This exercise is about control. Take it slow, do it right and it will reward you with new total-body strength
In truth, the Turkish Get-up (TGU) is predominantly a shoulder endurance exercise. That doesn’t sound too interesting, but given that so many of us sabotage our shoulder stability by spending time hunched over a desk, it’s more important than you might imagine. The varied positions you have to get into are also great for the spine. And though the move can certainly remedy some working-from-home weaknesses, it’s everything else it does that we’re really interested in.
The TGU has a lot of moving parts. It’s complicated and each rep, when done correctly can take several seconds. It’ll engage pretty much every muscle group throughout the move, as well as engage your brain. As such, it’s an excellent move to be deployed at the beginning of your session as part of a warm-up when done with lighter loads. It’ll fire up muscle fibres, as well as lock in the brain-body connection that can help to make the workout to come even more effective. Equally, brave a bigger kettlebell, stick to lower rep ranges and it can form the backbone of any total-body strength session.
Now, master the technique:
Start the exercise lying flat on the floor with a kettlebell pressed up as though you’re at the top of a dumbbell press. If you have your right arm in the air then you need to bend your right knee and slide your right foot towards you until it’s in line with your left knee.
From here, roll across so that your right shoulder is now off the floor and your weight is on your left side. Next, push your body away from the floor using your left hand and straighten your left arm.
The next movement is the most crucial in the entire exercise as it creates space for you to stand up. You need to contract your glutes to create a bridge from your left shoulder all the way across to your right knee. Push your hips up as high as you can. Only then will you have enough room to draw your left leg underneath you.
Pull your left leg back as far behind you as possible, so you come to rest with your left knee on the floor in a half-kneeling position. Steady yourself.
From here, stand up nice and tall with the kettlebell high over your head and your bicep next to your ear.
Reverse the movement by stepping back with your left leg, lower the left knee to the floor, reach back with the left hand and in a controlled manner, lower yourself back to the start position.