How to Do a Turkish Get-up And Why You Should Do It

girl doing turkish getup exercise

I’ve noticed this regularly with my new clients that they often want to know what muscles “Turkish Getup” works when they see it on their workout program. This is kind of funny and ironic since the Turkish getup doesn’t work any single/specific muscle(s). It works all of them. You must’ve heard of the term “superfoods”? The Turkish getup may very well be considered a super-exercise.

If you could only do one workout for the rest of your life, the Turkish get-up would be a good choice

Why? Because no other exercise concurrently develops both mobility and stability—two prerequisites for super strength—across so many joints and in so many positions.

Why You Should Do Turkish Getup

Balance, coordination, core strength and stability, and general body tension are all emphasized in this challenging full-body exercise. That stability is crucial for outdoor athletes because it allows you to generate greater power via your core and create a firm, solid platform throughout your trunk to transition pressures between your lower and upper body. This strength will help you maintain a relatively relaxed upper body as your legs carve turns at high speeds while skiing on the mountain, and it will keep you balanced and maintain your momentum while jogging through steep, challenging terrain.

Starting with the shoulders, the Turkish get-up hits practically every major muscle group as well as smaller stabilizers, in addition to your complete core. Because you’re carrying a weight in an overhead position, the get-up is ideal for shoulder mobility, stability, and strength—all of which will help protect the joints from injury. The multistep movement combines a chest and overhead press, a hip hinge, and a lunge into one exercise: it’s a complete full-body workout.

Since the Turkish get-up appears complex, it can be intimidating at first. It is helpful to break it down into manageable steps. Everybody has the ability to do it, it just takes practice to get there. We are going to discuss how to perform a Turkish getup with perfect form.

How To Do Turkish Getup

Turkish get-ups are typically performed with kettlebells, but you can also use a dumbbell or a household object like a jug of water or even a backpack.

However, I would recommend working on mastering the Turkish get-up with just your body weight before picking up a kettlebell.

  • Begin by lying on your left side on the floor, holding a kettlebell in your left hand. This arm should be bent and in a racked position. To put it another way, the kettlebell’s ball should rest against the back of your wrist and hand.
  • Raise the kettlebell over your left shoulder with both arms extended. Your right arm and leg should be lowered to your right side. Both of these should be at a 45-degree angle. Keep your left arm straight at all times.
  • Keep your eyes on the kettlebell and roll up on your right elbow. Your left shoulder will be lifted off the floor as a result of this. Keep the kettlebell directly over your shoulder at all times.
  • Straighten your right arm and straighten your body. At this stage, you should be able to sit up.
  • Now you want to adjust your weight so that your right hand and left foot may be supported. Lift your right hip off the floor by engaging your core. Bring your right leg under your body and kneel on your right knee during this motion. The floor should still be in contact with your right foot.
  • Finally, stand up and bring your feet together, this completes one rep. Reverse the movements in order, while keeping your eyes on the kettlebell.

Benefits Of Turkish Getups

The Turkish Getup is a full-body workout that can help you increase your strength, conditioning, and mobility in just one activity.

Maintain a healthy balance of strength on the right and left sides of your body.

Is the right side of your body a little tighter than the left? Or is it possible that your right arm is significantly stronger than your left? The Turkish getup can help you balance any imbalances between your right and left sides. Because the Turkish getup comprises seven unique movements, you can work your way through them if one or two of them provides problems on either side.

Increases your functional strength and mobility

You’ve probably observed that performing Turkish getup effectively necessitates a high level of mobility. What you’ll discover is the better your mobility the easier the workout appears to be. I can lift 32kg while conversing with a perfectly calm face. How? My joints are receiving the bulk of the load in a way that strengthens them rather than shears them. That is precisely the point. Functional strength is all about your muscles working together like an orchestra playing a symphony. This exercise will increase your mobility and strength if you master it – or at least become proficient at it.

