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Pushups' Effect on Testosterone

author image Emma Cale
Emma Cale has been writing professionally since 2000. Her work has appeared in “NOW Magazine,” “HOUR Magazine” and the “Globe and Mail.” Cale holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Windsor and advanced writing certificates from the Canadian Film Centre and the National Theatre School of Canada.
Pushups' Effect on Testosterone
Pushups have a number of health benefits. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Intense resistance exercises such as pushups increase testosterone levels in the body, and increased testosterone fuels muscle strength and hypertrophy. Low testosterone levels have been linked to osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure and increased visceral fat in both men and women, according to Medical News Today. Pushups remain a staple exercise because they require no equipment and offer tremendous health benefits. Consider adding pushups to your exercise routine if you are concerned about testosterone levels.


According to a 1998 study conducted by Penn State University researchers and published in the "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research," testosterone consistently responds to large muscle group type exercises that fire a significant number of muscle fibers in their execution. Pushups employ the large pectoral muscles of the chest, the large deltoid muscle groups in the shoulders and the triceps. Other muscles including the abdominals also function as stabilizers.


Low testosterone levels may contribute to a loss of bone density over time and lead to osteoporosis in men, according to the Hormone Foundation. Low testosterone levels may also cause a loss of overall muscle mass and strength, as well as muscle atrophy over time. Speak to your doctor or health care practitioner about adding pushups to your exercise routine if you have osteoporosis.


A 2008 study conducted by researchers from the University of Greifswald in Germany and presented at the Endocrine Society linked low levels of testosterone to increased incidence of diabetes, hypertension, obesity and even death. The study followed up with participants over seven years and found that those with low testosterone levels were 2 1/2 times more likely to die than those with higher levels within the study period, regardless of smoking, alcohol intake or age.

Belly Fat

Rush University Medical Center researchers, in a 2009 study published in the journal "Obesity," discovered a correlation between low and fluctuating levels of testosterone in menopausal women and the accumulation of visceral fat, which accumulates in and around vital organs near the waistline. Neither the age nor the race of the participants proved to be a significant factor in visceral fat quantity. Levels of testosterone proved to be "the strongest predictor of visceral fat." Adding pushups to your workout to boost testosterone may help keep belly fat at bay.

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