When I was in school, sit-ups were my least favourite exercise. Now, many years later, I finally feel vindicated. The US Army is considering phrasing out sit ups due to too many spinal injuries.
An editorial from the Navy Times recently called for sit-ups to be banned completely. It called them an ‘outdated exercise today viewed as a key cause of lower back injuries’. The US Marine Corps is also reviewing its physical fitness and body composition standards – in an attempt to improve fitness and reduce injuries.
The Canadian Armed Forces has already phased out sit-ups; Canadian soldiers now lift 44-pound sandbags instead. Stuart McGill, a professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo in Canada said that dozens of studies showed that sit-ups can squeeze the discs in the spine. Over time these discs can bulge, pressing on nerves and causing pain.
Instead of sit-ups or crunches, fitness trainers say men and women should replace them with the plank pose, which is when you stay in the upward part of a push-up.
All entries complied by osteopath Dr Wei Chua unless otherwise stated.