Blog Fitness How Many Calories Do Pull-ups Burn: A Detailed Guide

How Many Calories Do Pull-ups Burn: A Detailed Guide

The first question that often pops into one’s mind when planning an exercise routine is – how many calories can I burn? For most people, working out is a means to stay fit and shed extra pounds. Meanwhile, some people do it because of the adrenaline rush. Whatever the reason is, pull-ups are an indispensable part of a well-developed training program. They are an incredibly effective exercise for increasing upper body strength.

If you want to get stronger quickly, incorporate exercises like squats, sit-ups, pull-ups, and push-ups into your routine. A 2020 study highlighted that meeting the recommended amount of both strength training and aerobic exercise can reduce the risk of mortality from all causes by up to 40%. The study also highlights similar findings for cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and chronic lower respiratory tract diseases.  (1).

If you want to build a strong and healthy body, you should definitely include pull-ups in your exercise regime. Knowing how many calories pull-ups burn will allow you to combine it with other exercises and reach your target weight.

Keep reading to discover all about calories burned by pull-ups and improving your upper body strength.

Does Pull-up Burn a Lot of Calories?

If you want to tone your body and reduce body fat, you should learn how to do pull-ups. Pull-ups are a compound exercise that engages several muscle groups while lifting your own body weight. The engagement of various muscle groups helps increase heart rate and calorie burn, while being effective in overall strength and muscle development

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Pull-ups become more effective when combined with healthy habits, such as a balanced diet and quality sleep. This exercise involves an extended range of motion and places constant tension on the working muscles (2). Performing pull-ups regularly, may also stimulate your  metabolism for some time after the exercise completed, further increasing total calorie burn.

How Many Calories Do You Burn Doing 10 Pull-ups?

The calories burned by pull-ups may vary from one individual to another. However, we can form a base by calculating how many pull-ups could be done in a minute. A small study was done to determine the effectiveness of four anaerobic exercises. It focused on the lunges, push-ups, pull-ups, and curl-ups.

Pull-ups were shown to burn 10 calories per minute when doing 10 pull-ups. This may also differ according to weight and fitness levels. Over the course of 50 pull-ups, you may burn  50 calories. This would be a challenging target for beginners. Given that 3500 calories equals one pound, a person would need to burn that amount to see weight lost.

calories burned by pull ups

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the average amount of calories burned by intense strength training exercises can be approximately 3.5 to 7 calories per minute (3).

Going further, when calculating 10 pull-ups calories burned, one should also pay attention to the individual factors and characteristics. The amount of calories burned during a pull-up also depends on oxygen consumption, heart rate, and breathing rate. The speed at which muscles contract and pump the heart will also affect the number of calories burned.

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Whether creating a weekly workout plan at home or working with an instructor, you should give some margin to individual factors and characteristics.

Read More: Pullups Vs Chinups: Which Is Best For You?

Is 6 Pull-ups A Lot?

There are no definitive guidelines when it comes to the number of pull-ups. Instead of researching about 20 pull-ups, calories burned, or any other figures, you should focus on the variables. For instance, the heavier an individual, the more difficult the pull-up becomes because they have to lift their own body weight in the movement.

For people between 120 and 220 pounds, a maximum of 6 pull-ups is considered the basic novice strength. Some may be able to do 12 to 15 pull-ups, according to their body weight. Note that pull-ups may be a tough feat for beginners. If you can’t do more than 5–6 pull-ups, focus on completing consistent sets and allow for enough rest time in between each set.  

Elite and advanced level weightlifters who weigh between 120 and 220 pounds may be able to perform between 20 and 39 pull-ups, where the lighter individuals would be in the 26-39 rep range, and heavier individuals in the 20-28 rep range This is basing off individuals between 20–45 years old. Young or older individuals may be unable to reach this count (4).

Are Pull-ups Strength or Cardio?

When you perform strength training, your instructor may incorporate pull-ups. If you haven’t done pull-ups before, adding them to your workout regime canl improve your strength and body composition.

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It is considered the foundational exercise of strength that builds shoulders, back, and arms better than several types of calisthenics out there. Regularly performing pull-ups can improve muscle definition and tone. It is essential to complement them with other exercises and a healthy diet. For instance, you can integrate bodyweight bicep exercises into your routine and seek help from a registered dietitian to curate a nutrition plan.

