How-to: Turkish Get Up

I consistently get asked how to do the turkish get up, so for those who have asked, today is your lucky day!

The turkish get up has got to be in the top 5 most awesome kettlebell exercises, but I will caution you, this move is sneakily hard and will show you where your weaknesses are. It is excellent for improving your shoulder stabilization, balance, coordination, whole body stability, posture, and pretty much works all of the major muscle groups as well. The reason I most love the get up is because it works the body in two vital skills: working the upper and lower body together as one unit and getting up off the ground.

turkish get up

It requires a high level of skill, so I almost always put them at the beginning of the workout while the body is still fresh. Plus it’ll get the entire body warm and ready for the rest of the workout.

Before I get into the video, here are a few reminders:

*The get up is not something you can just rush through mindlessly, so take your time and ease yourself into it. (Especially when you are first learning!)

*There are 4 positions in the get up: laying down, sitting, kneeling, and standing. At first it can seem like a lot, so the trick is to take it one at a time and just focus on getting to the next position.

*Since you are going to be holding a weight directly over your head and face the whole time, start with no weight until you feel comfortable with the movement patterns! Try to make the movement as smooth as possible.

*Keep your eyes on the weight, your elbow locked, and your arm pointed at the ceiling at all times. If you can’t keep your elbow locked the whole time, move to lighter bell.


Helpful Tips for getting to each position:


This is not a sit up! Use your foot to push yourself over onto your side while at the same time, driving your elbow into the ground and punching your raised hand up toward the ceiling.


The bridge is to create enough space to pull your free leg back through into a kneeling position. One thing that can help is adjusting where your hand is. It helps for it to be a little bit outside and behind your bum. (see video)

**Keep your eyes on the bell during this!**


Make sure you’re using a weight where you can lunge up without bending your arm. From kneeling, curl the toes of your back foot under and, pushing through both feet, lunge up into standing position.

Now go get it…or shall I say, GET UP! 😀

If you guys enjoyed this tutorial and want more, let me know over on my Facebook page!