Fitness Magazine

Plank Pose Vs. Sit-Ups for Core Strength

By Ninazolotow @Yoga4HealthyAge
by Nina
Plank Pose vs. Sit-Ups for Core StrengthRecently I’ve been hearing that the US military is phasing out sit-ups! They’re calling them an “outdated exercise today viewed as a key cause of lower back injuries.” Whoa. Military fitness experts are recommending practicing Plank pose (on the forearms) instead, saying that it’s both much safer and a better way to improve and measure core strength. Here’s how the Navy Times put it:
“It's well past time, for example, to deep-six the sit-up, an outdated exercise today viewed as a key cause of lower back injuries. Experts say there are better measures of core strength that have the added advantage of being less prone to cheating. The plank, for example, more accurately measures core strength and because it's done by holding the body arrow straight while resting only on the toes and forearms it does not subject muscles to strain by motion.”  
The Marines and the Army are also moving in the same direction. Here’s what USMC Life has to say: 
“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."

USMC Life concludes with this damning quote from Peter McCall, the spokesman for the American Council on Exercise, who said that sit-ups are:
“an antiquity of exercise best left in the dustbin of fitness history”  
Of course, we’ve long said that Plank pose is a great way to build core strength as well as upper body strength, but we now we have US military fitness experts to back us up! And if you're not already practicing Plank pose on a regular basis, maybe this will convince you to start. 
To make Plank pose accessible to almost everyone, we recommend four different versions: 
Plank Pose vs. Sit-Ups for Core StrengthPlank Pose vs. Sit-Ups for Core StrengthPlank Pose vs. Sit-Ups for Core StrengthPlank Pose vs. Sit-Ups for Core StrengthFor instructions on practicing these four versions (and who should do which ones for which reasons), see Featured Pose: Plank Pose.
In addition, the other two Plank poses, Side Plank pose (Vasithasana) and Upward Plank pose (Purvottanasana), also help build core strength (because the sides and back of your core as important as the front, something that tends to get overlooked). 

Plank Pose vs. Sit-Ups for Core StrengthPlank Pose vs. Sit-Ups for Core StrengthThis simple little sequence builds core strength as well as upper body strength with all three Plank poses: Building Upper Body Strength the Easy Way.
We also have a full-length sequence for core strength, which includes Plank pose: Featured Sequence: Core Strength Practice. 

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been doing sit-ups anyway. Not at least I don’t have to feel vaguely guilty about it!
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