Increases longevity

You’ve probably heard that being able to rise up from the ground with ease is a test of longevity. So, what if you can get up from the ground while holding a heavy object in one hand? So you’ve got a lot of life left in you. Rolling, rocking, crawling, squatting, and other basic movement patterns are some of the keys to longevity in the long run.

Can Be An Effective Rehab Exercise

In 2019, a study was conducted to determine the benefits and drawbacks of recommending the Turkish Get-Up as an isometric shoulder and neck workout.

A patient with a mild to moderate cervical, acromio-clavicular, and sterno-clavicular joint sprain with accompanying facet syndrome and muscle spasm was prescribed the Turkish Get-Up as a therapeutic corrective intervention.

The study concluded that the Turkish getup is a useful technique for isometrically stressing the cervical spine and shoulder that requires little room and equipment to perform. This exercise helped the wounded patient to re-establish strength and motor control by including full body mobility and training with an emphasis on pain-free isometric shoulder and cervical spine contractions. The patient can now add an exercise to his training and rehabilitation that can be progressed indefinitely to increase strength, endurance, and motor control.

The Most Common Turkish Get-Up Mistakes

A couple at gym performing turkish getup exercise

As with anything this complicated, you’re certain to make a few mistakes right away. You’ll miss out on the full advantages of the workout if you don’t use the proper form, plus you risk injuring yourself.

Here are the most common Turkish get-up mistakes and how to avoid them.

Rushing Through The Movement

This isn’t an activity to rush through, especially if you’re new to it. You won’t be able to maintain appropriate mechanics if you’re moving too quickly. 
The Fix: Go slowly and step by step through the workout. Before moving on to the next stage, take a moment to perfect your body positioning.

Sloppy Hand Positioning

Many people have problems committing while placing their base hand on the floor—they shift their hand about as they sit up into the first phase of the action. The lack of a solid foundation causes significant instability all the way up the line to the other arm holding the kettlebell.

The Fix: When I coach my clients, I tell them to put their free base hand and arm out to the side at a 45-degree angle from their body. Then, when they sit up, instead of moving their hand around erratically, they should use it to help them ‘pull’ themselves up while supporting the weight overhead with their other arm.

A Bent Or Off-center Arm

Muscles like the wrist flexors, triceps, and shoulders will be made to work overtime if the arm holding the kettlebell is not completely extended at the wrist and elbow joints, or if your shoulder is tilted to the side. This is ineffective and may result in damage.

The Fix: Maintain full verticality through the wrist and elbow of your lifted arm, with the load stacked directly over the supporting arm and shoulder. You should be able to move both shoulders at the same time.

Rounding Of Shoulders

A proud chest is always the one to go for, whether you’re hitting a get-up or going down your apartment corridor. When you’re doing a Turkish get-up, make sure you don’t shrug or circle your shoulders when you’re sitting up to your elbow. This can lead to a slew of problems (and perhaps even injury).

The Fix: Drive your forearm and elbow into the ground, forming a straight line from your elbow to the wrist of the kettlebell-wielding hand—all while keeping your shoulders apart. Keep this proud chest when you transition to your base hand to ensure ideal shoulder stability.

Knees Caving Inward

When you have one knee bent and the other leg outstretched, you don’t want your knee to cave inward since that will produce an insecure foundation, which no one wants.

The Fix: Instead, ensure that you externally rotate your knee while extending your hip joint. You’ll be able to lift your hips off the floor with more control and have more area to sweep back and underneath you to prepare for the overhead lunge posture if you perform it this way.

Take Away

If you’re limited on time or equipment, the Turkish get-up is a great way to get a good exercise. Warm-up with a light or bodyweight set, then increase the intensity to achieve the desired training impact. The Turkish get-up should be done directly after warming up but before your strength workout for beginners and anyone who is advanced but working on increasing the weight they lift.

Moderate weight and a higher number of reps are beneficial for conditioning, whereas heavier weights and lower reps are good for strength. Another option is to gradually increase resistance with each set. After a run or a climbing exercise, you may cycle through a few sets to round off the day.

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