Feel the burn with the Turkish Get Up

By Charles Esparas – Academy Trainer at Fitness First – Dubai Media City

Are you looking for a workout that rocks your core and major muscle groups in the body? Try doing the Kettlebell Turkish Get up and you will feel the burn!

The Kettlebell Turkish Get Up is considered to be one of the most complicated and most effective core Kettlebell exercises. Many coaches describe the workout as the “Moving Plank” wherein you will start from a lying down position and work yourself up into a standing position. Basically the movement is a combination of stability and mobility components of your body which make it a real challenge.

It is an exercise which appears to be complex, however once broken down into individual stages it is very simple. 

Below is the breakdown of each stage:

STARTING POSITION ⇧


STAGE 1: PRESS ⇧
From the fetal position roll onto your back and get the Kettlebell into the straight arm position.  Make sure you keep your eyes on the Kettlebell at all times.

Rotate your arm until it sits nicely in the shoulder joint. Use the opposite hand to adjust the Kettlebell position so it lays comfortably against the back of the forearm.


STAGE 2: POST ON ELBOW ⇧
Leading with your chest, push the Kettlebell into the air by lifting the shoulder off the floor, come onto the opposing elbow in one fluid motion.


STAGE 3: POST ON HAND ⇧
Squeeze the handle tight as you sit up along the line of your arm, first to elbow and then to hand.


STAGE 4: BRIDGE AT HIP ⇧
Push from the heel of the bent leg and drive your hips in the air and into full hip extension. There should be a straight line from the Kettlebell to your bottom hand. Create distance between the bottom shoulder and the ear and open up the chest. Squeeze the glutes tight.


STAGE 5: BRIDGE AT KNEE or SWEEP ⇧
Sweep the straight leg back and through to a half kneeling position. Try to bring the leg straight through rather than around in a semi-circular movement. Keep your eyes focused on the Kettlebell at all times. You should notice some good rotational mobility whilst performing this movement.


STAGE 6: HALF KNEELING ⇧
Adjust your feet to forward lunge position.


STAGE 7: STANDING ⇧
Drive through the front foot and stand. Reverse the exercise and repeat.


If this is your first time doing the routine, I would recommend you to do the following:

Half TGU without weight: Do step 1 to 3, repeat on the other side

Full TGU without weight: Do step 1 to 7, repeat on the other side

Full TGU with cup of water: Do step 1 to 7 by holding a cup of water. When you can complete the Turkish Get Up without spilling any water and then do the opposite side.

Full TGU with light Kettlebell: Do step 1 to 7 by using 8kg for women and 12kg for men until you can complete the drill and then do the opposite side.