If you could only do one efficient exercise for the rest of your life, it could be the Turkish get-up (TGU).
The Turkish get-up is one of the most effective total-body workouts since it uses every muscle in your body. When performing this kettlebell exercise, you'll travel across the sagittal, transverse, and frontal planes of motion as you go from a supine position to a kneeling position to a standing position and back to the floor.
The Art of the Turkish Get-up
The Turkish get-up is a great workout to incorporate into your warm-up regime, especially if you are starting. A few reps without weight will increase your heart rate and prepare you for the rest of your workout.
Step 1: Get into a fetal position on your left side with the kettlebell in front of your chest. Grab the handle with your left hand under the palm. If the weight is too heavy for you, hold it with both hands, using an overhand grip with your right hand.
Step 2: Roll onto your back with the kettlebell by your side. Bend your left knee about 70 degrees, put your left foot flat on the floor, and extend your right leg at a 45-degree angle from your body.
Step 3: Press the kettlebell straight up and over your chest until your elbows are fully extended. If the weight isn't too heavy and you can lift it with your left arm alone, you can. Then, put your right arm on the floor, extend it 45 degrees from your body, and put your palm down for support. This is where you start, and you'll return to it each time. Again, please keep your eyes on the kettlebell and hold it straight and in control over your head.
Once you become good at the movement, you can do Steps 2 and 3 simultaneously, but at first, you should do them separately.
Step 4: Roll up on your right elbow and keep your eyes on the kettlebell. There should be a straight, vertical line from the kettlebell down through your shoulders to your elbow on the ground.
Step 5: Straighten your arm on the ground to help you sit down. You can move your hand closer to your body if you need to.
Step 6: Push your hips off the ground until the thigh of your bent leg and your torso form a straight line.
Step 7: Swing your right leg back under your hips and kneel. Get up from your hand on the ground and stand up straight.
Step 8: Turn your back foot outward to get into a lunge position, keeping your knee on the ground.
Step 9: Stand up and bring your feet together.
Step 10: Do the steps backward, keeping your eyes on the bell the whole time.
Benefits of the Turkish Get-Up
The Turkish get-up targets practically every major muscle group, and the transitions between lying, kneeling, and standing focus on the core, hip, and shoulder stabilizing muscles.
Two of these transitions demand a powerful hip thrust, focusing on the hips, glutes, hamstrings, abs, and low back. The squat and lunge positions address all lower-body muscle groups.
Because you're carrying a weight over your shoulder and going through a range of motions while stabilizing it to prevent injury, you activate your shoulder, triceps, upper back, and chest and shoulder stabilizing muscles.
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