Turkish get Up – Possibly the best full body conditioning exercise

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I’ve been lifting weights for years and up until now I would always have plumped for the Squat or the Clean as the best single exercise.
In fact in recent years I have been asked the question several times in interviews and either of these has been my answer.
However in the last couple of years I have started to do more kettlebell routines and more recently I have been teaching the members of my TriathlonStrength programme how to perform the various stages of this exercise – The Turkish Get Up or TGU. I now believe that this is one of, if not the best, single exercise you can do.
I dont care whether your are a triathlete, cyclist, runner, swimmer, kayaker or just want to keep fit. This exercise has everything.
It requires and will help you to develop: balance, core strength, joint strength & stability, flexibility, power, muscular endurance and once you have settled on the optimal weight will also give you a great anaerobic workout.
For athletes requiring functional strength and having minimal time to achieve it then you could do this one exercise 2-3 times per week for 10-15 minutes and achieve excellent all round physical conditioning. This in turn would create a great platform for you to develop your aerobic fitness.
Its actually a very complex exercise and best broken down into the 3 stages that I highlight in the video. Once you have mastered these then you can start joining them together until you can perform the whole exercise in one hit.


Here’s how I would progress…
Day 1 (no weight; just balance a tennis ball in your palm)
Stage 1 (the sit up) 3 x 5 reps each side
Stage 2 (lunge preparation) 3 x 5 reps each side
Stage 3 (the get up) 3 x 5 reps each side
No need to do any other exercises in todays routine

Day 2 (light weight – 3-6k Kettlebell depending upon your ability)
Stage 1 (the sit up) 3 x 5 reps each side
Stage 2 (lunge preparation) 3 x 5 reps each side
Stage 3 (the get up) 3 x 5 reps each side
No need to do any other exercises in todays routine

Day 3 (light weight by now you should have worked out what weight you are comfortable with be conservative for now!!)
Stage 1, stage 2, stage 3 – 1 x 5 reps each side as warm up
Stage 1 & 2 – 2 x 5 reps each side
Stage 2 & 3 – 2 x 5 reps each side

Day 4 (use optimal weight)
Stage 1, stage 2, stage 3 – 1 x 5 reps each side as warm up
Stage 1 & 2 then Stage 2 & 3 – 1 x 5 reps each side
Full Turkish Get Up – 1 x 3 reps each side take 30s rest before transferring to other arm

Day 5 (optimal weight)
Stage 1, stage 2, stage 3 – 1 x 5 reps each side as warm up
Full Turkish Get Up – 3 x 3 reps each side take 30s rest before transferring to other arm

** Always make sure you have completed an aerobic warm up of at least 5 mins before starting and then some gentle mobilisations before starting the TGU
From this point start to include them on a regular basis in your workouts

If you’ve ever tried this then you’ll know what i mean and if you try it for the first time you’ll ache in places that you didn’t know existed.

Happy training

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