The Turkish Get-Up a move that is loved, hated, and misunderstood all in one.
The Turkish Get-Up rose to popularity in the last 10 years or so in tandem with kettlebell training. Kettlebells are small, (relatively) light to moderate in weight, transportable weights that have become popular due to their ability to get people lean and strong in short and intense workouts. They have become the tool of choice for busy people who don’t have copious amounts of time to devote to training in the gym.
Keeping in mind that kettlebell training has exploded due to it’s convenience and efficiency – the Turkish Get-Up has also become popular for the same reason. Get-Ups provide a lot of bang for your buck in terms of how they can enhance and supplement your current training program. They can be used as a warm up to help stabilize wonky shoulders and they can also be used in finishers for conditioning. This movement can also be performed for a maximum effort, in fact it’s not uncommon that when people become proficient at the Get-Up they can often perform it with barbells and even other people.
Apart from being able to do a totally rad party trick if you get strong at this movement, it still offers so much more. The Get-Up is a rare beauty of an exercise for a few reasons. The first being that it involves movement in every plane of of motion: sagittal (forward/ backward movement), frontal (side to side movement) and transverse (rotation.) This is very important because in our day to day lives we tend to live almost exlucsively in the sagittal plane. This leaves our bodies open to different injuries and overuse because we only become strong and proficient moving in one direction leaving our other planes of motion weak and uncoordinated. Adding a Turkish Get Up into your training routine can help you to develop that movement proficiency and fill in some gaps in your “movement diet.”
The Get-Up also provides even more bang for your buck in terms of all the different movement patterns in contains. It has knee-dominant movement, hip dominant movement, and pressing. That is three out of four of the major movements patterns meaning it is only missing a pulling pattern. For one exercise, that is a whole lot of movement – what would typically take three exercises to do, it will only take you one movement. This means that the Get Up is a great exercise if you are short on time and using full-body workouts as a training tool.
Lastly, the Get-Up is a fantastic exercise to work on shoulder stability. The rotator cuff will be working during the whole movement to stabilize the shoulder. Given the amount of time it takes to perform one repetition of the Get-Up, this is a lot of time under tension in a very vast range of motion regarding the shoulder, allowing you to reinforce shoulder stability in many different positions. If you have a history of rotator cuff injuries or shoulder instability, adding get-ups into your program would be a very wise choice.
TIPS FOR PERFORMING THE TURKISH GET-UP
When it comes to performing the Get-Up there are a few tips that can help make it easier and safer:
- Always keep your eyes on the kettlebell, dumbbell, barbell, person, etc. you are lifting. You should never look away from the implement you are lifting overhead.
- Lock out the elbow. A little bit bent is like being a little bit pregnant, there is no in between. A locked out elbow is necessary for optimal stability.
- Slow down. The Get-Up is in exercise not to be rushed. You want to create control in all of the movements, if you can do it slowly you can do it efficiently and effectively.
- Breathe. A lot fo people forgot to breathe when they do Get-Ups, exhale every time you make a move, and try to stay cool as cucumber.
HOW TO DO THE TURKISH GET-UP
- Lock out the loaded elbow and shoulder, bend the knee on the same side of the body.
- Push your elbow on the free arm into the floor, and roll into position so the upper body is off the floor.
- Push the free hand into the floor, so the elbow is now off the floor
- Squeeze your glutes and extend your hips.
- Pull your straight leg back and come to a half-kneeling hinge position.
- Push yourself up from the floor into an upright half-kneeling position.
- Lunge upward and bring the feet together in the standiting postion.
- Lunge back into the half-kneeling position.
- Reach to your side and bend into the hinged half-kneeling position.
- Bring the kneeling leg through and extend the hips by squeezing the glutes.
- Lower your hips to the floor.
- Lower your elbow to the floor.
- Lower your back to the floor.
USING THE TURKISH GET-UP
If you feel like you want to start using the Turkish Get-Up, here is a finisher or stand alone workout you can add in to your regular routine. This wonderful workout I am about to share with you comes from Shawn Mozen of Agatsu Fitness. It is called Turkish Delight; it contains movement in every plane of motion and every major movement pattern (knee-dominant, hip-dominant, press, and pull.)
The routine is a ladder consisting of the Turkish Get-Up and pull-up. It will allow to build strength, movement proficiency, and get in some excellent conditionining. This workout should not be performed for speed, but should take 30 minutes of less to perform. The goal is to add weight to each set of the Turkish Get Up and work up to a one rep max.
A1) Turkish Get Up x 5 reps per side
A2) Negative Pull-Up x 1 rep for a 10s eccentric
B1) Turkish Get Up x 4 reps per side
B2) Negative Pull-Up x 1 rep for a 10s eccentric
C1) Turkish Get Up x 3 reps per side
C2) Negative Pull-Up x 1 rep for a 10s eccentric
D1) Turkish Get Up x 2 reps per side
D2) Negative Pull-Up x 1 rep for a 10s eccentric
E1) Turkish Get Up x 1 rep per side
E2) Negative Pull-Up x 1 rep for a 10s eccentric
Bon appétit! 😉
Do you do Turkish Get-Ups? Do you love them? Do you hate them? Did this article help you? Leave me your feedback and questions in the comment section.