Rumors have been circulating for a while, but its now official. There are changes ahead for the Navy PRT. Crunches are out of the PRT, planking is in.
Its been years since the Navy has made a change to their Physical Readiness Test and this change is a big one. No longer will Navy personel be expected to hammer their bodies back and forth, risking injury to hip flexors and backs, crunching up in order to get a good score. Instead soldiers will be asked to hold their bodies in a straight line, supported by fore arms against the ground or extended, legs and core muscles engaged for as long as they can . There are still some details to be worked out as far as minimum and maximum times among age and gender groups. navy-prt.com will post these numbers as soon as they become available.
The Navy chose to make this change as a move towards more accurately measuring soldiers functional fitness. Functional fitness and movements are exercises that train different muscles to work together rather than isolating one group.
Physiology of planking
Planking for example engages your back, shoulder, abdominal pelvis and even leg muscles. Specific target groups include; erector spinae, transverse abdominis, rectus femoris, obliquus internus, tibialis anterior, tensor fasciae latae, rhombodius, tricep brachii and deltoids. Thats alot of muscles used!
Crunches, by comparison, only test the strength of the rectus abdominis. The repeated use of this test has been shown to cause injury and strain of hip flexors and exacerbate back pain.
So what? Soldiers are constantly asked to push, pull, lift and carry, all tasks that require strong, stable core muscles. Studies show that increasing core strength decreases your chance of injury! Increasing your core strength enhances your ability to do your job well. Planking is simple, no equipment required and it can be done with out partner.
Continue to follow navy-prt.com for planking work out plans!