There is no exact count of pull-ups that you can do per day. Some people prefer 8 pull-ups, while others feel exhausted after 6. You should gradually increase the number of pull-ups and contact a professional trainer to ensure you do it right. Remember that rest is just as important for progression, therefore, including pull-ups as part of a well-planned training routine that accounts for ample rest is vital. 

calories burned by pull ups

What Are the Benefits of Doing Pull-ups?

The pull-up is considered an advanced exercise. It is more challenging than chin-ups, but you will notice a stark difference in your strength and posture if you include this regularly in your routine. Some perks you may get when you regularly do pull-ups are (5):

Build Strong Shoulders and Arms

If you want to improve strength in your shoulders and forearms, consider including pull-ups in your exercise routine. It may take a lot of work to perform the full pull-up initially. If that is the case, seek assistance or perform progressions   as you build your strength to complete the movement.

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Improve Grip Strength

Grip strength is vital if you are an all-rounder, i.e., doing other sports activities like rock climbing, golf, and bowling. Also, grip strength is important in daily tasks such as opening cans, carrying groceries, or shoveling your backyard.

Pull-ups may enhance your grip strength, which can help you hold onto things firmly (6).

calories burned by pull ups

Enhance Bone Density

Several studies have shown that regular resistance training can increase bone mineral density as they load the bones (7). This results in stronger bones and a reduced risk of fractures or osteoporosis.  

Improve Physical Health

Regular strength training can positively impact several health markers. Research has shown that regular strength training including pull-ups and other exercises may help reduce visceral fat  which in turn canhelp manage type II diabetes (8). It can also reduce cholesterol and blood pressure and improve overall body composition (9).

The best part of doing pull-ups is that you don’t need to rely on any equipment. Just grab a sturdy and stable object and start working out. Rather than focusing on calories burned per pull-up, notice how your overall body improves. This will make you feel much happier and more satisfied!

Read More: Calisthenics Push-Ups 101: The Complete Beginner’s Guide

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How many calories do 10 pull-ups burn?

Per Fat Burner’s Activity Tool, one pull-up can burn one calorie. So 10 pull-ups can burn 10 calories. Note that this may vary according to the individual’s age, weight, and blood pressure. It may be tough to hit a 10-pull-up mark during the initial days of your training.

  • How many calories do 50 pull-ups burn?

It is easy to figure out that 50 pull-ups will burn 50 calories. However, not everyone can do 50 pull-ups in one go. Doing a few sets of 10–12 pull-ups could be an effective element for advanced individuals in their training program. For beginner to intermediate individuals, start with an amount of sets and reps that are suitable to your current level. Incorporate accessory exercises to support strength development and progression. 

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BetterMe app will provide you with a host of fat-frying fitness routines that’ll scare the extra pounds away and turn your body into a masterpiece! Get your life moving in the right direction with BetterMe!

  • Do pull-ups burn belly fat?

Pull-ups are an effective upper-body exercise that can help increase upper-body strength and muscle development.  They can also help boost your metabolism and,  therefore, help reduce body fat. Pull-ups can increase the amount of calories burnt, even post-exercise, which can further play a role in fat reduction. 


Pull-ups are an excellent way to boost your physical and mental strength. Whether you are looking for bodyweight exercises for women or men, this is an indispensable part of the routine. Remember to take a break between strength training days, so your muscles can recover. Also, don’t forget to consult your GP or trainer before starting a new routine.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Recommended physical activity and all cause and cause specific mortality in US adults: prospective cohort study (2020,
  2. Therapeutic Exercise (n.d.,
  3. General Physical Activities Defined by Level of Intensity (n.d.,
  4. How Many Pull-Ups Can the Average Man Do? Less Than You Think (2023,
  5. The Benefits of Pullups (2019,
  6. Pronated Grip: Exercises and Benefits (2019,
  7. Bone Density and Weight-Bearing Exercise (n.d.,
  8. Resistance training is medicine: effects of strength training on health (2012,
  9. How to lower cholesterol without medication (2022,
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