July 23, 2024


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This simple fitness test is a key sign of good health for golfers

If you can do 40 push-ups straight, you’re in great shape.

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Welcome to Play Smart, a game-improvement column that drops every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Game Improvement Editor Luke Kerr-Dineen (who you can follow on Twitter right here).

It’s one of the simplest, most well-known exercises for all time. And according to one study, it’s one of the key indicators of good health later in life.

According to a 2019 study published in JAMA Network Open, highlighted by the Harvard School of Public Health, authors followed a group of more than 1,000 “occupationally active men” with an average age of 39 for 10 years. The study had the men complete a variety of different physical tasks and monitor their health periodically throughout the length of the study.

At its conclusion, researchers found that the men who had the ability to complete 40 push-ups were 96 percent less likely to encounter cardiovascular disease (CVD) — which includes heart diseases and blood clots — than those who couldn’t complete 10 push-ups. And those who could do 40 push-ups were less likely to encounter cardiovascular disease overall.

According to the study:

The researchers calculated that men able to do more than 40 push-ups had a 96% reduced risk of CVD events compared with those who were able to do less than 10 push-ups.

Can you do 40 push-ups at once?

Aside from giving you better health overall, push-ups can be a great way to add power to your golf swing, too.

Mike Carroll, who runs the Fit For Golf app and is a fitness coach to a number of PGA Tour players, says they work key areas in your chest, shoulders, upper back, triceps and abs. He recommends working them into your daily routine, and as you can see, says to keep lots of focus on your form.

A small amount of good reps is better than more bad ones, so start small and build up from there. Give it a few years, and you’ll be happy you did.

Want to overhaul your bag for 2022? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf.

Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Director of Service Journalism at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University and in 2017 was named News Media Alliance’s “Rising Star.” His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.