How To Do a Turkish Get Up Step By Step
Once you get familiar with kettlebell training...
Learning how to do the turkish get up is on the top of skills to master.
BTW... I'm going to call it the get up from here on out.
I am going to take you through the key steps of:
- Getting from the ground to the feet
- Getting from your feet back to the ground
Then I'll give you some of my favorite drills so you can practice safely and start upping the amount of weight you use.
The Get Up Goal
The turkish get up is a slower exercise. It's not meant to be rushed through.
So the goal is to go heavy.
You'll learn how to control your body through...
- Neuromuscular connection and propriosection
Neuromuscular connection means you'll know where your body is as you're moving it. (proprioception)
Let's get strong!
Step 1: Lay On The Ground
Easy enough. But it's how you're going to lay on the ground.
- Lay on your back with your legs in a V shape.
- The leg that's on the same side as the arm holding the kettlebell is bent at 90 degrees.
- Your right arm is holind the kettlebell over your chest, fully extended.
- Your left arm is about 45 degree angle from your shoulder line and spine, on the ground.
Take a look at the pictures to get set up.
The most common mistake is having the non-kettlebell arm too high. This is going to make is very hard to dig your elbow in and you'll see in the next step.
Remember... 45 degrees from your shoulder line and spine line.
Step 2: The Dig In
The "dig in" is not a technical term. It's what I call the most important part of the get up because this is where most women struggle when using heavy weights.
It's hard to get the get up started... you won't feel this now as we learn it... but when you start added in heavy weights... getting this whole process going is tough.
I call this the dig in.
Dig Your Heel In
The heel of the bent leg digs and starts to press into the ground. It's a pre-press. Creating initial tension.
This will be vital in a second.
Dig Your Elbow In
Your non-weight baring arm... left in the pictures... dig the elbow of that arm into the ground and pull back into your body.
What have you done here?
You're created tension in you leg and arm and turned your muscles on so everything is ready to go.
Practice this step... once you get the feel for it... starting the get up get's a lot easier.
Step 3: Find Your Forearm
Sounds easy but... this is still part of what makes getting started with the get up so hard.
Do Not Crunch Up
You're not crunching to start the get up process.
It's impossible to crunch up once you're using a heavier weight.
Roll Over and Up
Push HARD into your heel.
Dig HARD into your elbow.
Start to roll over on your digged in elbow... and as you feel your elbow take weight... push your kettlebel up into the sky and come onto your forearm.
So it starts as a roll over with your heel pushing in.
You elbow digs in as a pivot point so you can then press up and get onto your forearm.
This takes practice.
Don't get frustrated. It's a new move for your body to learn. Keep practicing it with:
- No weight
- A shoe... we'll get to this
- Light weight
I call this part of the get up a quarter get up. I actually use it in workouts all the time as an exercise in and of itself.
Step 4: Find Your Hand
Now you're on your forearm. Press through your shoulder and extend the kettlebell (pretend kettlebell) up into hte sky.
Press your hand... the non-weight baring hand... into the ground and come up to your hand.
Sometimes it's at this step you might pick your hand up and move it back a little.
Technically it's good not to do this... but I've broken down the get up with hundreds of clients and not one single person is perfect on a technical level.
This is one of those areas.
It does feel better once your get on your hand to jump it back close to your body and up.
It's a slight move but again it seems to help.
Don't do it until your on your hand though.
Throughout the get up, there will be lots of positions where we'll wiggle around and re-adjust our positioning.
Step 5: Thrust Your Hip High
This is the "pretty" part of the get up... the part you see on Instagram.
You thrust your hips off the ground and into the sky so your body is almsot fully extended.
The purpose of this is not just to look cool. You're making room for your knee to come all the way under your body. This is tough and we'll get to it in the next step.
First... I do want to point out this position is great for shoulder strength and stability.
So push through both shoulders. You can even hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds... I tell you more about holding positions later as well.
Step 6: Knee Under Your Body
This is tough for a lot of women (and men) to do.
You have to get your fully extended leg all the way back, close your left hand in our example... or the hand that is on the ground.
This requires mobility.
Typically what happens is the bent leg's heel will come off the ground to help me room.
Rather than let this happen, before you bring you leg all the way back... shimmy your other foot out a few small steps.
Keep practicing this with no kettlebell until you can easily get into the position.
Things move pretty quick from here.
Step 7: Come Up To Kneeling And Stand Up
Now just come up kneeling.
Dig your back toe in and stand up.
This should remind you of doing a prisoner squat. By now prisoner squats should be easy... but if you ned help read how to do prisoner squats .
You are at the top of the get up. Congrats!
Let's get back down. It's mostly the same but there's one little movement you need to be aware of.
Remember... LOOK AT THE KETTLEBELL.
The only time you can look around is at the top of the get up when you're essentially in a kettlebell press position.
This is important and it's rule number 1... NEVER take your eyes off the kettlebell.
Step 8: Slap Your Leg and Step Back
Step back with the leg you can slap.
I learned this technique from my RKC teacher. You can only slap one leg... it's a great way to not forget which leg goes back first.
Make sure at this point, you're looking back at the kettelbell.
Step back until you're kneeling.
Before you get to step 9... do this...
When you're kneeling... walk the foot out front off to the side a couple steps.
This will help create some space for the last tough step coming up in step 10.
Step 8.5: Pivot Your Foot Over
This is a small step, but important to set you up for step 9.
You need to pivot on your knee and bring your foot over. Check out the pictures.
This is going to make it easy to pop your hip to the side when you put your hand down. You'll see that in the next step.
Remember... this is an important part of step 8... don't forget it.
Step 9: Place Your Hand On The Group
You're going to place your hand on the ground. But the location is really important.
Most beginners like to put their butt to their heels and place their hand back by their foot. Don't do this!
The key is two fold...
- Keep your hips high so you can complete step 10.
- Place your hand about 6 to 8 inches from the knee that's on the ground.
This position should be familiar. It's the same on step 6... Knee under your body.
When you're going to down to place your hand on the ground... you're doing a little rotation.
It's an opening up of your chest towards the ceiling as it rotates towards the arm that's holding the kettlebell.
Watch the video below and you'll see it.
Practice without a kettlebell and you'll feel it.
Let me know if you have any questions about it. DM me on my Instagram.
Step 10: Kick your Leg Through
This is it. The last tough step of the turkish get up.
You're going to take your back leg. The one with the knee on the ground... and kick it through until it's fully extended out in front of you.
This is a repeat of step 5.
Make sure you're extending through your shoulder...
- Pushing into the ground hard.
- Pushing the kettlebell high.
One quick note...
Remember in step 8 how I told you to step over your front foot a little?
Shifting your foot over gives you more room to kick your leg through. It keeps you from getting all bunched up.
Step 11: Sit Down Lay Back
All you have to do now is sit down and lay back with control.
You'll put your butt on the ground.
Find your forearm and just lay back wihout losing control of the motion or weight.
Then bring the weight down and rollover until it's on the ground.
Congratuations... you've just learned every detailed step of the Turkish Get Up.
Watch The Whole Turkish Get Up
The get up takes practice. So don't rush it.
1. Start with no weight to get the movement
Remember to always watch your hand as if you were carrying a kettlebell or dumbbell.
2. Use a shoe first
Grab a show and do a getup with the shoe on your fist. This will help your balance... pacing... and control.
3. Go light at first
Go light so if you need to bail at any moment you can easily get out of the situation.
4. Have a spotter
When you go heavy have somebody spot you so if you need help they can just take the weight away from you.
Make sure you checkout my getting started guide with kettlebell training .
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