Turkish Get Up: Benefits And How To Do It

The Turkish Get-Up! If you didn’t know any better, it almost sounds like a fancy middle eastern dance. A finesse movement, the Turkish get up requires skill, strength, and mindfulness to be performed and executed correctly. It’s a complicated movement. The Turkish Get-Up is a functional strength training kettlebell movement and is one of the most effective functional exercises for improving coordination, shoulder mobility, and core strength. We’re going to talk more about the Turkish get-up, how to do them, and the benefits.

What Is The Turkish Get Up 

The Turkish get up is a compound functional strength training movement, comprised of seven movements or motions that take you from lying on your side, to kneeling, then standing, all with a kettlebell held in a overhead position. To be honest, there really are no other movements like it. At first glance, it can seem rather intimidating, but really, it’s a matter of muscle memory and coordination. Form is critical in any compound movement, however it will be of the up most importance when executing a Turkish get up, to ensure you are stimulating and recruiting the correct muscles, joints, and secondary muscles to improve balance, coordination, and strength. The Turkish get up is a full body exercise, that recruits basically all your muscles through multiple planes of motion and movements.

Turkish Get Up Benefits

1. Balance & Coordination

The Turkish get up starts from a lying position, working your way up from the floor into a standing position, while balancing a kettlebell overhead. This movement requires concentration, mobility, balance and coordination. Over time, the Turkish get up will benefit and enhance your coordination and balance by recruiting several different joints, muscles, and mid-line strength.

2. Core Strength

Balance and coordination, requires core strength. Balancing weight overhead, will require greater core strength, and midline-stability to hold the weight, while progressing through the movement, from one position fluidly to another. The more weight you hold, the greater the force exerted upon your core, requiring increased stability and strength.

3. Functional Strength And Mobility

The Turkish get up is an effective accessory movement. It creates more overhead strength due to the stability required from multiple angles, planes, and positions, benefiting and increasing shoulder strength. Time under tension, is an essential variable when trying to build strength. Therefore, the Turkish get up will help generate more power from your core, shoulders, and trunk as you transition between your lower and upper body with more time under tension.

How To Do A Turkish Get Up

We’re going to break down each step so you can effectively execute a Turkish get up from start to finish.

Step 1: Lie on your back in a starfish position, with both your legs and arms out at a 45 degree angle.

Bend your right leg and place your right foot flat on the floor, on the outside of your hip and butt. Bring your right arm straight toward the ceiling and press the weight overhead. Keep the weight of the kettlebell in the palm of your hand with your fish firmly wrapped around the handle. Set your eyes on your fist, as this will be the center point of balance.

Step 2: Next push through your right heel, using your left elbow as leverage to pop you up. You will push the weight up, with your left shoulder packed close to your ear, loaded for balance, and your chest will be up facing the wall in front of you. From here push with your left palm from the floor using your core strength and stability to push yourself into a seated position. Think about your palm screwed into the floor and simply rotating your fingers around behind you when pushing yourself up. 

Step 3: Now that we are in a seated position, slide your left foot underneath and behind you towards your butt, placing your left leg and knee in a straight plane with your left hand. Your left knee should be directly below your hip 

Step 4: From here shift your weiht back to your left heel, and come to an open half kneeling position, with weight overhead and stable. You should be in a seated, lung position, with knees bent at 90 degrees, with your toes pointed forward. 

Step 5: Next, simply stand up, engaging your core, and firmly holding the weight overhead, directly against your ear, locked out. Now.. You’ve completed the movement. 

Step 6: Now for the descent. From here, you are going to perform the movement in reverse. While still looking forward, step back into a lunge position, resting your knee on the floor. Sweet your left leg back behind you and return to half kneeling position.

Step 7: Once in kneeling position, shift your weight back, toward your heel, reach your left hand back behind you, and take your eyes back up to the kettlbell and your fist.

Step 8: Sweet and shoot your left leg back in front of you, in scissor position, extended. Shift your weight into your palm and from here, push your palm into the floor and let your elbow bend in toward you, and allow yourself to gently row back. Congratulations, you have completed one entire Turkish get up.


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