This is How we Roll

This month we’re spending some quality time with one of the great feats of strength; the Turkish Get-Up. There are countless articles and videos out there extolling the virtues of this beautiful strength move, so I won’t bore you here with more of the same. Suffice it to say that the Get-Up is a Breakthrough favorite, and almost all of us can benefit from practicing it; in whole or in part. Let’s address an aspect of the exercise that I don’t often hear discussed in other circles. Consider the following question:

Is the “punch and crunch” portion at the bottom of the TGU a rolling movement, or a sitting-up movement?

If you’ve read this far, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Duh! It’s obviously both, Coach!”

Although this seems obvious to us when we’re not mid Get-Up, this little nuance is often lost when we’re actually under load. It’s not uncommon to find ourselves stuck with a lump of unyielding iron in one hand, trying in vain to crunch up onto one elbow, and executing all sorts of strange contortions and kicking motions that were never mentioned in the TGU handbook! Fear not. In many cases like this, the path to a graceful TGU is not a straight line, but a curved one. Trying too hard to sit straight up with the weight yields an exciting response from our abdominal muscles, but without the coordinated inter-muscle contraction associated with the roll, we can’t get to that elbow without a cheat of some kind. (“Tomahawk-ing” the straight leg springs to mind.)


If we can remember to “roll with it” a little bit at the same time that we juice up those abs, then we can all “punch and crunch” with the grace of a yogi and the strength of an iron tamer. To help us remember, a little extra practice on our FMS rolling patterns will carry over nicely to this exercise. As such, expect a good helping of rolling practice to be served up in our Complete Strength classes this month, along with a side of abs. If you’re practicing on your own at home, here are some links to simple FMS rolling drills that can help you get your TGUs off the ground:

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