Kettlebell Turkish Get Up – Exercise Tutorial
The Turkish Get Up (TGU) is an excellent full body exercise that incorporates many challenges into one sequence. This exercise could be described as the definition of “functional exercise”. Not only can it be considered a strength exercise, considering you have to hold a load above your head from a lying position to standing, but it also develops stability, flexibility, balance and co-ordination.
There are many variations of the TGU and many pieces of equipment can be used to perform them. For the purpose of this tutorial and for the benefit of Beginners, I will be focusing on, what I believe to be, the most straight-forward version. This version uses both a hip thrust and the lunge position. Also in this version, I am using a Kettlebell. But you can also use a Dumbbell in your hand, a sandbag on your shoulder, or even a barbell, however there are some additional factors that need to be considered for the sandbag and barbell TGUs.
When I think about TGUs, the first word that springs to mind is control. The benefits of this exercise do not come from how fast you can perform it, but in the ability to maintain proper form and stability throughout the sequence as you maneuver your body around and under the weight, without compromising your balance or concentration.
There are several Key Pointers to remember while performing the exercise which I will list before the teaching points:
- Before trying the exercise with a weight, practice with body weight only
- Protect your shoulders by keeping the arm strong and locked out, remembering to use the Lats to stabilise the joint.
- Maintain eye contact with the kettlebell at all times.
- Keeping the Kettlebell stable, you want to move the body under it, rather than moving the Kettlebell
- Maintain full body tension to assist the exercise, THIS includes the glutes
For the purposes of the instruction, we will be holding the Kettlebell on the right side first.
- Lying on your back with the Kettlebell to your right side, roll to face the KB
- Hold the KB by the handle with both hands (left over right, as the right hand will be holding the KB)
- Keeping the KB close to the Chest/abdomen, roll on to your back again, bringing the KB with you so it ends up on your torso, still supported by your hands.
- Now, keep your left leg straight, but bend your right knee up so your heel is close, but not touching your right glute, foot and knee flared out at a 45 degree angle
- Using both hands, press the KB straight over the shoulder and lock the arm out.
- The left arm can now lie on the ground at a 45 degree angle to your body
- Using the bent right leg roll to opposite side and rise up onto the left elbow, then the hand, keeping the left leg on the ground and the kettlebell locked in the press
- From here push off the ground using the left hand, left heel and right foot until you are like a tripod
- Now, maneuver your body under the Kettlebell by bringing the left leg under the body until the left knee is near the left hand
- Sit up into a lunge using the glutes for stability and stand up.
- Reverse the steps from 10 – 1, under control – this is one rep!
- Pulling the Kettlebell from the side without rolling it in – better to treat each KB as if it weighed 50kg.
- Not “punching” the KB forward enough while rolling up onto the opposite elbow causing the weight to pull you back and the straight leg to lift.
- After the straight leg is pulled under the body, you sit down onto your leg – stay strong and don’t be tempted to take a break here, maintain tension and momentum and finish the rep.
- On the reverse movement, you drop down onto the back knee as you lunge down – control this!
- As you are lowering to the final stage, you fall to the floor – use the lats and obliques to lower the torso flat on the floor.
Enjoy this exercise and have fun. There is no real reason to have a lot of reps, 3 each side for so many rounds is adequate