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Kettlebell Workout: The Turkish Get-Up

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How to Incorporate The Turkish Get-Up Into Your Kettlebell Workout

One exercise, 10 minutes of your time. That’s all this kettlebell workout will take. Sounds too good to be true, right? It’s not, as Dan Fallon explains.

What if we told you there was one exercise that takes ten minutes a day and would build superhuman strength in your entire body. Would you believe me? Maybe not.

The Turkish get-up (TGU) is the ‘Daddy’ of all exercises when it comes to hitting full-body strength, flexibility and coordination. It’s often butchered in the gym because people don’t give it the respect and time needed to cultivate a beautiful get-up. Adding the TGU to a high-intensity workout is like having decaf coffee, you just don’t go there. The aim is to perfect the get-up so that it complements the body rather than leaving it screaming from the pain after rushing through it or, even worse, lifting too much load. People don’t spend enough time finely adjusting and being in the moment whilst executing this skilful movement. 

Taking your time whilst breathing in each phase of the TGU enhances a range of motion in the places that often become tight in adulthood (hips and shoulders) and stabilises in the joints you need to be safe during your training program (the lower back etc.). The benefits of taking your time with the TGU when it comes to mobility and stability of the entire body are incredible. Some quote the exercise as ‘yoga for meatheads’ and I’ve even heard a reference towards the movement being able to build an ‘Iron Back’. Given that lower back pain is the most common musculoskeletal condition that keeps people off work, I’d say this is a great injury prevention tool.

The Turkish Get-Up: Meet the ‘Daddy’ of All Exercises

Dan Fallon’s top coaching points in each phase
There are seven phases to get to the top of the TGU before you reverse the order.

the turkish get-up kettlebell workout
Ensure that you can feel the weight going through your foot to rotate the body over enough to pull yourself onto the elbow.

the turkish get-up kettlebell workout
Make sure the shoulders are squeezed together to prevent them from pointing after you have corkscrewed the arm around.

the turkish get-up kettlebell workout
Ensure you lift up the backside enough to sweep the leg through. Pause in this position to light up the hips.

the turkish get-up kettlebell workout
This is the sexy part of the movement. Make sure you sit deep onto the heel to open the hips and the upper back.

the turkish get-up kettlebell workout
Ensure you drive with the hips during this motion and not the lateral core (between the hips and rib cage).

the turkish get-up kettlebell workout
Once you have organised yourself into the front lunge position, brace the core hard to then stand up.

the turkish get-up kettlebell workout
During this position squeeze the glutes together as hard as possible and flare the rib cage downwards.

Do your best to complete five repetitions each side per day. Each repetition lasts for 45-60 seconds. Take a deep breath in each pose and really focus on moving your body only when you feel absolutely tight in all the right places.

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