Health How To

Turkish Get Up: the ‘Daddy’ of all exercises

Turkish Get Up
Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Dan Fallon explains the seven phases of the Turkish Get Up workout with his simple guide.

What If I told you there was one exercise that takes ten minutes a day and would build superhuman strength of your entire body.

Would you believe me? Maybe not.

I’m here to tell you that the Turkish Get Up (TGU) is the ‘Daddy’ of all exercises when it comes to hitting full-body strength, flexibility and coordination. It’s often butchered in the gym because men don’t give it the respect and time needed to cultivate a beautiful get up. But adding the TGU to some high intensity workout is like having decaf coffee, you just don’t go there.

The aim is to perfect the get up so that it complements the body rather than leaving it screaming from the pain after rushing through it or even worse lifting too much load. Men don’t spend enough time finely adjusting and being in the moment whilst executing this skilful movement.

Taking your time whilst breathing in each phase of the TGU enhances range of motion in the right places and stabilises in the joints you need to be safe during your training program.

The benefits of taking your time with the TGU when it comes to mobility and stability of the entire body are second to none. Some quote the exercise as ‘yoga for meatheads’ and I’ve even heard reference towards the movement building an ‘Iron Back’. Given the low back pain is the most common musculoskeletal condition that keeps people off work, I’d say this is a great injury prevention tool.

Why only 10 minutes?

I do my best to complete five repetitions each side per day. Each repetition I make last for 45 to 60 seconds. I take a deep breath in each pose and really focus on moving my body only when I feel absolutely tight in all the right places.

There are seven phases to get to the top of the TGU before you reverse the order:

  • Phase 1 The Roll – Ensure that you can feel the weight going through your foot to rotate the body over enough to pull yourself onto the elbow.
  • Phase 2 The Half Sit – Make sure the shoulders are squeezed together to prevent them from pointing after you have corkscrewed the arm around.
  • Phase 3 The Bridge – Ensure you lift you lift up the backside enough to sweep the leg through. Pause in this position to light up the hips.
  • Phase 4 The Sweep – This is the sexy part of the movement. Make sure you sit deep onto the heel to open the hips and the upper back.
  • Phase 5 The Hinge – Ensure you drive with the hips during this motion and not the lateral core.
  • Phase 6 The Lunge – Once you have organised yourself into the front lunge position brace the core hard to then stand up.
  • Phase 7 The Standing Plank – During this position squeeze the buttocks together as hard as possible and flare the rib cage downwards.

Watch Dan perform the TGU in the video below:

Dan Fallon is the author of Start With ONE THING: The Dad’s No BS Approach To Fat Loss And Fitness (Rethink Press, £12.99) and founder of online fitness dad community Super You Project.

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