Some call the push-up “the world’s greatest exercise”. Others say it’s a “body-altering, core-strengthening move” without equal. Now, new US research by Harvard Medical School scientists adds to that fulsome praise and raises the push-up’s reputation to brave new heights. The push-up’s power could make it a fast, cheap and objective way for doctors to assess patients’ heart disease risk, the Harvard researchers say in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). All doctors need to do, they say, is ask patients to drop to the floor and do some push-ups. Compared to patients who can do fewer than 10 push-ups, those who can do 40 or more are likely to have significantly reduced “incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) event risk”, they say. (That’s medical jargon for reduced risk of heart attack or stroke.) While the researchers don’t explicitly say it, their study also strongly suggests the push-up could be a good way to reduce your risk of premature death from heart attack ...

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