benefits of push-ups

The Benefits of Push-Ups & Why Should You Do Them

Are you a fan of the Push-up? Do you wake up in the morning and think “I just can’t wait to do push-ups!” Do you go to bed at night and think, “man, I really wish I was able to get in more push-ups today!?”

I always say this to myself because I believe it’s true:

It’s the exercises you hate the most that your body needs the most.

Blah – why is that so true? But I’m not going to lie — push-ups really will do your body the most good.

benefits of push-ups

Push-Ups Build Strength – Everywhere

Push-ups are one of the oldest and most basic of exercises for a simple reason. They work. The exercise positions all the muscles in our upper body and builds optimal strength in the forearms, shoulders, chest. And for the ladies, they will “get rid of the jig” by targeting the upper arms. And when done properly, also put emphasis on building a strong core by stabilizing the abdominals and back. There is even some benefits to your quads and hammies. If you want a return on your exercise investment, you may as well work everything in the same amount of time as one thing. Right?

Push-Ups Boosts Metabolism

Because you’re making everything work, you are pushing your body towards total physical exertion. And while that hurts a little, might make you want to throw up a little, it also forces your heart to work harder. Your muscles demand more oxygen to make energy and the only way to get it is from the heart pumping blood around faster. That will boost your metabolic rate so you burn more calories. Your metabolism is essentially your paycheck in terms of calories. The higher your metabolism, the more calories you get to eat. So doing push-ups is like giving your body a promotion and a big raise!

Push-Ups Give you an Ego Boost

Sure thing! There isn’t just a physiological benefit to these bad boys but also a psychological perk as well! Doing push-ups regularly (i.e. 100 a day for 30 days) will build significant upper body strength with a minimal investment of time. So essentially, you can reap the same benefits as those kids who spend hours in the gym every day. So not only are you fitter, you’re more efficient – which makes you smarter. What could possibly be a better ego boost than knowing that?

Push-Ups are Excuse Free

Sorry folks — no excuses here. No expensive equipment needed. No gym membership required. No trainer instruction is necessary. You don’t need any rhythm or special skill. You can’t blame the rain or the heat. Short of a wrist or shoulder injury, you’re pretty much out of luck when it comes to looking for a way out of it. Guess what that means? You’re likely your only barrier to better fitness! And what a blessing that you have complete control over that?

Enough evidence there to give push-ups enough street cred to blast through 100 a day for the next 30 days? Well, you don’t just have to take my word for it. You can Google “the benefits of push-ups” and come up with various article all supporting the same talking points and them some. Also an avid runner, Tyler at Run-Write-Run.com drafted a nice blog with 13 “pros” to push-ups and couldn’t come up with a single “con.”

30 Day Push-Up Challenges

Now that you have my top 4 reason to “drop and give me 20…” let’s talk about actually doing them. And making it, well, as fun as you can. If you read my blog, you know I love a challenge! A 28 day weight loss challenge or menu plan challenge or a simple 30 day fitness challenge. I believe in them because I think the thought of changing your life forever to be happier and healthier is scary and overwhelming. But what’s scary about the next 28-30 days? Not much! But it’s also long enough to give your body and lifestyle to adjust/adapt to the changes — giving you some serious time to develop better habits.

What does that have to do with the benefits of push-ups?

Push-ups are what originally prompted me to launch the 30 Day Challenge Series in May 2012 with the Original 30 Day Pushup Challenge. It all started with the promise from a trainer at my gym that if I did 100 push-ups a day for 30 days, it would “transform my body.” Since I do love a challenge, off we went. And I thought  my friends might think it would be fun too, so we stared a little FaceBook event.  You know what, it really did work. I distinctly remember noticing a tighter arm and definitely remember that by the end of the month I could bust out 75 straight! Now, 22K sign-ups and 18 fitness challenges later, it’s official, the 30 Day Challenge Series works!

So what’s next for Push-ups and the 30-Day Challenge Series?

To celebrate, we’re revising the push-up challenge but with a few twists! Learn all about it on this post here 30 Day Ultimate Push-Up Challenge. To sign up, visit the FaceBook page and check out the current events. To get access to all the trackers to do on your own or with the group, sign up here!

