Turkish Get Up: A highly effective, highly functional exercise that uses your entire body, even if it does sound a bit like the title of a terrible straight-to-DVD thriller. Turkish get-up is one of the most functional exercises you can do. The move takes you from lying on the floor to standing upright, all while holding a kettlebell above your head. The full-body exercise is great for improving coordination and shoulder stability so that you can lift heavy things and avoid injuring the vulnerable shoulder joint.
It also trains the simple (but necessary) skill of getting off the floor, says certified personal trainer Sarah Polacco, fitness director of Achieve Fitness in Boston and StrongFirst Team Leader. Legend has it that when old-time strongmen were asked to take on an apprentice, they would show their applicant a single movement: the get-up, also known as a Turkish get-up. The teacher would tell his would-be apprentice to come back when the applicant was able to perform it with 100 pounds.
Then the real training would begin. Regardless of how literally you take this story, it portrays the appeal of this complex movement. The get-up is a lift that teaches you how to lift—specifically, how to move with and under—heavyweight. It’s a fantastic way to teach body awareness and body control, and if you followed the legend to the letter you’d end up a force to be reckoned with in pretty much any other strength pursuit.
Kettlebell Turkish Get Up
Along with the Kettlebell Swing, the TGU delivers huge results. The Turkish Get Up is very different from the Swing in that it focuses on your small stabilizing muscles and develops a solid movement foundation. In today’s society of quick fixes, we are all too impatient and don’t want to earn our movement skills anymore. Beginners often advance too quickly and end up injuring themselves.
The Kettlebell Turkish Getup will not let you progress too quickly. It will stop you in your tracks. If you have a weak core, poor mobility, or weak stabilizing muscles then you won’t be able to complete the movement.
- Lie faceup holding a kettlebell in your left hand with arm extended, eyes on the bell, left knee bent with the foot planted. Extend right arm and leg to the side at a 45-degree angle.
- Forcefully roll onto your right hip and forearm, left arm still locked in place. As you move, think about driving the knuckles of your left hand toward the ceiling.
- With your right palm pressed firmly into the floor and left arm still straight overhead, throw your right leg behind you, placing your right knee down on the floor.
- Keeping your left arm straight and eyes on the bell, press through your left foot to raise your hips high and come up onto your right hand. Your right leg is still extended with the heel on the floor, and your arms should create a straight line.
- Lift your right hand off the floor to rise to a kneel, maintaining the left arm position with biceps close to your ear, abs tight. Eyes are off the bell for the first time; look straight ahead.
- Stand up, squeezing glutes and pulling your shoulder blades down and back to maintain a solid trunk.
Half Turkish Get Up
Lie on the ground on the right side, with the body curled in the fetal position and the kettlebell in the right hand. Rollover to the back facing the ceiling with the left leg out straight about 45 degrees and the right knee bent so that the right foot is flat on the floor. Grip a kettlebell tightly in the right hand and hold it straight overhead while keeping the left arm directly out to the left side.
Keeping the eyes on the kettlebell throughout the movement, lift the right shoulder off the ground by pushing up on the left elbow and onto the left hand. Push the right foot into the floor lift the hips off the floor. Hold the bridge position for 2-3 seconds before lowering the hips down to the floor and rolling the back down to finish flat on the floor.
Turkish GetUp Benefits
The Turkish getup really does target almost every major muscle group, and due the to transitions between lying, kneeling, and standing, there’s a particularly strong focus on the core and the stabilizing muscles of the hips and shoulders.
If you break down the movement and do it correctly, you will see it has much to offer:
- a primitive rolling pattern
- unilateral development
- a lunge pattern
- an overhead hold
- two hip hinges
- glute activation
- core recruitment
- improved leg drive
- rotator cuff stabilization.
Beyond the development of total-body strength and coordination, one of the biggest benefits of the Turkish getup is how effective the exercise is at improving shoulder stability and mobility. The shoulder joint is the least stable joint in the body, and it’s particularly prone to injury due to this instability.
What Are Turkish Get Ups Good For?
The Turkish get-up is a total-body exercise that increases torso stabilization and overall strength. The movement is very complex and requires upper body strength to maintain a weight overhead, shoulder stability, hip and glutes strength to raise your body off the floor, and tremendous core strength.
Why Is It Called The Turkish Get Up?
It is also believed that ancient wrestlers in what is now Turkey invented the get-up to prepare for their grueling competitions. History also reports that Turkish Janissaries used the get-up as a part of their strength training regimen. Russian soldiers used kettlebells to prepare for war.
Do Turkish Get Ups Build Muscle?
They may not be a true strength and muscle builder, but there is more to an exercise than just building muscle and strength. An exercise like the Turkish getup can be the perfect addition to your program to keep your core strong, shoulders safe, and increase your proprioception. Shoulder mobility.
What Is A Half Turkish Get Up?
Obliques, Glutes, Lower Back, Pecs, Triceps. This exercise is a multi-joint move that increases total body stability and strength while specifically targeting the hips, shoulders, and triceps. Sit upright on the floor with your left leg straight and your right leg bent with your foot flat on the floor.