Turkish Get-Up: Your Go-To Move for Total Body Fitness

By Dasha Libin Anderson, KettlebellKickboxing.com
August 8, 2015 Last Updated: August 17, 2015

Ever feel like you have no time to work out? Then finally you get yourself out for a run or a yoga class only to come home and worry about the fact that you didn’t get your weight training done?

The Turkish get-up is your one-stop answer to getting the benefits of weight training while working every last muscle in your body. Specifically, it builds strong, mobile shoulders; a strong core and back; mobile hips; and strong and toned legs and glutes.

Do this move 2–3 times a week to improve muscle endurance, stability, and balance.

How to Use

Add 15 repetitions on each side to your workout. Want more challenge? Get a heavier weight and work up to a maximum of 10 repetitions on each side.

Ladies, try starting with at least a 10 lb weight and work your way up to 20 or 25. 

Guys, start with 20 lbs and quickly progress to 30, 35, and 40 lbs.

The Turkish get-up is a traditional kettlebell exercise, but you can use dumbbells or any weight you feel comfortable with.

How to Get Up

When you first start, I advise you to do the motion without a weight because holding a weight overhead requires body awareness, which you’ll develop after you’re familiar with the move.

  • Start lying down with the weight in your right hand (if using) and your right leg bent.

Dasha Libin Anderson showing kettlebell workout at Anderson's

  • Raise your right hand straight up so your hand is directly above your shoulder. Your arm should stay up straight throughout the entire move. If you are not using a weight, you should still act as if there is a weight in your hand.

Dasha Libin Anderson showing kettlebell workout at Anderson's

  • Keep your gaze focused on your hand or weight the entire time until you reach the standing position, then you can look forward.
  • Push yourself up to your left elbow.

Dasha Libin Anderson showing kettlebell workout at Anderson's

  • Push yourself up to your left hand.

Dasha Libin Anderson showing kettlebell workout at Anderson's

  • Lift your body up by pushing your hips up to the sky.

Dasha Libin Anderson showing kettlebell workout at Anderson's

  • Bring your left leg back under your body and bend it so that you are now supported by your left knee, right foot, and left hand.
  • Come to a kneeling position by pushing off your left hand.
  • Come to a standing position with your left hand or weight overhead.

To Get Down

Getting down from the Turkish get-up is exactly the reverse of getting up.

  • Bring your left leg back to a kneeling position on the floor.
  • Put your left hand down by your left side. Do not position your hand too far back as this will make you sit on your heel, making it harder to do the next step.
  • Bring your left leg back out so that it is extended in front of you again (hips are still pushed up to the sky).
  • Bring your hips down so you are sitting on your buttocks. 
  • Bring yourself down to your left elbow.
  • Lower yourself from your elbow so you are lying completely on the ground. Your left arm should stay extended in the air if you’re going to do multiple repetitions.

Dasha Libin Anderson is the creator of Kettlebell Kickboxing. If you like this, check out KettlebellKickboxing.com, sign up for the KB community newsletter, and get free ebooks and workouts, including your free “Belly Fat Book” and “Burn 500 Book.”