Strength Exercise of the Week: 1-arm Bottoms-up Kettlebell Turkish Get-Up

About the Author: Eric Cressey

I’m a big fan of the Turkish Get-up.  It’s one of those exercises that affords so many benefits – core stability, hip mobility, scapular control, rotator cuff control – that you could make a list a mile long and still forget a few of the positives.  It is, however, one of those exercises where every rep takes quite a bit of time to execute, and there are a lot of cues to remember.  In fact, in referring to Turkish Get-ups the other day, a 17-year-old Cressey Performance athlete remarked:

“It’s like solving a damn puzzle every step of the way and that’s just to do one rep…stupidest thing I’ve ever seen in my program.”

I like to think of it as “exposure to a rich proprioceptive environment,” but I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree!  With that said, regardless of what you call it, it’s important to not let people rush through the get-up, as it should be more “segmented” to ensure that they don’t miss out of the benefits.  Young athletes, in particular, will want to speed through it and try to make it one fluid movement.  One of my favorite ways to prevent rushing is to simply switch to a bottoms-up kettlebell get-up.

Going bottoms-up increases the stability demands at the upper extremity, and in a more unstable environment, you have to move a bit slower. Additionally, this serves as a great challenges to the scapular stabilizers, rotator cuff, and grip musculature.

The next time you find yourself rushing through the get-up – or dealing with a client or athlete who is going through it too quickly – try going bottoms-up; it should clean up some of the issues you’re seeing.

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