 

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

102 thoughts on “The Benefits of Push-Ups & Why Should You Do Them

    1. Of course you will! And don’t be afraid to get in 100 a day…even if it’s 10×10 sets. Each day it gets “easier.” You’ll be at 4×25 and 2×50 in no time! You can totally do it!

          1. I am 70, do 200 press ups to start my workout in sets of 50 5days a week, start slowly but the reward is fantastic,
            Also I noticed Blood Pressure drop by about 15/20%

        1. How many can you do as soon as you wake up after 6-7 hours sleep… I think that will be counted as your pure strength if you could do 200 push ups while your body is still in dormant state.

          1. I eat soaked almonds with milk just before I go to bed at night and I wake up very fresh I excecute push-ups to warm my body up. My chest , shoulders and biceps looks so tuned early morning after doing that, it really encourages me to keep up with my early morning Cardio &.Gym routine… That almond and milk intake really make difference.. It prepares your muscles while you are having sound sleep… I do my push-ups like rocket .. Zoom-Zoom

        2. Hey Jesse… I would love to from you about where you are at these days (since this comment of yours was posted on 7/21/14 about you being up to 200 pushups a day) with pushups since I have vowed to do 64 both day and night til I’m 64 since my dad is getting close to his 64th birthday and it made me think of the song When I’m Sixty Four by The Beatles a couple of months ago when I went to visit him and my Mom down in Florida. Feel free to friend me on FB if this message gets to you there…. 😉 I ended up on this site tonight after searching Google to see what the benefits of doing 100 pushups a day were since I didn’t want to waste my time doing all those pushups if it wasn’t going to really help me at the end of the day. Hope to hear from you…. :))

    1. Hi Steve! I would never say you could get the same results I (or anybody else did) just because people are such unique organisms. But I would say that going 6 days with a rest day is a great idea I’d be willing to bet you’d be very happy with your results in 30 days!

  1. Hello there, I do 500 push ups a day way back but I stopped due to some injuries, but I’ve fully recovered now. I just started 300 per day for the next 30 days. Pls let me know if it will work faster for me to get back in shape to my previous fitness

    1. Hi Michael — it’s really great to hear you’re so fired up with enthusiasm to get your fitness back! And congratulations on the recovery. Coming from myself (someone who has been forced to take time off due to overuse injuries) my best advice to you is that “more is not always better” just like more soap does not get the dishes cleaner. There is a point at which your body will stop responding to the training — so try not to rush the return of your fitness. Take it slow, increase as you go — but be cautious of not over doing it and risking re-injury. Good luck and please keep me posted on your progress!

    1. Well isn’t that the nicest thing ever — thanks Amish! My pleasure and happy to see so many people up for the challenge!

      1. ive been doing this challenge for 8 days and I am very pleased with the results so far! ive been rapidly losing weight and today I found out I was able to do some standard pushups! haha

        1. Isn’t that fun Steven? I always find it shocking how well it works and how fast you get stronger! Congrats on the weight loss too — less weight to push up will help you out quite a bit too. Keep it up and keep us posted!

    1. Something is always better than nothing 🙂 And taking it slow so avoid hurting yourself is the smartest way to go!

  2. hello every1 it’s gr8 to read ur views they motivate and thanks for the article but honestly speaking i have no confidence while doing push ups and i don’t get right technique so please guide me what’s proper way of doing push-up and where the stress has to go

  3. This is so true. I have been doing pushups as my primary exercise for sometime now. I even purchased the perfect pushup bars to enhance them. Also thinking of getting a weighted vest to add some weight when I do them. Great for the core!

    1. You can do them in set/rotation that makes sense for you — the goal is to get in 100 in a 24 hour period. So 10 before shower, 10 before breakfast, 10 at lunch, etc…just get ’em in! Have fun!

      1. but teresa , dont u think too much rest period inbetween ruins the pump..!! i think we must have a tight time period in which we have to do 100 pushups..!! say within 15 min and not the whole 24 hour period. as of now i can do 80-100 pushups within 20 min. with 1 minute rest inbetween sets .I also mix it up with pushup bars .. one leg pushup.. raised… n so on. but my concern is the bellyfat .i want a toned mid section… my waist is at 35″ and i weigh 77 at 5’10 .Do i need to do some cardio too ?

  4. Hi Teresa,
    It’s now been thirty days, here are my RESULTS: 9045 total pushups, 164 sets = 301 pushups per day, 55 pushups per set. THANK YOU so much for writing your inspirational blog which so motivated me to complete this transformational challenge !!

