Time for our Workout Of The Month. Each month we take a look at a different exercise and break it down by movement, how to do it, and discuss some of the positive versus negative impact that it can have to you and your level of fitness. Some workout’s of the month breakdown how to do a common exercise, others feature a specific exercise. This month we’ll be breaking down what a Turkish getup is, how to do it, and why having the Turkish getup as a part of your workout routine can help build strength and balance.

What Is A Turkish Getup

If you’re any sort of gym or fitness aficionado you probably have heard of a Turkish Getup but like me, you probably only see someone do this exercise only once in a blue moon. It’s really a bummer because this is actually a great exercise on the floor. Generally, this exercise is performed with a kettlebell but can equally be done with a dumbbell. For those that really like a challenge the exercise can be done with a barbell.

So what is it? The Turkish Getup is a movement that begins with a person laying flat on the ground holding a weight above their face. Essentially, you get up off the floor to a standing position holding the weight above your head. Did that make any sense to you? No? Well, here’s what the exercise actually looks like:

how to do a turkish get up

What Muscles Does The Turkish Getup Work?

Well, honestly, too many to name. The Turkish getup is a pretty functional exercise in that you recruit dozens and dozens of muscles in the movement to help stabilize your body and lift your weight up off the floor. Here’s essentially what you’re doing: you’re using the muscles around your abdomen and spine (a.k.a. your core) to help stabilize your spine and hips as your legs help to push the weight and your body up off the ground. Next up, that shoulder that’s in the extended position: the weight being held up over the head adds to the instability and throws your center of gravity off. That imbalance stimulates your core muscles to engage even more. Meanwhile, the muscles in your shoulder work to stabilize your shoulder joint. The stabilization of the joint is a great thing – many people need more shoulder stability. As the muscles that support the joint strengthen, many people can see reductions in nagging shoulder pain. The increased shoulder stability can also transfer over to other types of lifts as well.

How To Do A Turkish Getup

Again, this exercise can be done either with a kettlebell or a dumbbell. If any weight is too difficult for you, stick with just your body weight until you’re able to get the movement down. As the movement sharpens, add weight to challenge your body.

Is the dumbbell/kettlebell getup too easy for you? Try replacing the weights with a barbell. The length of the bar adds increased instability and more of a workload to your body. Add weights as you feel that you need to progress.

And again, there you have it: the Turkish Getup. As I said before, it’s a great all around movement that builds stability and core strength. Questions? Let us know!

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