How Many Push-Ups Should a 40-Year-Old Woman Do?

Have you ever wondered how many push-ups a 40-year-old woman should do? Push-ups are an excellent way for women to build upper body strength. Not only do they build the muscles in your triceps, shoulders, and pectoral muscles. They also help you make both your core and your lower back stronger, which is beneficial for your entire body.

However, women often wonder How Many Push-Ups Should a 40-Year-Old Woman Do?. According to Dr. Lawrence A. Golding of the University of Nevada, most women can comfortably do between 8 and 17 push-ups a day. However, this number can be modified to meet your body’s specific strengths and weaknesses, as well as your long-term goals.

Check out my other article on how much of your body weight do you lift in a push-up.

You can modify the way you do push-ups to increase the intensity of your workout or to focus on target areas of your body. For these reasons, women are turning to push-ups to improve their fitness levels.

Read on to find out if push-ups are right for you and whether knee push-ups count.

How Many Push-Ups Should a 40-Year-Old Woman Do

Are Push-Ups Good For a 40-Year-Old Woman?

As you get into your 40s, it is essential to find an exercise routine that promotes strength. Women begin to lose muscle sometime in their 30s, and if you aren’t proactive about creating strength, you will continue to lose muscle. Take a look at the following benefits of doing push-ups every day.

Are Push-Ups Good for a 40-Year-Old Woman

1. Increase Your Strength

The primary benefit of doing push-ups is that you will increase your strength throughout your entire body. Your upper body benefits from lifting and lowering the weight of your body, and your core helps to hold your body straight and in good form. Your legs will also be engaged because they are part of the process. Every major muscle group in your body will get a workout when you do push-ups.

2. Improve Your Posture

Poor posture increases with age because the muscles that hold your body up straight become weak. Your core is responsible for helping you to keep your shoulders tall and stand up straight, and push-ups are great for strengthening your core. Also, the motion of the push-up mimics good posture, and you will create muscle memory and a habit of holding your body straight. When you do push-ups, you will improve your posture.

3. Protect Your Lower Back

Lower back injuries can alter your ability to do a lot of things that you usually take for granted. The primary reason for lower back problems is a lack of core strength. It is essential to build up your core because it protects your lower back. When your core is strong, it takes the pressure off of those vulnerable lower back muscles, and you will prevent these debilitating injuries from occurring.

Woman Doing Push-ups - How Many Push-Ups Should a 40-Year-Old Woman Do?

4. It’s a Free Workout

You can engage every muscle of your body with this exercise, and you don’t need to go to a gym. You can do it anytime and anyplace, and it won’t cost you a penny. Because you are working out your entire body, you are giving your body all of the tools it needs to be stronger and fitter.

5. You Can Add Variety

As you master the standard push-up technique, you can add in variations that will make them more challenging. Further strengthening targeted body areas. Several variations focus on target muscle groups, including the following:

  • Pectorals: a standard push-up technique with hands wide apart
  • Triceps: a standard push-up technique with hands close together
  • Shoulders: start in downward dog position and lower and raise the entire body
  • Power: standard push-up form; lower, then force body up and clap hands before putting them down; builds power
  • Core stability: one arm push-up standard position
  • Strength: wear a weighted vest to develop even more strength

6. Exercises Your Heart

Because push-ups engage many different muscle groups at the same time, your heart has to work harder to give muscle tissue blood that is rich in oxygen. As a result, your heart gets a healthy workout.

Push-ups are good for your heart

Are Knee “Girl” Push-Ups Effective?

The term “girl push-ups” is demeaning in and of itself, as it was coined to suggest that women aren’t strong enough to do “boy” push-ups. I don’t like the term “girl” push-ups. I’m not going to use the name again in this article.

The reality is that the standard push-up technique is for everyone, and to get the most out of your workout, you should work toward that goal.

There are times when it is appropriate to do knee push-ups, including the following:

  • You lack strength: If you need to build strength, this method is a good starting point
  • You’re recovering from an injury: you ease your way back into your routine after an injury
  • You have an underlying joint issue: this method reduces the impact on your joints

Although there are times when this method of push-ups is appropriate, it is not as effective as standard push-ups. A study by the National Strength and Conditioning Association noted that standard push-ups are resisted by 64% of your body weight, while for knee push-ups, it is only 49%.

Take a Look at the Following Reasons that Knee Push-ups are not as Effective

1. Knee Push-ups are Too Easy

Even though it may be challenging to do a knee push-up, mainly if you haven’t worked out in a while, the technique is too easy to be considered a real workout. It may help you build some strength, but it won’t give you the same benefits as doing standard push-ups.

2. Knee Push-ups Don’t Provide Enough Resistance

One of the great benefits of standard push-ups is that it is a full-body workout. It uses your weight and resistance and develops almost all the muscles in your body. The knee push-ups reduce resistance dramatically. It takes the load off your chest and arms, and it limits how hard your core needs to work.

3. It Only Works Your Arms and Chest

As opposed to the full-body workout that the standard push-ups provide, this variation only works your arms and your chest. It reduces the amount of exercise that your core and back muscles get, thereby eliminating much of the benefit of using push-ups as an exercise routine.

4. It Is Hard on Your Knees

When you are pressing your knee joints onto the floor, you can suffer an injury if you aren’t careful. The strain on your knees is not good for you, and even if you use a yoga mat, you risk injury.

How to Switch to Standard Push-Ups

You should start with a standard push-up technique. There are many different ways to do push-ups, but you should master the standard technique first. Take a look at the following tips on the form:

  • Set your feet together, or no more than 12 inches apart
  • Keep your hands as far apart as you can
  • Your body should form a straight line (plank position)
  • Do not let your hips fall below or above the line of your body

Now you are ready to execute the push-up. Follow the following directions:

  • Keep your body straight and lower it at the elbows
  • Lower until your upper arm is parallel to the ground
  • Slowly raise your body up again
  • Keep the body in a straight line throughout the exercise

You will develop your skills by staying true to your form. It is important to remember that how many you can do is only a starting point, and you will build strength and stamina by doing push-ups every day.

Woman Doing Push-ups on Sit up Benches

What If You Can’t Do Any Push-Ups?

If you find that even doing one push-up is difficult, that’s okay. You can change your form by bending your legs and doing the push-ups on your knees to start. This will allow you to build up strength and improve your posture so that you can switch to the standard technique when your body is ready.

The important thing is to start with one. You will build strength, and you can then increase it to two. If you are 40 and you haven’t worked your upper body in a while, it will just take some time to get stronger. The good news is that by starting, you are on your way to reaching your ultimate goal.


Push-ups offer a great full-body workout for women in their 40s. How many you should do varies, as it depends on different factors, including your weight, height, stamina, fitness level, and posture. The average 40-year-old woman should be able to do between 8 and 17 push-ups a day, and you can start with one and work up to your target number.

Push-ups are good for you, as they work nearly every muscle in your body. They will strengthen your core and help you improve your posture. They also provide cardiovascular exercise. As long as you start slow and build up strength, you will benefit from a routine that includes push-ups.

Knee push-ups are not going to be as effective as standard push-up techniques. They do not engage the entire body, and they focus primarily on your arms and chest. You will not be able to use knee push-ups as a full-body workout. However, they can be a good starting point when you need to build strength before transitioning to the standard style.

My other push-up articles can be found here.

References Used in This Article

  1. Cardiovascular effects and benefits of exercise.
  2. The rise of push-ups: A classic exercise that can help you get stronger.
  3. Effect of the push-up exercise at different palmar width on muscle activities.

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