Turkish Gets Up’s for the Cool Kidz

Legend has it that when old-time strongmen were asked to take on an apprentice, they would show their applicant a single movement: the get-up, also known as a Turkish get-up. The teacher would tell his would-be apprentice to come back when the applicant was able to perform it with 50kgs. Then the real training would begin.

Difficulty Level: Advanced

Muscle Group(s):  Total Body


* Strength
* Stability

Equipment: Kettlebell (KB)


* Neuro-motor development
* Dynamic hip, trunk and shoulder stability
* Strength, coordination, focus, dynamic flexibility and balance
* Make overhead drills easier


* Begin from a supine position, maintain the KB arm perpendicular throughout movement.


* Sitting upright, tuck contralateral leg in while stepping over with the ipsilateral leg.
* Lunge through to a standing position with the KB overhead.
* Descend to start position following same path.
* Use second arm whenever necessary to stabilise.

Common Problems & Solutions

* Don’t do anything you wouldn’t or couldn’t with a very heavy KB.
* Elbow straight, shoulder in socket: keeping an image of a power source, running up & down your arm, lengthening the arm as well as pressing hard into the shoulder.
* Common mistake is bending the elbow while defending. Imagine pushing yourself away from the KB


1. Wrist tight?
2. Elbow locked?
3. Shoulder in socket?
4. Arm vertical?

9 Benefits of the Turkish-Get-Up

If you break down the movement and do it correctly, you will see it has much to offer:

* a primitive rolling pattern,
* unilateral development,
* a lunge pattern,
* an overhead hold,
* two hip hinges,
* glute activation,
* core recruitment,
* improved leg drive, and
* rotator cuff stabilisation.

Besides being a great full body movement it should definitely be part of your arsenal if you play any sports or activities that include running, jumping and throwing.

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