    Take Care,
    Greg

    1. Greg you are out of control — in a good way 😉 THANK YOU for sharing your success. It helps make the effort worth it 🙂 🙂 Keep the updates coming! Cheers!

  5. at first i couldn’t even do 20 straight now i can do 100 in the first minutes of the day everyone keep working its amazing what a transformation can occur not only to your body but also your confidence;)

      1. I have been trying from 15 days for 50 Push ups at a time but I am getting tired At 15 ,so suggest me how can I go for 50 at a time,,,and is it beneficial if doing 10*10

  6. Teresa, I keep reading contradicting stuff about doing push ups every day vs doing them every other day that way your muscles get to heal and build. Which is best?

    1. Hi Craig — that is such a great question! As a runner who has suffered a frustrating overuse injury, I’m very sensitive to unnecessarily overworking the body. With push-ups being a bodyweight movement, while they are challenging, the stress is not that of traditional weight lifting. So for this 30 days straight challenge to work best I suggest: 1) doing them at the same time each day so you get the full 24 hour recovery. 2) if the muscles are too tender from the prior day’s work, by all means rest! The healing muscles is where the strength gain comes from. You have to take fitness instruction and tailor it to your own body’s needs to get the best results. All that said — I continue to be shocked, amazing and inspired by the results and success stories that come from this push-up challenge! Good luck however you choose to approach it!

  7. I do 500 push ups a day cept for sudays my rest of days but i did pushups evr since i was around 5 years old i recommend push up for evrbody man are woman great for geting toned

  8. Hi Teresa,

    I am a father of 7 months old twin boys and a self employed businessman. I stopped exercise nearly 8 months ago and now I am starting to gain weight and worried. I just want to be fit again so that I can enjoy with my boys and family.

    I have started running around 3-4KMS a day and should I do also start 30 Day Push-up Challenge? Please advice.

    Do you think I need to increase my proteins levels?

  9. Hi Teresa,
    I’ve finished my second thirty day pushup challenge and wanted to update you on my results..
    RESULTS: 30 days (Feb 5th – Mar 6th) – 9030 pushups, 109 sets.. Averaging 301 pushups per day and 82 pushups per set. Pushups per day at 300 remained the same as the first 30 day challenge, but the pushups per set at 82 increased by 50% over the first challenge (55/set). Once again, THANK YOU Teresa, for your inspiring blog and for the continuing transformational challenge.

    All the best,
    Greg

    1. Greg you are a serious maniac – in a good way! I’m thrilled to hear you are having such great results and you found the challenge to be so motivating! We’ll do it as a group again in May to celebrate the 30 Day Challenge Series year anniversary and would love to feature a few of your words to motivate others!

    1. Well they won’t make you gain weight 😉 Weight loss, for the most part, is a mathematical equation, so you just need to eat less calories than you burn. So push-ups will burn calories, but also tone muscle. For weight loss — go with a reduced calorie menu and get in at least 30 minutes of cardio per day — that’s a good start! Add the push-ups to keep you strong 🙂 Have fun!

  10. HI,

    i was wondering. do we have to do 100 push ups in row or can we do 20 in the morning, 20 later on, 20 at noon etc until we reach 100?

    1. You can TOTALLY break them up throughout the day 🙂 It’s actually the most fun because throughout the month you see how much stronger you get and how many more you can do at a time and how much earlier in the day you finish! Have fun!

  11. i have so much fat in my abs and other parts of my body.am a male.i want to know whether how many pushups i must take inorder to make my body complete fat free i.e no fat in the body?

    1. Well, it’s going to take a whole lot more than push-ups to get your body completely free of fat. And in fact, a body completely free of fat wouldn’t be so healthy. Take a look at my http://www.coloryourselfskinny.com system. It’s a healthy eating program with a quick 21-Day Fitness challenge included. It’s very basic and will help you with both diet and exercise to get you working that fat off your body. Good luck!

