Seven Training Tips For A Safe Turkish Get-Up


The Turkish Get-Up is a fantastic movement that, in my book of programming, is very useful and a daily essential for all ages.

For adults, the get-up is important because it brings us back to the ground.  As adults we don’t spend enough time doing groundwork, and getting up and down from the ground. Subsequently, we can lose ease with this skill and even lose it completely if we do not practice enough groundwork.

In addition, the get-up is a movement that simultaneously promotes both mobility and stability and takes us through multiple planes of motion by using several functional movement patterns, (such as the hip roll i.e. rolling, hip hinge, drop step lunge, etc.), that we have as humans.

Some people will train the full get-up loaded, others may never load it, and others may only train certain portions of it unloaded and/or loaded. You can break it up according to skill level, age, and generally what is appropriate for an individual given their injury and exercise history.

The get-up takes a lot of coordination and can be very challenging for some people, therefore, it is extremely important to learn all of the pieces of the get-up first before adding weight.

Tutorial on the Turkish Get-Up

Very often I see that the get-up is not taught and/or executed correctly or safely. Below are seven training tips to help you to train both a safe and effective Turkish Get-Up. Remember, per Rob Lawrence, former Senior RKC Instructor, “Safety is viewed as a part of, not the opposite of, performance”.

Turkish Get-up Start

  1. Kettlebell Position. The kettlebell handle should sit low in the heel of your hand and deep in the crease between your thumb and forefinger. Watch more about Safe Training Tip Number One in the video below:

As I mention in the video, tap into the sensory receptors that we have in the heels of our hands and on our forearms to help secure the strongest position of the kettlebell in your hand and on your forearm. This is one of the reasons, (in addition to having 8 years of experience training with kettlebells and building up the tissue tolerance and strength to support the weight), why small people like me can complete a 30kg (66lbs) Turkish Get-Up:

30kg Turkish Get-Up

(Learn more about how to execute a safe PR in the post “Is Your PR Safe?”).

2. Starting Position. Use two hands to pick the kettlebell up from the ground and aim it towards the direction of your stomach.

3. Vertical Forearm Set-up. While keeping both hands on the kettlebell make sure that your forearm is vertical, like the starting position of a floor press, and that you are not resting the kettlebell on your stomach in a “broken-arm” position.

Watch more about Safe Training Tips Numbers Two and Three in the video below:

Turkish Get-up Flow

4. Enjoy the flow! The Turkish Get-Up is not meant to be rushed. Take your time with each stage of the get-up; do not rush the movements. Enjoy the flow!

5. Neutral Wrist. Maintain a neutral wrist throughout the movement. Remember, there are no wrists in kettlebells! (Learn more about the importance of maintaining a neutral wrist in kettlebell training in the post by Eric Gahan, Co-Owner Iron Body Studios “The Kettlebell Wrist: It’s Simple, Keep it Simple!”).

Watch more about Safe Training Tips Numbers Four and Five in the video below:

Turkish Get-up Finish

6. Do Not Slide Into Home. Use your abdominals and glutes to lower yourself down with control to finish the Turkish get-up. Do not slide into home plate. Just as you pressed the kettlebell with both hands to start the get-up, lower the kettlebell down with both hands back to the vertical forearm position and roll over to your side to drop the kettlebell off safely.

7. Safe Transition to the Other Side. Do not drag the kettlebell across the front of your body to transition to the other side. This is not safe. Instead, half halo the kettlebell behind your head or simply turn your body around.

Watch more about Safe Training Tips Numbers Six and Seven in the video below:

If you would like to learn more about the Turkish Get-Up, I will be teaching  a  StrongFirst  Kettlebell  User  Course  at Iron Body Studios on June 5, 2016. You can register for this StrongFirst User Course HERE. Deadline to register is June 1, 2016.


This course is perfect for both coaches and fitness enthusiasts who are brand new to kettlebell training or need to brush up on kettlebell basics, OR  it is an excellent pre-requisite if you are preparing to attend your StrongFirst Level I Kettlebell Certification.

I will  teach  the  fundamental  kettlebell  movements*.

  • Deadlift
  • Two  Handed  Swing
  • Turkish  Get  Up
  • Military  Press
  • Single  Leg  Dead  lift

(*Although not part of the Kettlebell User Course set curriculum, if time, I will also cover the one arm kettlebell swing and single kettlebell clean and how a solid clean pertains to the set up of a strong kettlebell military press. I had time to cover these movements at the May 1, 2016 Kettlebell User Course at Iron Body Studios.)

I  will  also  cover  diaphragmatic  breathing  as  it  relates  to  these  kettlebell  movements,  as  well  as  programming  and  two  key  principles  of  programming:

  1. Continuity  of  the  training  process
  2. Waving  the  loads

A  $250  scholarship  toward  the  SFG  Level  I  Kettlebell Certification is  awarded  to  those  who  attend  this  course  and  sign-up  within  90  days  for  any  SFG  Level  I.

You can register for this StrongFirst User Course HERE. Deadline to register is June 1, 2016.

I hope to see you on June 5!

One Comment on “Seven Training Tips For A Safe Turkish Get-Up

  1. Pingback: Sport- und Fitnessblogs am Sonntag, 29.05.2016

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