Many fitness experts are calling for an end to sit-ups because of the high potential for back damage.
Military advisers are weighing into the argument as well, suggesting that military branches forgo sit-ups because of the pressure placed on the spine, according to Daily Mail. Instead, advisers are suggesting that the plank pose replace sit-ups in a revamped version of the PT test.
The Army recently conducted a pilot program where 10,000 soldiers completed an updated PT test where sit-ups were no longer used. One study found that 56% of all soldier’s injuries related to the former fitness test were due to sit-ups, as reported by Daily Mail.
They’re not alone in the argument to toss out the current test. A recent editorial in the Navy Times, called for a ban on sit-ups, calling them an ‘outdated exercise today viewed as a key cause of lower back injuries’.
Both the Navy and the Marine Corps are currently reviewing its physical fitness and body composition standards to protect service members while improving fitness and reducing injuries.
“At the end of the review, the end state is for a Marine Corps Physical Fitness Program that ensures the overall health and fitness of our Corps”, said USMC Commandant, General Neller.
Many universities and studies have shown that sit-ups are harmful to spines, placing pressure which results in pain and may sometimes lead to hernias.
The spokesman for the American Council on Exercise, Peter McCall, said in a Wall Street Journal interview, that sit-ups are ‘an antiquity of exercise best left in the dustbin of fitness history’.
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