Marines Will Be Allowed to Choose Between Planks, Crunches on PFT

Recruits of Kilo Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, conduct planks during the bases and circuit course event at Marine Corps Recruits Depot San Diego, June 28, 2016. (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Angelica Annastas)
Recruits of Kilo Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, conduct planks during the bases and circuit course event at Marine Corps Recruits Depot San Diego, June 28, 2016. (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Angelica Annastas)

The Navy isn't the only sea service adding planks to their physical fitness test.

Starting in January, Marines will also have the option of performing a plank in lieu of crunches when completing the physical fitness test, Marine Corps Times reported on Friday.

Details about how the event will be timed and scored are expected to be released in an upcoming Marine administrative message, but the scoring is expected to be identical for men or women who opt for the plank option in place of crunches, the paper reported.

"To hit a perfect score, a Marine will need to hold a plank for four minutes and 20 seconds," according to Marine Corps Times.

The Navy is opting to axe sit-ups from their Physical Readiness Test, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson announced this week.

"We're going to eliminate the sit-ups," Richardson said this week. "Those have been shown to do more harm than good. They're not a really good test of your core strength."

Sailors will also have the option to use a rowing machine for the cardio portion of their fitness assessments.

The plank has been a top exercise in the Marine Corps' High-Intensity Tactical Training program known as HITT.

"A strong core is the centerpiece of efficient and powerful movements," a HITT training document states. "Core strength developed with traditional crunches, sit-ups and rotational exercises is different than the focus of the plank, which is bracing the core for stability, keeping the spine stable and resisting motion."

-- Gina Harkins can be reached at gina.harkins@military.com. Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.

Show Full Article