Age to Push Up Ratios

By Dori Pinkerton

Testing the number of pushups you can do in one sitting is a good way to determine your upper body’s physical ability. Pushups will help strengthen the core muscles, including the pectoralis major, triceps and anterior deltoids. It is valuable to know the average targets for pushups for your specific age group in order to set and meet fitness goals. Pushups done on a frequent basis can help prevent problems such as osteoporosis as you age.

Using Good Form

Using bad form can make pushups seem too difficult and can manipulate an accurate count. To correctly do a pushup, have only your hands and toes touch the floor, with your hands under the shoulders. Your head, back and legs should all be in a straight line as you lower your body to the floor. Your chest should be approximately 2 inches from the floor for each pushup. Women have the option of doing pushups in a bent-knee position.

Healthy Males Aged 17-39

For a healthy adult male under the age of 40, the average number of pushups is 16 to 29 in one sitting. An excellent number of pushups for a 17- to 19-year-old man is more than 56, and for a 20- to 39-year-old man, 44 is well above average. It's considered fair to poor if a healthy adult male in this age range completes less than four to 10 consecutive pushups.

Healthy Males Over 40

For a healthy adult male in the age range of 40 to 59, 10 to 19 pushups in one sitting is considered average. An excellent number of pushups in this age range would be 32 to 33 repetitions. At this age, a male should be able to comfortably complete one to five pushups. Adult male seniors over the age of 60 will find six to 16 pushups in the average range, with an excellent score being more than 30 consecutive pushups.

Healthy Females Aged 17 to 39

The average number of pushups for a healthy female aged 17 to 39 is 11 to 21 in one sitting. An excellent rate for this age group would be the ability to consecutively perform more than 36 pushups. Women should be able to comfortably perform two to nine pushups without strain in this age group.

Healthy Females Over 40

For a healthy female over the age of 40 and under 59, the average number of pushups falls somewhere in the range of seven to 15. If a woman averages more than 28 consecutive pushups in this age group, it is considered excellent. A woman between the ages of 40 and 59 should be able to do one to six pushups without strain. For senior women over the age of 60, an average number of pushups would be five to 12, with an excellent amount being more than 23.

Improving Your Score

To improve your rating for your age group, try doing short sets of pushups throughout the day until you are able to do more in a row. Practice doing pushups several times per week until you are able to raise the number you do on a daily basis.


About the Author

Dori Pinkerton is a writer based in New Haven, Conn. Her articles have appeared in the "Lancaster New Era" newspaper. Pinkerton is currently attending Yale University, as well as pursuing her Bachelor of Science in nursing at Southern Connecticut State University, with concentrations in psychology and German.

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