    2. Devanarayanan, to lose your body fat, you must eat right and exercise. I recommend doing your pushups using the “Perfect Pushup” device, which will force you to use proper form, engage your abs, your glutes, and even your quads, along with your shoulders, arms, and back. But you must nourish yourself properly, with protein, complex carbs, and some fats, and drink lots of water. In my experience, limit yourself to 100-150 perfectly executed pushups per day, in sets of up to fifty pushups per set. In previous challenges, I managed to work my way up to 100 pushups per set and was doing 300-500 pushups per day. But I found I was changing the total pushup number and sacrificing quality. Limit yourself to 100 pushups a day, but make them PERFECT ! Engage and tighten your abs and glutes, keep your body STRAIGHT and lower yourself to a point where you barely touch the floor with your chest. Take a full second to decline and another second to elevate yourself to the starting position. I found doing pushups like this, I could manage no more than fifty pushups per set. Hope this helps.

      1. Awe Greg — you are the push-up master! Thank you for chiming in and also reiterating the importance of a healthy diet when trying to reshape your body. You’re the best! Cheers!

        1. Thank you Teresa for all of the great information!!! Very well written article and I hope more people use this challenge to better themselves.

          Greg, you also make a great point! I too started doing daily push ups about 5 weeks ago. I am now able to perform 4 sets of 50 reps = 200 total with a few minutes rest in between. Total workout is about 10-12 minutes.

          I have noticed that I tend to focus more on the number of reps and hitting my goal vs. form and therefore and losing quality (and probably a lot of the muscle / strength building benefits).

          I can say that this article is spot on in terms of the overall benefits of doing daily push ups. It has made a HUGE difference with regard to my muscle mass, strength, etc…

          PS: Don’t forget about your diet! Eating lots of protein really helps build your muscles (if that is your goal!),

  12. Thanks for the article! Always looking for ways to inspire me to continue doing them, even though I have fun doing push ups and feel great afterwards!

    My question is: I’ve been doing push ups for two years now and do them every second day to get the rest and let the muscles recover. I do nine sets of as many push ups per set as I can and in total 250-300. I am a 29 year old male, fit, and yet cannot seem to do more. Any advice? Thank you! Alex

  13. Hi Teresa,

    I have been doing your push up challenge for 4 months now pretty faithfully doing 100-150 pushups a day. I have notice a giant change in my upper body, especially in my arms. I feel a ton stronger and am getting toned nicely. I have a question though, I do my pushups in sets of 25. Once I get to 25, I’m pretty close to the max I can do in one set…should I be able to do more all at once? And should I be changing my push up stance alternating between diamonds and wide arm, etc? Thanks for all your help! Craig

  14. I do pushups in the evening 2 sets of 30.few days ago I used to do 50 in one go but due to abdomen injury I was on rest coz of sprinting.
    So if I do pushups in the morning saying 50 in one go n then evening 2 sets of 30 will it be useful?
    And will it increase my upperchest ? And add a certain amount of bulk to my upper portion?

  15. I do pushups in the evening 2 sets of 30.few days ago I used to do 50 in one go but due to abdomen injury I was on rest coz of sprinting.
    So if I do pushups in the morning saying 50 in one go n then evening 2 sets of 30 will it be useful?
    And will it increase my upperchest ? And add a certain amount of bulk to my upper portion?

  16. i am currently doing eight sets of 35 pushups in the morning. a burnout in the afternoon and four sets of 35 in the evening. i rest for about two minutes in between sets. i am wondering if this is a good routine as i just started it about a week ago.

    1. Without knowing or seeing you – I can’t really give any advice on a personalized workout plan. But I can say that as long as you are challenging yourself, recovering and getting stronger, you are on a good track! Push-ups are interesting because they are so much more about quality than quantity. You can easily do 100 poor form push-ups and it could be less challenging than 35 perfect. My best advice is to simply stay consistently active 🙂 Keep me posted on your progress though – I do love to hear results!

  17. As long as I eat enough to gain weight, do you think continuously increasing the number of pushups I can do each day would help gain a few pounds of muscle?

  18. Hi… I am Avinash and I am doing 115 pushup per day. I am am 23 years old and my weight is 93 kg and height is 175 cm.I have completed 15 days doing pushups. Please give me suggestion to lose weight as average in 2 months.

  19. Hi there! I can manage to hit only 30 push ups. I feel tired. I want to strengthen my abs n grow taller. How can I hit 100 push ups???

