How To Not Screw Up The Turkish Get Up

We review everything you need to know about the famous Turkish Get Up (TGU)! Why is the TGU so popular anyway? The TGU is a full-body exercise where you start and finish on your back while holding a kettlebell in the air the entire time. What is it good for? Everything! Honestly, it is a full-body three-dimensional exercise that is great for shoulder stability, muscle endurance, & grip strength. I think a lot of people gravitate to this movement because it looks fun and unique. It covers the 3 C’s that every popular movement does - it is challenging, requires coordination, and works your core! As a movement professional, it is a great exercise to teach as it helps to improve body awareness and provides movement variability, which increases overall capacity.   Before we jump into the TGU, we want to make sure it is an appropriate and safe movement for you. Tune in at 0:25 in the video as I review some essential movement capacity prerequisites to be successful at the TGU.   Why overhead shoulder flexion range of motion (ROM)? I will get into this in a bit, but performing TGUs at a high level requires efficient movement and balance. If you cannot get your arm into the right position to balance the weight overhead, there will be compensatory strategies that may come at a price.    What is Trunk Side Bend? What is this hip motion you speak of? Having adequate trunk side-bend (lateral flexion) ROM is necessary to get into the windmill position that you’ll see in the video. Having adequate hip ROM will help to limit excessive back movement, which can help limit excess stress or strain on your spine. Specifically, you want to make sure you have enough hip abduction ROM (you can appreciate this with the side that has the knee on the ground), and hip flexion & external rotation ROM (you can appreciate this with the side that has the knee up).   Don’t forget about wrist strength and lunge skills! Can you tolerate loading your wrist? What is your grip strength like? Can you perform alternating reverse lunges with good form while holding a weight overhead? These are all important questions to ask and movements to test (see 1:30 and 2:10 for details).    Before you load up the TGU with a lot of weight, you should first master balancing a shoe with the movement! Tune in at 3:43 as I take you through a step-by-step process to be successful with this drill. Why a shoe? The TGU is all about efficient movement and balancing the weight. You’re going to protect your shoulder better and put less strain on your shoulder and your wrist the more balanced the weight is. A better-balanced weight also allows for more efficient movement. A sloppy TGU ends up being a lot harder on your body in general and a lot of compensatory motion at the shoulder joint so that you don’t drop the weight. The problem is we compensate at the shoulder because it has more freedom to do so as it is a mobile joint. However, the shoulder craves stability - sloppy TGUs can lead to sore shoulders and potentially even more serious shoulder issues.   Now that you’ve mastered the TGU with a shoe, let’s address the most common faults with the weighted TGU. Tune in to 8:40 as I breakdown these faults and more importantly provide solutions with different cues as well as accessory exercises!
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