How to do a Turkish Get-Up

What is a Turkish Get-Up?

The Turkish Get-Up (Kettlebell Get-Up) is a 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. With this movement, you start on the floor and stand up with the kettlebell over your head, and return to starting position. 
 I broke this into eight sections:
“Roll to Back”
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, pull it into your chest, and roll over until you are on your back. 
“Back to Bell-Up”
Bend your right knee so that your right heel is close to your right hip. Place your left leg ~45 degrees from your body. With both hands, press the kettlebell above your chest, hold it with your right hand, and place your left arm ~45 degrees on the floor. 
“Bell-Up to Elbow”
Using your right heel and left elbow, “roll” your torso onto your left elbow, with your right arm still extended. As you roll, “punch” through the air with the kettlebell and extend your left shoulder, not letting the left shoulder near the ground slouch.
“Elbow to Sit”
Plant your left hand on the ground, push through the ground and extend your left arm and shoulder, until you are in a semi-sitting position. At this point, your right knee should be bent, with your heel near your bottom, and your left leg extended on the floor
“Sit to Sweep”
Press the ground with your left hand, extend your left shoulder, lift your hips off the ground, and sweep your left leg behind you. Place your left knee under your body near your left hand. 
“Sweep to Lunge”
Do a slight “hinge” with your right hip; sink your bottom down towards the floor. As you rise, swipe your back leg (like a windshield wipe) until it’s squarely behind you and you are in a lunge position. Square your body forward in a lunge position, and stand up. Make a fist with your non KB hand and flag it out parallel to the ground.
“Lunge to Stand”
Square your body forward in a lunge position, and stand up. Make a fist with your non KB hand and flag it out parallel to the ground.
“Reverse, Reverse!”
Essentially, you are doing all these movements in reverse to return to the ground:
  • “Stand to Lunge”: Return to your lunge position
  • “Lunge to Sweep”: Swipe your back leg, “hinge” down by sinking into your hip, and put your hand on the ground. Make sure to extend your shoulder
  • “Sweep to Sit”: Sweep your left leg back in front of you. Your right heel should be close to your hip, and you are in a semi-sitting position. 
  • “Sit to Elbow”: Bend your left arm and return to your elbow, making sure your left shoulder is still extended and not slouched. 
  • “Elbow to Bell-Up”: Roll your torso back to the ground, using your heel and elbow for leverage. The KB should be pressed over your head while you’re on your back. 
  • “Bell-Up to Back”: With two hands, support the kettlebell back to your chest. 
  • “Back to Roll”: Roll with the kettlebell onto the side you started with. 
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!
    • Do a double Get-Up. When you finish the movement, instead of rolling back the kettlebell to the ground, perform another get-up. 
      • You can do doubles, triples, quadruples, etc… 
  • Regression (make easier)
    • Perform the Ghost Get-Up, which is a Get-Up 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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