Why Everyone Needs the Turkish Get Up!


August “Scary” Equipment Series – Kettlebell
Guest Post by Sara Lee

At first appearance, the Turkish Get Up (TGU) seems like a goofy way to spend your time, at least that’s what I thought. Not only did it look weird to me, but there were so many steps to memorize! It wasn’t until I found myself flat on my back with a new baby that I began to appreciate it for what it is: a fluid way of moving from the ground to my feet and back again with a load. Even now that my baby hardly has a moment to be held, the TGU is still an important part of my routine. It builds core strength and shoulder stability that everyone can benefit from. Plus, it’s just plain fun, challenging and empowering.

Key components of the TGU:
-Lie on your back with the weighted arm straight up. The leg on that side will have the knee up and the foot flat on the floor. The non-weighted arm will also be flat on the floor at about a 45 degree angle from the body.
-Rise up until you are supported on the non-weighted elbow and then the hand.
-Move the non-weighted hand so that it is more behind you and then lift your body off the ground.
-Pull your straight leg behind you. This leg will have the knee and ball of the foot on the floor. Now it’s the “back” leg.
-Lift your non-weighted hand and back knee off the floor. Now you’re in a lunge position with a weight straight over your head.
-Come to a full standing position. Great job! You’re halfway there!
-Now step back into a lunge on your non-weighted side.
-Lower the knee of the back leg and the non-weighted hand to the floor.
-Bring the back leg through to be fully extended in front of you. The heel should be resting on the floor.
-Lower your glutes onto the ground.
-Move your non-weighted arm forward a bit into a more comfortable position.
-Lower your elbow and then your shoulders onto the ground.
-You should be right back where you started, lying on your back with a weight above your chest.

The TGU can be done with a kettlebell or a dumbbell. You may have even seen old strongman photos demonstrating it with a barbell! Start slowly with no weight to make sure you have the positions down. Take the time to learn it properly with smooth, deliberate movement. Being able to go from lying to standing is an invaluable skill. Once you have this down, you will be surprised how often you use it.

About the author:
Sara Lee
PlantBuilt Vegan Muscle Team: Kettlebell Sport


About Author

Founder of Definition Magazine, vegan chef, author, educator, personal trainer, world traveler, cat snuggler, tea drinker, dumbbell slinger. Lover of plant-powered food and helping others find their bliss. Vegan since 2002, became obsessed with fitness and lifting heavy stuff in 2013. Two triathlons, one bodybuilding show, and three adventure races under my belt with many more adventures on the way!

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