- The Washington Times - Friday, May 31, 2019

Navy leaders are ditching the tried and true situp in the newest iteration of the service’s fitness test, as part of a new effort to revamp how the service prepares its sailors for battle.

Instead of doing situps, U.S. sailors will now be required to hold a plank position, suspending their body weight on their elbows and feet parallel to the ground, as part of he Navy’s fitness drills beginning in 2020.

The initiative, pressed by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, was due to repeated studies showing the ineffectiveness of situps compared to planks. The situps “do more harm than good” and are not a good marker for fitness, Adm. Richardson said Thursday in a video message. Military.com first reported details of the change.

Navy leaders are also allowing sailors to use rowing machines to test cardiovascular fitness, instead of traditional means such as running. The Marine Corps last year began offering the rowing option to Marines who were not medically cleared to participate in running drills.

The changes come amid a pair of deaths of two Navy recruits during basic physical fitness drills during recent training.

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