Turkish Get Ups (and downs)

Warm-up:

100 KB swings 25/35
300 rope jumps
15 chinups (strict)

Then,

3-3-3-2-1 reps for ea hand of:

Turkish get-ups (& downs) AHAP

Post highest weight per set, per hand to comments. 


Extras - 

5 rounds of:

1 min triceps row
1 min biceps row

Post maximum distance traveled to comments. 


Workout Notes:

Wear long pants today. Your knees will thank you for this. You'd think that using the mat at the gym would be helpful. It's not. It makes you unstable. You'll miss reps. Missing reps causes you to miss out on benefits. Plus we hollar at you for dropping implements on the mat. It scars the mat making it harder to clean. 

It's best to do TGUs without shoes.  

You may do all reps to the R then start with the L if you like. You may also alternate L & R. 

Don't be afraid of using a bar. Remember, the point here is to increase the strength and stability of your core. You might not be able to handle the same weight with a bar, but you'll likely add more strength to your core. 

Might consider using a KB for the weight also. I know people who will swear Turkish Get Ups with a KB cured their shoulder issues.  

Extras are going to SMOKE your arms (and core). Have fun! 

chinup alt
progression to chinups
assisted chin 


Turkish Get Up form is hotly debated. 

It is a deeply complex exercise. Performing a single rep requires superb concentration, focus and effort. To become good at them requires mastery of the mind and body. In addition, moving a sizable amount of weight requires astonishing precision, timing, strength, flexibility, stamina, coordination, balance and accuracy - at once!

It's the kind of move trainers can gleefully geek out on. Often on TGU day, I find myself backsliding into a reductionist's world of intricacy and nuance. It is fair to say I have let this world of reductionist complexity, more than once, confound the process of health instead of advancing it. 

One time, more than a decade ago, I was training training a client at a local gym. My supervisor, who was very critical of my methods, was watching me train. In the middle of my client's biceps set, my supervisor charged across the gym to halt the set. Taking me aside in a very abrupt manner he asked rhetorically, 

"Do you have any idea what damage you are doing to his ACLs?" 

"How?" I asked.

His knees aren't as "soft" (another term for bent) as they should be." 

He then proceeded to lecture me on high sheering forces at the knee joint when using a standing biceps curl. And how knee flexion should be, "At LEAST" 15-20 degrees when the joint is anteriorly weighted. 

A part of me was utterly humiliated that he called me out in front of my client like that. Deeper down though, I was delighted by thought that the act of bending one's arms (biceps curls) could be so intricate. 

So, I stopped the set and moved him to a machine (a classic error). I was determined not to do functional types of movement (free weights) with my clients until I more deeply understood the physics and biomechanics of exercise through intensive study and practice. 

Want to know what I learned from all my studies? 

I learned that most of us over-think this process. That MOVEMENT begets better movements. 

Break it all down into its elements if you want to. Study the hell out of it. Just know: the person who wins is the person who DOES. 

Do your best interpretation of the movements we outline here. Don't worry about how you look or how you may be perceived. The human body is proficient at adaptation. It will get better at anything you DO. Safety is surely something you should strive for. Study the move. Start slow and low. Move up from there. Just MOVE. It is the most important part of this process. 

Below is a good representation of a TGU. Everyone I know who is great at these has a little different style. As long as you aren't putting joints at extreme angles and weighting them torsionally (watch your knees) you'll be OK.