me explain to you the right position to do a push-up. Your feet, legs, and hips should align in a straight line, and your eyes gazing downwards. Push up through your shoulders, then keep your abs contracted, squeeze your core, butt, and leg muscles. They should not be sagging at all. Once you get the position right, go further towards the floor, as low as possible. No matter how many push ups we do, if we do not do them right, your efforts will go in vain. Moreover, doing push ups incorrectly can cause lower back pain.

How many push-ups can you do per day?

Now you know the right form and the number of reps you should be doing, it is also important to know how many push-ups you can do in a day. Well, there is no limit on this. Some people overdo, whereas, some do not do enough. To master push-ups, one needs to practice them regularly. An average person should be able to do somewhere around 50-100 push ups a day. Below 30 will not grow your muscles or aid your weight loss journey.

Do push-ups burn body fat or build more muscle?

Push-up is a popular exercise for strength training to build muscle and achieve fat loss. But how do these workouts help you achieve fitness goals? Push-ups may not help fat burn quickly, because push-ups do not raise the heart rate. However, they are great for your heart health[1] though.

As mentioned earlier, push-ups help gain muscle, and gaining muscles can aid in weight loss. Since muscles have more resting metabolism than fat mass, the rate at which you burn calories at rest is more with muscles than fat. More the muscle mass, the higher the resting metabolic rate. This is the science behind how push-ups help us lose weight. They help in muscle gain and in turn, muscles boost metabolism. The number of calories you burn depends on an array of factors. However, this study shows that in general, they can burn at least 7 calories a minute[2]. For any workout, the more repetitions, the more calories burnt. 

Final words

Push-ups are one the hardest forms of workout to perform, as you need to go the extra mile but the results are fruitful. Don’t you want to flaunt your chiseled body on Instagram? So, it is worth getting on this journey. To maximize your weight loss, look for healthy diet options. Furthermore, circuit training has helped me a lot in getting into the right posture for push-ups. Last but not the least, your mind and body both need rest. To gain muscle you need to provide adequate rest. Muscles grow their best when given rest along with exercise. 


+ 2 sources

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  1. Yang, J., Christophi, C.A., Farioli, A., Baur, D.M., Moffatt, S., Zollinger, T.W. and Kales, S.N. (2019). Association Between Push-up Exercise Capacity and Future Cardiovascular Events Among Active Adult Men. JAMA Network Open, [online] 2(2), p.e188341. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30768197/#:~:text=Significant%20negative%20associations%20were%20found,CI%2C%200.01%2D0.36).
  2. CDC (2003). General Physical Activities Defined by Level of Intensity. [online] Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/physical/pdf/PA_Intensity_table_2_1.pdf.

Medically reviewed by:

Lakshmi Vemuri holds a bachelor’s degree in Dentistry. She is also a published author of several Food and Wellness books. Lakshmi has a profound interest in alternative medicines, various forms of physical exercise, mental health, diets, and new inventions in medical sciences. Besides being a dentist, Lakshmi is passionate about gardening and is an environmental enthusiast

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