If I was given only a handful of exercises to choose from, it would be:
- Chin Ups
- Prowler Sprints
- Farmer Carries
- Turkish Get Ups
Sorry! Fads and gimmicks have no place in my training philosophy. I have a simplistic approach in that regard, and I do not believe in shortcuts. If someone tries to sell you on a “magic” program, they’re snake oil salesmen, not coaches.
Turkish Get Ups (TGU) is a dynamic movement I picked up from Dr. Mark Cheng when I was out in Los Angeles last November and I have been incorporating it into my programming since. Interestingly enough, it has also become one of my all-time favorite exercises because of the complexity it presents.
I love a challenge!
The TGU is really difficult to classify because of the series of movement one must go through just to complete one repetition, so for simplicity’s sake I’ll be concise on why they’re awesome and how you can incorporate them into your training.
Kettlebell Turkish Get Up
Why They’re Awesome
My ego took a beating when I first started doing this exercise. It was a reality check, if you will, because the amount of load I was only able to lift was laughable to say the least.
What I’ve found as I started to refine my technique is that it improved my shoulder stability. Now if you didn’t know, the shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in the body, therefore; it’s the most prone to injuries. It only made sense because I had to hold a relatively heavy object steady while moving through multiple planes of motion — doing so requires a tremendous amount of shoulder stability.
Another benefit of the TGU is increased core stability and hip mobility, which translates into improved strength gains in your heavy lifts. “Who doesn’t want that?” That’s what makes the TGU a bang for your buck exercise. And since you are moving through multiple planes of motion while holding a relatively heavy object in one arm, you need to have an appreciable amount of strength and control, otherwise, you’d fall over. Not a good sight!
One thing I’ve learned now that they are a staple in my programming is, the slower the better. I made the mistake of treating it like a squat or a deadlift, where the only objective for them was to move the weight as quickly as possible. You have to be cognizant that this is a different scenario and this is not an exercise you want to rush through. The slower and more controlled you are in executing the movement, the better.
How To Program the Turkish Get Up
There are various ways of incorporating this boss movement into your program. You can apply them as “fillers” in between heavy sets of squats or deadlifts. You can also use them in a tri-set routine, which I often do for my clients. They love it, by the way 😉
1A) KB Turkish Get Ups
1B) KB Goblet Squats
1C) KB Swings
Personally, I like to implement them into my dynamic warm up and I’ve found them to be tremendously beneficial when I want to lift some heavy a** weights. I’ve always said that improved stability = better control = strong.
To put things all into perspective, I think everybody should learn this movement and incorporate it into their training. It’s a dynamic movement that will not only make you learn more about your body (restrictions, limitations, and capabilities ), but you’ll also become a boss in the process.