Being able to do this many push-ups might reduce risk of stroke, research claims

Researchers determined the exact number of push-ups you should be able to do to significantly "reduce incident cardiovascular disease event risk" in the future

Muscular young adult performing push-ups in a living room, on a yoga mat next to a protein shaker
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Exercise science is a weirdly wonderful world. Through research, scientists constantly serve us random facts about our health and fitness, such as how having a hot bath can improve physical fitness as efficiently as exercise or why regular exercise may hinder weight loss. A new fun fact to add to this list comes from comparatively new research that says the number of push-ups you should be able to do to significantly reduce incident cardiovascular disease event risk is 40.

The longitudinal cohort study, conducted in 2019, examined 1104 occupationally active adult men and found a significant negative association between baseline push-up capacity and incident cardiovascular disease risk across 10 years of follow-up. The paper says that "participants able to complete more than 40 push-ups were associated with a significant reduction in incident cardiovascular disease event risk compared with those completing fewer than 10 push-ups."

Push-ups are the best

The truth is, we already knew the push-up was one of the best bodyweight exercises. Push-ups have a range of benefits, apart from the obvious one (builds big pecs and arms), including improved core strength, better shoulder mobility and more. If you haven't tried them yet, here's how to master push-ups and the spiciest push-up variations, but make sure you avoid these push-up mistakes.

It's worth mentioning that the study looked at men aged 21 to 66 years, so we can safely assume that number of push-ups for women would be different (As a matter of fact, it's definitely different, considering the musculoskeletal differences between the sexes). Nonetheless, using push-ups is a cheap and easy way to assess one's fitness levels – which was exactly the point of the study.

Resistance training is gaining more public attention as one of the best ways to prolong life in a healthy and meaningful way. 'Resistance training' means exercise that uses resistance, whether a set of dumbbells, resistance bands or your bodyweight is what provides said resistance. As long as it puts the muscles under more (good) stress, resistance training can help strengthen the joints and keep muscles in top shape – and, as it turns out, it can also help you keep your heart in good condition.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.