One push up burns on average 1-2 calories, and if several are performed the calorie content per push up may rise because of the increased heart rate experienced. Doing just one push up is not an effective way to lose weight, however, incorporating push ups into an intense cardio and strength training program is a great way to strengthen the arms, shoulder and core while burning even more calories. Push ups by themselves are not considered to be aerobic exercise and therefore do not burn a large number of calories. If you do 100 push ups, you can expect to burn at least 100 calories.
Push ups are not considered endurance improvers either, and should be added to an exercise program with a mix of cardio and strength or weight training, but not done as the only means of exercise. While you may burn some calories, depending on the number of push ups completed, you do not burn enough to lose weight. If you need to lose a significant amount of weight, doing push ups as your exclusive means of exercise is not effective. Working out on a treadmill, bicycle or swimming and then adding push ups to your cardio exercise is highly effective and will cause you to burn more calories than just doing the cardio exercise. Push ups are a great strength trainer that utilize your body weight as resistance.