How many calories do 50 sit ups burn?

Doing sit ups is a great way to strengthen your core muscles. But besides building strength, sit ups also burn calories. So how many calories does doing 50 sit ups actually burn? Let’s take a closer look.

Calories burned per sit up

On average, doing one sit up burns around 0.1 calories. This can vary slightly depending on the person’s weight. Heavier individuals tend to burn a few more calories per sit up than lighter individuals. But for the average adult, expect each sit up to burn about 0.1 calories.

Calories burned doing 50 sit ups

If we estimate that one sit up burns around 0.1 calories, then doing 50 sit ups would burn about 5 calories. Specifically:

Calories burned per sit up: 0.1 calories
Number of sit ups: 50

Total calories burned = 0.1 x 50 = 5 calories

So in total, doing 50 sit ups will burn around 5 calories for most adults.

Other factors that influence calories burned

While a general estimate is that 50 sit ups will burn 5 calories, several factors can influence this:

Body weight

Heavier people will burn more calories per sit up than lighter people. That’s because it takes more energy for a larger body to complete the motion. An adult weighing 150 pounds may burn closer to 3 calories doing 50 sit ups. An adult weighing 250 pounds may burn 7+ calories.


The speed and power at which you do sit ups also influences calorie burn. Intensely performed sit ups where you rapidly contract your abs will burn more calories than slow, relaxed sit ups.

Rest periods

Taking short rest periods between sit up sets will allow you to perform more sit ups before fatigue sets in. This results in more total sit ups being completed, which burns more calories.

Sit up variations

Certain types of sit ups are more challenging than others. Sit up variations like incline sit ups on a bench will burn more calories than basic sit ups. The increased muscle activation required by these variations increases calorie burn.

A 50 sit up workout burns more calories

While doing one set of 50 sit ups may only burn 5-10 calories, doing multiple sets with rest periods in between can burn many more calories. Here is an example 50 sit up workout:

Set Sit ups Rest
1 50 60 seconds
2 50 60 seconds
3 50 with 30 second plank 90 seconds

This 50 sit up workout burns an estimated 30-60 calories for most adults. Doing multiple sets allows you to complete more total sit ups and the variations (like adding a plank) increase intensity for greater calorie burn.

Other exercises to pair with sit ups

Doing just sit ups limits the amount of calories you can burn in a workout. Combining sit ups with additional exercises can help burn extra calories.

Here are some great exercises to pair with sit ups for a productive calorie burning workout:

  • Burpees
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Planks
  • Mountain climbers
  • Jumping jacks
  • High knees
  • Push ups

Aim for 2-4 sets of 50 sit ups intermixed with other bodyweight exercises for a workout lasting 20-30 minutes. This type of high intensity circuit workout can burn 200+ calories.

How to maximize calories burned doing sit ups

Here are some tips to burn the most calories possible doing sit ups:

  • Increase sit up intensity by doing them slowly and contracting your abs forcefully on each rep.
  • Minimize rest time between sets to keep your heart rate elevated.
  • Use challenging sit up variations like incline sit ups, twisting sit ups, etc.
  • Add isometric holds like planks after each set.
  • Combine sit ups with additional calorie burning exercises in a circuit routine.
  • Maintain proper form on each rep. Avoid swinging your body to complete reps.

Calorie burn summary

To summarize the estimated calories burned doing sit ups:

  • 1 sit up = ~0.1 calories
  • 50 sit ups = ~5-10 calories
  • 50 sit up workout with multiple sets = ~30-60 calories
  • 50 sit ups combined with other exercises = ~200+ calories

While sit ups alone don’t burn massive amounts of calories, combining them with other effective fat burning exercises can greatly boost your calorie expenditure. This leads to more calories burned during your workout.

Other benefits of sit ups

Besides the ability to burn calories, consistently doing sit ups provides other benefits including:

  • Stronger core muscles
  • Improved posture
  • Reduced lower back pain
  • Increased balance and stability
  • Greater muscle endurance
  • Athletic performance gains

Sample sit up exercises

Here are some sample sit up exercises you can incorporate into your workouts:

Basic sit up

– Lie on your back with knees bent at 90 degrees. Feet can be grounded or hovered slightly off the floor.
– Contract your abs to lift your upper back off the floor. Keep chin tucked.

– Raise torso until it’s vertical or slightly above. Breathe out on the upward motion.
– Slowly lower back down to starting position. Breathe in on the downward motion.

Twisting sit up

– Start in basic sit up position with knees bent and feet grounded.

– As you lift your upper body, rotate it to bring your left elbow towards your right knee.
– Lower back down and then repeat to the opposite side, bringing right elbow to left knee.

– Alternate sides with each rep.

Weighted sit up

– Hold a weight plate or medicine ball against your chest.

– Perform basic sit ups while continuing to hold the weight.
– The added weight increases resistance for greater muscle activation.


Doing regular sit ups can help you burn extra calories while also building a stronger core. For best results, focus on performing multiple sets with good technique and combine sit ups with other effective calisthenic and cardio exercises. Aim for 50+ total sit ups performed at a high intensity during your workouts to maximize the calories burned.

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