Full-body Functional Exercises: Turkish Get-Ups

The Turkish Get-Up is a functional exercise because it is a total body workout. It strengthens your core and all major muscle groups, along with stabilizing the body. It improves flexibility and strength and can be done anywhere, home or gym and by anyone at any fitness level or age.

When I used to teach group fitness classes this was one of my favorite exercises to throw into the mix. You don’t realize how much you are using every muscle group until the next day. So try it and let me know what you think.

How To Do The Turkish Get-Up

  1. Lie face-up on the floor, holding a dumbbell in your right hand. Your left hand should be out to your side.  To decrease the difficulty you do not have to hold a dumbbell at all. Furthermore, when using some kind of weight, be sure to use the appropriate amount.  To increase the difficulty you may even hold another weight in the other hand, or use a kettlebell.
  2. Press the dumbbell straight up toward the ceiling with your right hand, directly above your shoulder. Once in position, keep your elbow locked, wrist straight and your eyes on the weight of your working hand.
  3. Bend your right leg, with the inside of your foot facing the floor (like standing up into a lunge), as you press through your left arm (for balance if you need it, your non-working arm will touch the floor to stabilize you) and raise your shoulders off the floor. The weight should move straight up a few inches.
  4. Once you’re balanced on your right foot, swing your left leg under your body, placing your left foot flat on the floor, now in a full lunge position.
  5. Press through both feet to a standing position with the working arm still holding straight up with (or without) the weight.

Reverse the movement to lie back down. You can finish reps on one side (performing up to 10-12 reps) before repeating with the other arm. Alternating arms provides for a more challenging set.

This exercise can be a great addition to any workout. Before doing any type of exercise routine, be sure to warm up properly. Furthermore, at the end of a workout, be sure to cool down and stretch properly.

Have you ever done Turkish Get-Ups before? Do you have any tips you would like to share? Or when you do try it, please let us know how it went and if you like the fun and uniquely named Turkish Get-Up.

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Photo credit: takoburito

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