Want a better Turkish Get Up?
We had a saying in the military when it came to learning how to use a rifle and it’s the same for the Turkish Get Up.
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.
It’s the one kettlebell movement that if mastered correctly can deliver across nearly every other athletic pursuit. This isn’t an article saying you only need to do the Turkish Get Up as the interwebs has enough of those, however it is an article on how to refine your Turkish Get Up technique so you can utilise all of its benefits.
What does the Turkish Get Up give us?
- Better shoulder/thoracic mobility and stability
- Better trunk stability and particularly rotational stability
- A great way to progress from floor to standing (neuro-developmental patterning)
- A way to prioritise technique over speed (for all you HIIT nazis out there)
- More confidence under load because it takes time to execute
You’re probably already well aware of the benefits, so why is it usually executed so poorly? If we look at the benefits individually, they will usually highlight weaknesses in our mobility, stability or attention to detail. If we truly want to master the Turkish Get Up at a point we’re going to have to eat some humble pie and address those weaknesses to really see the benefits come through in our training.
Here’s five tips and a full tutorial video to help you not suck at the Turkish Get Up forever.
The Set Up
If you start in the wrong position, you will notice at some point during the get up. Problems getting into post or cramping/lack of room in the bridge to side kneeling positions are dead give aways. Here’s some tips to help.
- There needs to be a decent angle between the legs. Between 70-90 degrees to help the drive up to post
- Toes need to be pulled back on the out stretched leg. Think knee cap into quad.
- A slight push out of the knee on the bent leg to engage the glutes to dive up and across to the unloaded side
- The unloaded arm runs parallel with the outstretched leg. This helps give us enough room when moving from the post position
The Post Position
The first stage of the get up sets us up for the rest of the movement. Providing we’ve set the movement up properly we should be able to reach the post position easily. This might be where we see hip or shoulder mobility issues that need to be addressed.
- Nice and tall in the post position. Joints stacked on top of each other for stability
- Drive the elbow into the ground of the unloaded arm to help the drive up and across into the post position.
- If you’re struggling with mobility, take a look at things like trigger point or mobility stretches to solve the issue
Side Kneeling Position
Coming from the tall sitting position is usually quite easy if we have set up correctly and executed our post position well in our Turkish Get Up. The next issue usually lies when we have to move from tall sitting to side kneeling as this is where more mobility or stability issues are highlighted as our hips are leaving the floor into the bridge position.
- When bridging from tall sitting, don’t bridge too high. Allow enough room for that leg to sweep under your hips and get into side kneeling. If you go too high, it might be too hard to stabilise
- When pushing into side kneeling, treat it like a half kneeling windmill. This is also the case when we are coming down out of standing.
Seriously. Get naked. Don’t start using weight until you master the technique using just your bodyweight. Address any mobility or stability issues and practise the movement without weight to ensure you’re safe to progress. It’s also a great way to mobilise the body before a session.
The Shoe Test
People laugh when we suggest this, their laugh is usually followed by a humbling amount of reps using a shoe. The shoe shows you if you have the requisite mobility and stability by suspending a show on top of your fist to simulate a kettlebell. Don’t hold it just place it on your fist and it must balance there as you complete the full Turkish Get Up. If it falls, you start again.
When learning it’s important to understand the nuances of the Turkish Get Up. If you take your time to master each individual stage with the focus being on technique and not speed you will reap the benefits and notice a distinct improvement in other areas of your training. And the best part, once you master the technique you will be able to move some serious weight from floor to standing showcasing amazing mobility and stability.
Want to learn the Turkish Get Up alongside the swing, press, clean, snatch and windmill? Sign up for 66 and come and join our little community!