We’ve had lot of Turkish Get Ups in our members’ training plans lately, and I just love seeing people get better at this incredible exercise. I’ve also been doing lots of Get Ups in my training, and although I’ve been doing them for almost 15 years now, I still learn something new every time I practice them.
The big target of a Get Up is shoulder mobility, stability and strength, as the exercise takes you from lying down to standing and back down again with a weight overhead. The upper body benefits alone are enough to recommend this exercise be part of your program regularly, but the Get Up has so much to offer aside from shoulder health. Practicing the Get Up can help teach and build core strength and stability, as well as hip mobility and stability. I personally like to really go deep with Get Ups, slow them down, and allow myself to use them as an assessment of how I wear my body differently from one side to the other.
I will admit, the Get Up is hard, and not everyone loves them like I do. There are a lot of steps to remember, and it takes a bit of practice before you start to feel like you are getting the hang of them. Injuries or chronic pain in areas like the knees and back may make full Get Ups inaccessible, but there are still huge rewards to be reaped by practicing partial Get Ups. So, I’ve got a few tips based on what I’ve been seeing our members working on recently to help you to a more graceful Get Up:
Find the 45s - I think a big reason Get Ups feel uncomfortable for many people is that they don’t give themselves enough space, and they get jammed up on their own arms and legs. Once I’ve rolled to the side and I have pressed the bell, I take both legs in a “V” shape. Then I slide the leg that will be bent so that it is planted close to my hip at that 45 degree diagonal angle. I set my straight arm to match the 45 degree angle of the straight leg. When I roll to my elbow, I roll along that diagonal of the straight arm and leg, rather than trying to roll straight up. If you have done that correctly, you will have the glutes of the straight leg on the ground, and the glutes of the bent leg off the ground. Continue that diagonal motion as you come off your elbow into the “tall sit” position, so that your body is slightly angled toward the side of the arm posted on the ground. This makes it easier to externally rotate and pack that shoulder. When you are coming back down from standing, make sure to sweep your straight leg through at same 45 degree angle you had on the way up.
Hinge Your Hips - Coming up from the “low sweep” into the lunge, as well as descending back down to once again find the ground with your free hand should be a hip hinge movement. Especially on the return to the ground, it’s a very common subtlety that often gets lost, and as such the spine starts to get more involved than it should by laterally flexing. A good tip to remind yourself to hip hinge is to give yourself a little “chop” with your free hand at the hip crease, and slide your hand down the leg to be placed on the ground in line with your knee (not directly next to your knee, but several inches away.)
Step to 90 Degrees - I was first taught the “windshield wiper” as the way to move in and out of the lunge position, but that isn’t always comfortable on the knees. The other option here is to step the front leg around to 90 degrees. Make sure the angle you step is a full 90 degrees, otherwise you won’t be in a good position to hip hinge as discussed above.
If you’d like to watch a video of the full Turkish Get Up, as well as examples of these tips, you can go to our Instagram @breakthroughgym and check out a reel I posted earlier this week. Give yourself grace to practice with patience and an a mindset to be a student of your body, and you will indeed find not only a graceful Get Up, but all the tremendous benefits this exercise has to offer!
Strength & Love,