By Sam Cortes, Communications Coordinator

The Turkish get-up has been around since the turn of the century and was a tool used by both the military, strongmen, and elite athletes – and for good reason.  

Traditionally used with a kettlebell, the get-up can be performed with a dumbbell, barbell, or even your own bodyweight. 

When performed correctly and regularly, the Turkish get-up improves mobility and stability of the joints, overall strength and endurance, coordination and body awareness, all while incorporating several movement patterns and working in three planes of motion. 

This total-body, multi-movement exercise is a great tool to incorporate into every warm-up. You can also assess your progress overtime by evaluating your movement and improved range of motion, and adding more weight as you get stronger.

Try starting with your body weight and progress to a kettlebell or dumbbell.


Getting Up
  1. Begin in a fetal position with a firm grip on the kettlebell (KB) using both hands, keeping the KB close to your body. Whatever shoulder you are lying on, that is the side that will be weighted.
  2. Roll onto your back with the KB close to your ribs. Bend the knee and plant your foot firmly down on the weighted side. Your opposite arm and leg will extend 45 degrees away from the body.
  3. While lying on your back, press the KB overhead, perpendicular to the floor. Stabilize your shoulder and lock out your elbow. Keep your eyes on the KB at all times.
  4. Roll up onto your elbow, pause, and then pivot onto your hand.
  5. Pressing through your supporting hand and heel, squeeze your glutes and lift your hips up off the ground.
  6. Sweep your leg through into a half-kneeling lunge with your front knee at 90 degrees. Your legs will be perpendicular to each other. 
  7. Take your hand off the floor and pivot on your kneeling knee, and “windshield wiper” into the half kneeling lunge position. Your gaze will now shift to looking forward.
  8. Curl your toe under and drive up from your lunge into the standing position.  Your arm is still fully extended throughout the entire movement, gaze remaining forward.


Getting Down
  1. Step back into your lunge and slowly lower to the half-kneeling position.
  2. “Windshield wiper” your legs so they are, once again, perpendicular to each other. Plant your supporting hand in front of your kneeling knee. Your gaze will shift back to the KB.
  3. Sit back on your hips and sweep the back leg out in front of you back to  45 degrees.
  4. Lower your glutes to the floor and pivot back down onto your supporting elbow. Remember to keep your shoulder stable and elbow locked on the way down.
  5. Roll back down onto your back and lower the KB safely back to your ribs, grabbing the bell with two hands.
  6. Roll back into the fetal position and halo the KB over to the other side. Repeat. 

Since it is important to perform this sequence of movements slowly and steadily, it allows you to master each step along the way. Breaking it down and spending time with each step will help you build a really strong foundation for all the basic movements!

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