Ready for a new, next-level way to challenge yourself? Please meet the Turkish get-up, or TG for short. The multistep exercise makes for one impressive Instagram video, but this complex move is so much more than social media fodder.
“The Turkish get-up is the gold standard of functional training,” says Melody Davi, CPT, a personal trainer in NYC. “It uses many of the movement patterns we recruit in everyday life: rolling over, kneeling, standing, reaching.” Performing these actions helps prevent injury while also improving mobility and stability, she says. Not to mention, with so many different steps to one exercise, you can expect to engage all of your major muscle groups, including your abs, shoulders, chest, and glutes. Now, the question: Are you down to get up? Follow this quick guide to owning the TG.
Turkish Get-Up Form Tips, Step-By-Step
Follow this process to do a Turkish get-up with perfect form:
Mistakes To Avoid While Trying The Turkish Get-Up
Top trainers on the form faults that cause them to shudder.
DON’T: watch the weight overhead
- “Until you get comfortable with it, I recommend looking at the load the entire time it’s above your head. It helps with your center of gravity and helps you move through space better in general. It also ensures you don’t drop the weight on your head—definitely don’t want that. I’ve actually seen it happen too often!” — Lauren Kanski, CPT
DON’T: go straight to the most advanced version
- “When learning or attempting a get-up, you should first master the quarter get-up (coming up on the elbow), then the half get-up (going from the elbow to the hand, plus a bridge). Then, finally, the full get-up.” — Charlee Atkins, CSCS, CSFC
DON’T: completely extend your arm holding the kettlebell
- “That arm needs to be locked out, with no softness in the elbow, for the duration of the exercise in order to protect your joints and recruit the appropriate muscles: shoulders, core, glutes, hips.”— Melody Davi, CPT
How To Add The Turkish Get-Up To Your Workouts
The actual weight can wait when you’re first trying the TG—practice your form with just your body weight before grabbing a kettlebell. This will help you nail every step of the move.
Once you’re comfortable with the motion, you can perform it with different weights, such as a dumbbell, barbell, sandbag, or person. (Seriously, Google it.)
Your move: Work up to 2-3 sets 5 reps per side to improve strength and decrease your odds of injury.
This article originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of Women’s Health.
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