Few exercises elicit more “Huh?”s and “Wait. What?”s than the Turkish Get-Up.
From the name to the dozen or so steps, to the “What does this work?” conversation – the TGU is a multi-layered movement puzzle.
The real fun begins after you nail the basic sequence and discover the subtleties that unlock new strength and skill.
A great coach knows how to optimize technique with simple, well-timed cues and training strategies.
Here, 12 of these coaches share their top TGU tips. Identify one tip to start practicing immediately. If you’re an instructor, swipe a few of these for your “magic coach” toolbox.
Kory Muehlhauser – “Many folks have a tough time getting the leg back on the sweep thru. Create extra space for a smooth transition by pushing extra hard into the planted heel and hand on the high bridge or low sweep.”
David Quasha – “Squeeze the working hand pinky and ring finger to reinforce locking out/stacking through the elbow and shoulder.”
Caitlin Grace McCurdy – “Give deliberate attention to maintaining a goose-necked wrist position – knuckles slightly throttled forward. A commendable grip and single line of tension (worthy of a 1-arm pull-up) is created in this wrist position. Dancing beneath the heaviest of bells can ONLY be done under a strong gooseneck. A graceful get up observes the kettlebell moving up and down an invisible straight line. This is your tension line you must maintain through all the break dance moves involved in the TGU. Your strong wrist position aka “holy” gooseneck is the “on” switch that unleashes one of your greatest assets… your grip!”
Aleks Salkin – “Practice segmental rolls – specifically partial segmental rolls – before and between sets of TGUs. This will help you conquer the roll to elbow!”
Matt Steadman – “On the way up and down between elbow/tall sit, cork screw the bottom part of your palm into the ground to help set up an optimal shoulder position and keep the lats packed. “Open the jar” on the way up, “Close the jar” on the way down.”
Sean Shearon – The Stomp and Hollow Drill:
Katherine Streeton – “Eye position is key for a strong and safe get up! Here’s a great way to remember when to look straight ahead and when to look up at the kettlebell: When the non-working hand leaves the floor you look straight ahead. When the non-working hand touches the floor again, your eyes go back to the kettlebell!”
Elizabeth Arndt – “Short version is “Pack and stack for stability and strength.” Longer version is “Keep your shoulders packed and joints stacked (e.g., wrist over elbow over shoulders over elbow over wrist in the windmill position) to maximize your stability and strength in each position of the get-up.”
Piotr Kowalik – “When you go back into the reverse lunge, make sure your torso is not tilting forward! Keep your upper body straight.”
Matt Crockett – “Keep a “Beach Chest” to combat thoracic flexion and shoulder shrugging in the tall sit. “Show off your fancy belt buckle” to maintain pelvic tilt and prevent lumbar hyperextension (hat tip to Jason Marshall).”
The Turkish Get-Up holds a treasure trove of movement and strength benefits for those dedicated enough to seek them!
Check out part 2 for even more high-impact tips ‘n tricks!