The Turkish Get Up is the one exercise everyone needs to be doing.  No other exercise builds joint stability, increases mobility and challenges our core quite like the get up.  It’s time to get up and make some space around you because I am going to show you how to do this awesome movement today.

The Turkish Get Up is one of my favorite exercises and one of the first things I try to progress my clients to.  It is a total body movement that requires patience and coordination while it challenges our strength and increases our hip and shoulder mobility.

It works 5 out of the 7 basic human movements (it incorporates a hinge, squat, push, twist, and floor work) so you get a lot of bang for your buck with this exercise.

Because it works everything I love using it as a warm up, in my workouts or as a cool down after a high rep kettlebell session.

The concept is really simple get off the ground with a weight over head.  But try doing 10 reps alternating side and you will be sweating, out of breath in no time and your shoulders and core will be screaming.

It is a great total body strength builder since it is a long slow movement and it puts the whole body under tension for a long time.  Trust me that weight will get heavy quick.

If you are looking for a good time, here is how we do it:

The Turkish Get Up begins with us lying on our back.  We have one hand up like we are at the top of a bench press (we will call this the weight hand from here on out).

The leg on the side of the weight hand will be folded close to our butt like we were doing a hip bridge.  This foot does not move.  I want you think of it as being stuck in cement.

You are set up correctly if you look like this:

get up start.jpg

To start the movement I want you to think about rolling on your non-weight shoulder and punch your weight hand to the sky.  As we begin to move I want you to keep in mind to never take your eyes off your weight hand throughout the entire movement.

Once on the shoulder I want you to work your way up to your fore arm on the non weighted hand and punch the weight arm up to the sky even further.  You should begin to be in a semi-seated position.

From here we will work to our hand so we are sitting up right.

Here is where the move starts to get tricky.  Once in this upright position I want you to press through the heel of your planted weight side leg and push your hips to the sky. As we bridge I want you to sneak your non weight leg underneath the bridging leg so you are in a kneeling position.

Once in the kneeling position work yourself up right so you are in a lunge position with the weight over head.

Now stand up.

get up all.jpg

Congratulations you are only half way done!  Now you need to work your way back down.  To do that you are going to retrace your steps in reverse.

Kneel down

Put your non weight hand on the ground

bridge and kick your back leg to a seated position

lower your body down

work your way on to your forearm, shoulder and finally laying flat.

The idea of the get up is to move around the weight in your arm, not the weight around you.  If you do it right you should feel your shoulders and core on fire.

The biggest mistake is people rushing this movement.  Take your time and be sure to hit each position.  I like to tell my clients recite the order in your head.  Once you said the step fully you can then move to the next part. This ensures proper pacing.

We want to work on being strong in each position.  Each position forces us to engage different muscles to stabilize our bodies and the weight overhead.

This movement can be done with no weight (closing your eyes with no weight makes this really challenging), barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells (try bottoms up kettlebell to make it even spicier), I have even seen this turn into a circus trick where people have been used as weight.

get up.jpg

Now it’s your turn. I would love to hear how you incorporated it into your training and what item you used for weight.  Have fun, train smart and be safe!


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