The Turkish Get Up
Oh! I can’t wait to talk about this! I love a good time under tension, stabilization, and strength building movement. Let me explain. The Turkish Get Up (TGU) is a movement that more people should be doing yet most don’t even know it exists and therefore, is often overlooked. Potentially my favourite movement, it incorporates overall mobility and stability of the core, shoulders and hips. Come to think of it, no other single exercise comes to mind that does all of this! The TGU exposes weaknesses and imbalances, enabling us to identify asymmetries between the left and right sides of our bodies. Daily events such as carrying a child, groceries using a specific arm, having one foot forward on your bike or snowboard, always throwing or reaching with your dominant hand, leaning to one side while seated. That reminds me! You’re sitting up straight, core engaged and hips level while reading this, right? All of these examples will add to imbalances. For those of you who get as excited as I do about a body that functions/moves well, achieving a state of balance is a rather ideal (challenging) goal, but since we’re all goal crushers here, let’s talk about how to do a TGU. In very simple terms we are moving from laying down to standing, back to laying again, all with a weight held overhead. Please note- this can be done with or without weight. If the movement is new begin with no weight.
Step 1: Getting to your elbow and hand.
- Lie flat on your back with your right arm holding weight pointing straight towards the ceiling.
- Bent right knee bringing foot towards glutes.
- Opposite hand is on the floor at a 45-degree angle.
- Roll from forearm to palm (left arm).
- Keep eyes on weight overhead.
Step 2: Lift hips:
- Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips as high as possible
(create as much space between your body and the floor to give space for the next step of bringing leg through.)
Step 3: Leg through:
- Begin to pull left leg through creating a tripod with your foot, knee, and hand.
Step 4: Getting upright:
- Push off the floor with supporting hand.
- Keep your upper body straight and tall. You should be in half kneeling position with weight overhead.
Step 5: Standing up:
- The easy part. Stand up.
Step 6: Getting back to start position:
- Bend knee, lunging back to half kneel.
- Plant hand creating a tripod.
-Bring back leg through to front, straightening it once through.
- Go from palm, forearm to lie flat.
- Weight is still locked out overhead.
Wow, so many steps right? Yes, but I am willing to bet that if you follow the instructions and pictures, you will have TGUs figured out sooner than you’d expect. Let’s start by incorporating 5-8 per arm 2-3 days a week slowly adding weight if appropriate. Pay attention to where you feel weakness and focus on this. Move slow and methodically, this shouldn’t happen fast. Be sure to let me know how it’s going next time we see each other. Happy strengthening and stabilizing, friends!