How to do a Turkish Get Up
Updated: Jun 14
There are plenty of other exercises that work the triceps, shoulders, pecs, core, lats, obliques, hips, glutes, quads, and hamstrings. A Turkish Get Up is one of them - and all at the same time.
A compound movement, the Turkish Get Up activates and strengthens the muscles, enhances shoulder mobility and improves posture. It’s a tricky move from the start and it may take some time to get used to, but the payoff is worth it.
Turkish Get Up technique is complex, but you can perfect your form over time. Here’s our guide on how to do a Turkish Get Up, step by step:
How to Do a Turkish Get Up with a Kettlebell
Resist the urge to get started with a heavy kettlebell. Begin by practicing the move without any weight at all, and consider using a small glass of water! If you can complete the move without spilling the water, you’re ready to try the Turkish Get Up with a light kettlebell. Keep it light and master ten repetitions per side before incrementally increasing the weight.
1. Get in the Starting Position
Make sure to take extra caution when getting the weights into position for the press. You can protect yourself by pulling the kettlebell close to your body and then rolling it on top of you.
Angle your weighted arm away from your torso at a 45 degree angle and balance the kettlebell with your hand deeply inserted through the window. Your forearm should be vertical. From here you can strongly press the kettlebell until your arm is locked out with the mass of the kettlebell straight over your shoulder.
2. Engage Your Lats
Ensure that your lats stay engaged and make sure the leg on the weight bearing side is bent, as that's the leg you'll use to help push yourself onto your free elbow. With the kettlebell locked out, roll yourself onto your un-weighted side, resting on your forearm.
3. Sit Up
Push your palm into the floor and straighten that arm while you sit up. Make sure your hand is set outside your hip so that you have a straight line from your hand to your hip to your opposite foot.
4. Get into a Tripod Position
From here, making sure your feet are splayed, you can lift your hips until you've created a strong tripod position out of your two feet and your one hand which is still planted in the ground. Note that one hip will be slightly higher than the other and that’s okay.
Now that you have space underneath you, there is room to sweep your straight leg behind you and into the beginning of the lunge position.
Make sure your lunge is wide enough so your knee does not travel over your toe, and lift your upper body to vertical. You're now hands-free and ready to stand.
6. Complete, Reverse, Repeat
Push your front foot into the floor and keep the kettlebell weight directly over your shoulder and hip as you stand up, bringing your rear foot next to your front foot.
Once you have stood fully and fixated the kettlebell, you can repeat the steps in reverse. Reverse lunge, hand to the ground, sweep the leg out in front, hips down, elbow down, shoulders down and return the bell to the chest.
With the right guidance, you can do a proper Turkish Get Up! Be sure to have fun, start light and finish strong.