The Turkish Get Up…A Kettlebell Move that is as effective as it is Evil

Sometimes, the best exercises are the ones you never heard of. We get so into the workouts and habits we have always done that we forget there are other ways to get the same results. Some are more fun, and some are more effective, and some, are EVIL. Effective and evil…this describes the Turkish Get Up perfectly in my opinion.

Now, I have no idea who invented this move, but I am assuming it was a Turkish Muscleman who liked to punish himself and others. I do know that until the recent wave of kettlebell activity in the US, the main contingent of folks who did the Turkish Get Up was the famous strongmen that you used to see in old black and white photos. They had the handlebar mustaches and were often seen lifting kettlebells and barbells above their heads in all kinds of crazy ways. One of these lifts was the Turkish Get Up.

Before we proceed, I want to make a point of SAFETY. I implore you to seek a training session or two with a certified kettlebell instructor. Kettlebells can be extremely effective, but if you don’t know what you are doing, they can be extremely dangerous as well. Ok, now, are you ready to hurt? Let’s get started…

For this exercise, grab a LIGHT kettlebell. DO NOT try to test your strength on this move or you may wind up in the ER…seriously. For men, I would suggest a 36 pound kettlebell and for women a 20 pound one. The key thing is to get your form down so you can move through the exercise safely. Then, once you get that down, you can slowly progress with a heavier weight to increase the effectiveness of this exercise.

1. First, lie on your back and press a kettlebell straight up in the air with your left hand. Bend your left leg and keep your right leg straight out in front of you.
2. Now, push off with your left leg to your right side and rise up until you are supported by your right hand. Goes without saying, but KEEP THE KETTLEBELL PRESSED OVERHEAD.
3. Then, slide your right leg underneath you and you are propped up on your right need and your left foot.
4. Finally, slowly stand up in one motion while keeping the kettlebell overheard.
5. Ok, I said finally, but there is one more step…GO BACK DOWN THE WAY YOU CAME UP, then do the same thing while pressing the kettlebell with your right hand.
Now, if this sounds easy, it isn’t. It hurts, and it hurts a lot. You will have to keep your core stabilized throughout the entire movement to even get through the exercise. Once you get this move down, then you can certainly add some more weight, but you may not want to. I have worked with 220 pound MUSCULAR men who could not do 10 in a row with a 40 pound kettlebell. This is a full body exercise and can work as the foundation of ANY exercise program. You will build strength and muscular endurance and burn some serious fat. Give the Turkish Get Up a try and see for yourself why this exercise is both effective AND evil… Learn goal setting strategies for fast fat loss that work! Emile Jarreau a 32 yr. fitness industry veteran and developer of
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