Goodbye, Sit-Ups; Hello, Fit Soldier

Nearly a decade in the making, the U.S. Army's new physical-training program is being rolled out at five basic-training posts this year. The goal? To reduce injuries and better prepare soldiers for the rigors of combat.

As The New York Times recently overweight and out-of-shape recruits. "Too Fat to Fight," a report issued recently by a group of retired generals, admirals and civilian military leaders, reveals that between 1995 and 2008, the proportion of potential recruits who failed their annual physicals because they were overweight climbed almost 70 percent. As a result, it is harder for recruits to reach Army fitness standards, and more are getting injured along the way.

That's why the Army's new fitness regime eschews traditional sit-ups and long runs in favor of different kinds of push-ups and more stretching, more exercises for the abdomen and lower back, and more agility and balance work. Difficulty levels increase gradually. In some cases, these exercises incorporate side twists, back bridges and rowing-like movements similar to yoga and Pilates - activities that have been among military workout trends in recent years. "It's more whole body," First Lt. Tameeka Hayes, a platoon leader for a class of new privates at Fort Jackson, told The Times. "No one who has done this routine says we've made it easier."

Other recent Navy recently introduced a new fitness and nutrition system.

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