As a part of its physical fitness test overhaul, the U.S. Army is replacing the Sit-Up with the Rower. Whether you’re preparing for the Army Physical Readiness Test or looking for an alternative to the Sit-Up, try adding the Rower to your next workout.
Goal: Build upper and lower abdominal strength with less back strain than a traditional Sit-Up
- Lie on back with arms extended overhead, palms facing inward, legs straight and feet touching
- In one motion, bring feet toward body while sitting up and swinging arms forward
- In final position, extend arms next to knees parallel to ground with hands slightly past feet
- Return to start position; repeat sequence
The Rower is still being piloted; thus Army standards have not yet been determined. The above sets/reps are recommended for athletes looking to improve core strength.
Coaching Points: At start, keep back from arching off ground by tightening abdominal muscles and tilting pelvis up // In final position, feet must remain on ground with legs together
If you’re getting ready to take the Army Physical Readiness Test, don’t make the mistake of ignoring Rowers because you’re comfortable with your Sit-Up count. Many recruits find Rowers more difficult than Sit-Ups because they do a better job of isolating core muscles.
If you’re an athlete trying to build abdominal strength and endurance at home with no fancy equipment, we recommend the Rower as a safer, more effective alternative to traditional Sit-Ups.
Read more about core exercises you can do at home from strength and conditioning coach Chris Doherty.
Photo: U.S. Army