If you train at a commercial gym chances are you will have never seen a turkish get-up  being performed, or probably more accurate, being performed correctly. This sucks because this one singular movement offers so much benefit it is almost hard to isolate what this exercise targets. When a client ask me what this exercise does for them I just respond with "Everything." To name a few of the benefits the Turkish Get-Up offers:

  • Improved shoulder stability
  • Improved Core Stability and Strength
  • Increased T-Spine Mobility
  • Focus on Hip Mobility and Separation
  • Glute Activation and Strength
  • Improved Coordination and Balance

But these aren't really the true reasons why I try and incorporate this movement into programming.

First I love this exercise because it breaks away from most traditional strength training movements which typically are bilateral and uniplanar motions. This exercise challenges your strength in a multi planar fashion and with diminishing points of contact.

Second as a coach I find that watching someone perform this movement allows me to really see how well they move and where their potential weakness may be at. It just doesn't offer you any where to hide deficiencies or room to change form in order to make the movement easier.

So without further ado I would like to introduce you to this fantastic exercise and share with you how to perform it and what it should look like all put together.

How to Perform the Turkish Get-Up

  1. Lie on your back with a kettle bell or dumbbell held in your right hand completely extended. Place your left arm out extended in line with your shoulder with your palm facing down on the ground. Flex your right knee and place your right foot flat on the ground so your knee is pointing straight up. Keep your left leg extended and abduct it 30 to 45 degrees. This will be your starting position. Remember to also keep your  right shoulder packed.
  2. To initiate the movement you need to drive your left elbow into the ground and punch your right hand toward the sky. This will cause you to crunch forward and raise up on to your left elbow.
  3. Next you are going to pivot from your left elbow to your left hand so that you are raised up on your completely extended left arm.
  4. Drive your left hand into the ground, right foot into the ground, and elevate your hips as high as you can. It can help if you think about squeezing your right flute. Make sure to keep your left leg extended.
  5. Sweep your left extended leg back underneath your body and place your left knee under neath your left hip. Keep your left hand extended and planted on the ground. Keep your right arm extended with the weight directly over your right shoulder.
  6. Sit your hips backward then drive your hips forward in order to tilt your torso upright. You can also assist yourself by driving your left hand into the ground and pushing off.
  7. Lunge forward into a standing position with your right arm extended overhead with the weight held directly over your right shoulder.
  8. You will then reverse all these motions to return back to the ground lying supine with the weight outstretched overhead in your right hand.

Below is a video of me demonstrating the entire movement. Try it out. You will hate and love it at the same time.


Practical, Purposeful, Effective Training