It’s a love hate thing; Turkish Get Up.

I’ve been reading a book by Dan John called Intervention, Course Corrections for the Athlete and Trainer. You can find it on Amazon for about $5 on the Kindle.  In this book he brings it back to basics; both in movements and training clients. He is real adamant about heavy carries, hinging, going heavy and the dreaded Turkish Get Up. I love to hate this exercise. It is brilliant,  encompasses all basic human movements while holding a weight overhead, and freaking tough. My brother first had me do these about four or five years ago. I hated them then, and hate them now. This movement makes us roll, hinge at the hip, lunge, stand, THEN, repeat: reverse lunge, hinge at the hip and roll.  Did I mention with a weight overhead? Not only are you doing very basic movements, but lets do it with a weight over head, just to make it tough(er). This is incredible because of the amount of energy to stabilize at the shoulder and back while moving in multiple plains. The basic run down for this exercise is as follows:

1.) Start lying on your back with your left foot on the ground bent at a 90 degree angle like you are going to do a sit-up. Keep your right knee extended and straight on the ground.

2.) Have your left arm straight up in the air, with your right arm out to the side. For the first time though of this exercise I recommend you do it with no weight at all, with just your left hand in the air. As you feel more confident, add weight that is appropriate to you and your skill level.

3.) Keeping your eyes on your left hand, roll onto your right forearm from here, press up into the air and onto your right palm so that your right elbow is fully extended. From this position you can do one of two things; first you can hinge up ( like in the video) off your right heel elevating your hips then bring your right leg back into a reverse lunge, or bring your right heel backwards into a reverse lunge, further pressing your left hand into the air. One may be easier than the other, choose the one right for you.

4.) From the lunge position, stand up and place your feet together. You may think your are done, but you are not. Reverse the order now and place your right foot back into a reverse lunge.

5.) Extend your right elbow back and place your right palm on the ground. From here you can swing your right leg forward and hinge back to your heel (video) or kick your right leg forward and roll onto your buttocks.

6.) Roll back onto your right forearm and lay flight on the ground. That is one. Give me three and work your way up to five. Then repeat on the other side.

As you can see, this is a very involved movement with two different ways of completing it. The best thing about this exercise is that a mastery of each movement is required for the next. This goes for the acceleration stage of the up and the deceleration stage of the down. You may find just pressing up, acceleration, onto your forearm is hard, or it could the swinging of the right leg back in front on the down or  the deceleration. I challenge you to attempt this exercise just once. You will find weakness and areas you need to improve upon. It will suck, you might fail, but you will get better!  Once you master this movement, other areas of your training will greatly improve. If you feel you have plateaued, give the Get Up a try!

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