Posts Tagged ‘turkish get up’

I wrote a post a little while back about the usefulness of kettlebell training when used with good form and technique coupled with intelligent programming. (To read it click here.) In light of how well that post did, ( thank you) I decided to continue with the same premise and break down a bit more how kettlebell and its movements can and will train your core.


Before we begin the practical part of this post, I think it is important to realize exactly what the core is. One simple way to understand exactly what our core is as humans is the saying, “that if I cut off my arms, head and lower leg, there is my core.” So you see our middle as humans is more than just the abs and obliques. (To learn more about this subject, click here.)

Now that we have that out-of-the-way let’s get to the topic at hand: 6 Ways kettlebells can work your core.

The swing works the core:
It is a well-known and accepted fact that the kettlebell swing works the glutes and hamstrings. However, it does even more than that in its proper execution, those two other aspects as I stated earlier are part of your middle. Yet, the swing when done in the hard-style format will also train your abs. In order to make this happen one must brace the abs as if they were going to get punched on the top of the swing. This also serves as a veritable brake to stop the low back from hyper extending at the lockout of the swing.

The Overhead Press works the core:
The body has a highway of sorts on which we transfer energy from the floor into a movement. The overhead press is a perfect example of the concept, in which we wedge ourselves between the floor and the kettlebell that you desire to press. The glutes, abs, lats, diaphragm and so on are activated in order to achieve the overhead move in a way that is safe and strong.

The Kettlebell front squat trains the core:
The kettlebell racked squat is both an anti-rotational drill when done with one bell and a heck of an abs exercise when done with two. It once again hits the glutes as we hip extend, trains the pelvic floor, (more on that in the future) diaphragm when we use proper breathing patterns and so much more. This move is also a great one to teach a lifter good technique to begin to train the squat with barbells.

The Turkish Get-up works the core:
The Get-up is an awesome exercise. It teaches the practitioner to stabilize their shoulder and to move at the same time. It also works hip mobility, and shoulder mobility. But for the sake of this post it has been shown by E.M.G. to work all of the muscles of the core throughout the movement. It has built into a rolling pattern, spinal stability/shoulder stability and so-on. It is safe to say that the Get-up is an awesome exercise that saves time and trains multiple movements at the same time!


The Single leg deadlift works the core:
This move is both a stability and strength exercise. It is also anti-rotational exercise depending on where you place the bell in correlation to the move. This exercise when coupled with the right loading will lead to you having to use an abs brace to produce the force needed to lift the loading that you are using off the floor. Give it a shot and see!

Carries work your core:
Loaded carries can be like magic to those who never do them. These moves when used appropriately can bring balance to your muscles in patterns. Train shoulder stability, anti-rotation, build strength and just make you feel plain great! Click on the link above to learn more about them and to learn how to do most of the variations.

When most people think of the core they think abs and having a “six-pack.” I hope that after you read this post that there is much more than that to it than just a muscle and a look. Your core being balanced and things working well can lead to less pain in your low back and many other issues; it is also important for your performance as a fit person and or if you are an athlete.

So if you aren’t begin to train these moves and if you don’t know how, learn from a qualified, certified instructor in order to get all of the benefits that come training with kettlebells with good form and intelligent programming


It seems that there are three reactions to the Turkish Get-Up from fitness buffs and trainees. One is that they love it (I am one of them)  Two: They think that it is pointless and don’t want to do it or begrudgingly practice it. Three: they feel awkward as they do it and the awareness of their lack of mastery of this complex and humbling move makes them hate it. I have all three of these types of people as my students. There are some that love the TGU and are aware of its value and make them move better and get stronger. I have those that need to be pushed to practice it as they were a kid eating their vegetables. Of course lastly, there are the people who just plain old hate it and I can only pull it out on special occasions much like my suit. Now the question is friend, what camp are you in? Does the thought of doing get-ups fill you with fear and make you feel like a buffoon who can’t chew bubble gum and walk at the same time? Or  are you aware of the manifold benefits of this move and practice it often?


If you are any of these people today’s post is for you. This post will both help you get better at the Get-up and show you the areas that you may need improvement in and then give you a few drills to make it better.

First let us review what a proper get will look like:

The Standard.

1.Use both hands to pick up the kettlebell off the ground to the starting position of the floor press and to return to the ground.

2.The wrist on the kettlebell side is straight.

3.The elbow on the kb side must be locked and shoulder packed.

4. The shoulder of the free arm doesn’t shrug up.

5.The heel of the foot on the kettlebell side stays on the ground throughout the movement.

6.The knee touches the floor silently on the return to half- kneeling.

7.The arm holding the kb is vertical or almost vertical.

8. The neck is straight on the top half of the move, from the lunge standing.

9.At the top your knees must be locked and you must remain tall(not leaning back.)

Try to keep this move as smooth as possible. ( Not jerky)

Now if you are like me, just seeing the standard in writing is not good enough for you. So here is a video series to help you with your learning and correction. Follow the progressions in the three videos or at least do the movements until you encounter difficulty with one and spend time perfecting that part before you move on. (if you like your teeth and face.)

The Turkish Get-Up has so many benefits for its practitioner. Don’t be afraid of the move, learn how to do it properly and take your time learning it. If you do you will begin to move better and have to spend less time on mobility and stability, due to the Get-ups ability to make these aspects of fitness better.(If done well). So follow the progressions given in the video and get a coach if you need to. Enjoy the shoulder health and strength it offers.

If you need some more help drop me a line at with the tagline TGU and we can talk about how I will help make your Get-up better and more effective.

(The Turkish Get Up restoring movement for 300+ years)            Image

The Get up a.k.a the humbler of lifters and fitness buffs throughout the centuries. The movement that many cower and shy away from as you would someone who has some kind of contagious disease, because of its challenge. My desire for you is that after reading these last three posts is that you will no longer run away from it  but will embrace this exercise and its incredible benefits.

Today’s post is the continuation of our three-week journey into learning the Get-up. As you may remember we have taken our time over the last few weeks to break down the move into all of its important components. For two basic reasons: first, that it is easier to learn well if we did like that. Second: this type of attention to detail is required to do the get up well as you practice the whole thing from top to bottom

The complete Get up is done by rolling towards the bell in a fetal position and then pulling the bell in with both hands towards the belly button. Then we press the bell up with a packed shoulder and roll to the elbow while bringing your chest over and up. After this you will press your hand into the ground and bring your self up to a “tall sit” bring the leg back to the hand hinge under the weight and then stand up. To finish this exercise you will simply reverse every move. Please be aware that as you go down your moves should look the same as you were standing up.  Finally remember to hold every step for at least three seconds- the get up must be owned, not rushed!

That is it for now friends my hope for you is that you will embrace and practice this awesome exercise that will make you stronger and move better. Practice  and own it.  We will be back next week to give some workout ideas tot train the get up.

Happy training friends!