What is a Turkish Get-Up?

The Turkish Get-Up is a very technical movement that works every muscle in your body. The Get-Up is a movement that transitions the kettlebell from the floor to a standing position, back to the floor. 

The Turkish Get-Up is a full-body exercise with an emphasis on the following muscle groups:

  • Core
  • Back
  • Shoulders
  • Triceps
  • Legs

How to Do a Turkish Get-Up (Instructions):

This is a very technical exercise, with a lot of little components. I broke this into five sections:
“Bell Up”
Start on your back, with the kettlebell a few inches to the right of your shoulder. Roll over on your right side, grab the kettlebell by the horn with both hands, and return to your back. Press the kettlebell up above your chest with both hands, hold it with a straight arm with your right hand, and place your left arm on the ground at a 45-degree angle. Bend your right knee. 
“T-Up”
Using your heel, core, and left elbow, raise your torso off the ground with your right arm still extended, until your left elbow is bent. Next, extend your left arm, with your left hand on the ground. Raise your left hip, so that your arms make a “T”. The weight of your lower body should be mostly supported by your right foot, which is bent, and your left leg is extended. 
“Stand Up”
Sweep your left leg back towards your hips, and bend it as you sweep it. Bring your left leg in until your left knee is bent and is perpendicular to your body, with your left toes on the ground. With the kettlebell overhead, bend slightly into your right hip. Then, swing your left shin so it’s directly behind your left knee, and swing your right knee so that it’s directly in front of you. You should now be in a lunge position, with your knee on the ground. Stand up, with the kettlebell over your head. 
“T-Down”
With the kettlebell overhead, drop down into a lunge position, with your left knee on the ground and right knee bent in front of you. Slowly place your left hand on the ground about 2-3 inches to the left of our left knee, and as you do, swing your left shin to the right. Press down into your left hand, and swing your left leg back out until it’s extended out in front of you, keeping your right knee bent. 
“Bell Down”
Sink your left hip down on the ground. Slide your left hand a few inches away from your body, and bend your left elbow. Using your core, roll yourself back down to the right until you are on your back, with the kettlebell over your chest. With both hands, grab the kettlebell handle, return it to your chest, roll to the right, and return to starting position. 
Repeat on the other side. 
Practice, practice, practice!!! 

Trainer Tips for the Turkish Get-Up: 

  • Progression (make harder)
    • Use a heavier weight. Scale up in 8kg increments (16kg, 24kg, 32kg, etc…)
      • Note – do not try heavier weights until you are proficient with your form. Heavy Get-Ups are no joke!
  • Regression (make easier)
    • Perform the Get-Up technique without a weight.
    • Perform the Get-Up technique with a shoe or hat balanced on your hand instead of the kettlebell.
    • Use a lighter weight.
    • Lower your repetition count. 
  • Application:
    • Do 5 Get-Ups, on each side. 
    • Do 2-3 Get-Ups, with no weight, as a part of your morning routine.

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