Have you started feeling bored of performing the same exercises and movements, again and again? Why don’t you spice up your training with something challenging and at the same time super-beneficial? The Turkish get up, a popular kettlebell exercise, can be defined as a multistep, progression-based total body exercise that is performed by “getting up” from a supine position to a standing position.
The origins of the TGU can be traced over 200 years to Turkish wrestling training. Before allowing a wrestler to proceed to the next stage of training he had to get up from the ground nimbly, while holding a kettlebell overhead and maintaining total body control.
To begin with, the TGU which is a functional movement, addresses weaknesses and imbalances. The TGU enables you to identify asymmetries between the left and right side of your body. In addition, it challenges stability and strength throughout the entire body. Specifically, it promotes shoulder stability, mobility and resilience. During the TGU, the core is challenged to resist spinal rotation, flexion/extension, and side bending. Holding a kettlebell overhead creates an asymmetrical load which challenges the core in order to stabilize the torso.
How to execute:
Roll onto your side into a “fetal” position, and grasp the handle of the kettlebell with both hands. Holding the weight tight to your chest, roll onto your back until you’re lying faceup on the floor with your legs straight. From this position perform a one arm press. Keep the same side leg bent with the foot flat on the floor and the opposite leg straight and abducted about 20-30 degrees.
Start by rolling to the elbow opposite the kettlebell. Drive your elbow down hard into the floor as you drive the kettlebell toward the ceiling.
Then move from elbow to hand by pushing the floor away, lift the hips off the floor, and pull the opposite leg under the hips to rest on the knee in a windmill position. Keep your eyes to the hand that is holding the kettlebell at all times when the other hand is touching the ground. Look straight ahead when the support hand leaves the ground. From that half kneeling position step forward and stand tall with the kettlebell overhead. Keep the abdominals braced throughout the movement, in order to protect your lower back. Keep your knees soft at the top of the stand with strong legs. To get back, simply reverse the motion.
My advice: Start with the half Turkish get up and slowly progress to a full bodyweight get up. It is important to be able to understand each step first, before loading the movement. Once you master the movement and feel comfortable with all different parts of the TGU, you can add load to increase the level of difficulty. Increase the weight and repetitions as you become stronger.