  20. Teresa, thank you very much for this article, it is very motivating. I was wondering if I can ask for your opinion in the following matter: Four years ago I used to run for about seven miles three times a week and I used to go to the gym five days a week. But after I started working collecting the coins for the parking meters I get so tired that I stop running and I only go to the gym two or three times a week. I get so tired of just walking and pushing a cart full of coins all day that sometimes I go on the treadmill but after I stop my workout my kness hurt. I gained alomost seventy pounds in this four years. I found your article and tomorrow ill start doing my push ups. What do you think about my situation, any advice for me?

  21. Inspirational Teresa ! – Thanks for the comments. they really do motivate.
    I used to do press ups when much younger in my 20s.
    I am now getting close to 50 years old and had been feeling lethargic and continually tired, probably due to the weight I have piled on over the years through my sedentary lifestyle. I decided enough was enough and started getting up earlier and going running and combining this with press-ups and sit-ups.
    Now I am up to 55 press ups in one go. I didn’t know how bad I was feeling because it was my normal. Now I feel much more energised and my midsection is becoming firmer and more toned. I feel more mentally alert as well.
    It has to be a lifestyle commitment for sure – but I do feel so much better now for these small changes and it doesn’t take up too much time if you get into a routine where you do say 30 minutes – Make this your ‘you’ time.

    1. Hi Fred — what an awesome update! I’m so happy to hear you’re having such great success! You are an inspiration. I know how hard change is, so it’s really great to hear you are doing so well. Keep the updates coming! Cheers!

  22. I’ve been doing 300 a day for 34 days now. And I haven’t rested. I know that’s not A good thing, so my question is how many days off should I take off, should I do it 5 days a week?

    1. Hi Calvin — that is up to you and how your body is responding. Generally you want to give your muscles times to recover and heal, as that is how they get stronger. You could try alternating days, like we are in the Plank + Push-Up Challenge right now.

  23. My name is dawud and I just wanted to confirm that every thing you said is completely true cause I’ve been doing 300 hundred push ups and sit ups a day for the last I think 11 year’s and it keeps you really healthy all my friends does ask me what do I do to be so energetic and healthy and I told them it’s cool to lift weights but nothing is better than push ups and sit ups and before I go think about that I do 300 hundred push ups and sit ups a day that’s 2 thousand 1 hundred a week 8 thousand 4 hundred a month and 100 and something thousand a year

  24. I’ve been doing 100 pushups a day for a month and a half and my chest has gotten bigger my arms ahoulders,even my legs have gotten bigger ,particularly my calves

  25. This really gave me motivation to get n shape,I’m a lil guy and working out has nvr seemed fun or appealing,but I wanna give this 30day challenge.I don’t have Facebook but I have instagram.

  26. hi there, i am 16, 52kg i do 3×37 pushups a day, today will be the fourth day, but i feel not difference, i dont feel stronger nor do i feel like my endurance is increasing (i am not finding it easier to do the push ups)
    thanks for reading

  27. I have a big tummy and I would like to have a flat stomach now that my matrix dance is coming.ur my only option

    1. I’d be hard pressed to believe this is your only option — but I’m glad you’re here. Enjoy the workout ideas and stay focused. You’ll get there 😉

  28. I do 200 pushups in 8-9 sets with variations of 40 knuckles pushups 85 weighted pushup 20 one leg pushup and rest normal pushups .. How do i get to 100 pushups in one set and 200 pushups in 2 sets

  29. I had been doing up to170x8 on my knees every other day over a year, I just started doing regular push ups and I can barely do 17×8 per day but next time I write to you again, I will be doing at least 50×8 regular push ups

  30. Hello, Teresa I am doing 100 push ups for 16 days and would continue to do them, but only piece of advice I want is I want to gain weight ,I am 53 kg with a height of 175 centimeter , and I am a college going student, so eating 6 times a day is not possible, can you suggest a diet plan for me, keeping in view I don’t take non-veg food (except eggs).
    Also I want to gain weight asap or you can say in 3 months, Thank you

    1. Gaining healthy weight is tricky and in my opinion, more difficult than loosing weight. I’d suggest you take a look at the vegan and vegetarian menu plans. Most of my clients are looking to lose weight, so the highest calorie level is 2000 and I’d bet you want about 2300-2500. You could pick up 2000, follow it as a guide and then add ~3-5 eggs to shift the macro profile and add more protein for lean mass. Good luck! http://eatdrinkandbeskinny.com/28-day-vegetarian-vegan-menu-plan-challenge/

I would love to hear from you...