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How To Do a Turkish Get-Up – The Complete Guide

Turkish get-ups, performed with a kettlebell or dumbbells, is an excellent functional exercise. It develops the musculature of the whole body, trains coordination and balance. Doing it will require you to have basic physical fitness and some experience with weight. Exercise is actively used in CrossFit and kettlebell lifting.

Benefits of exercise

Turkish get-ups are a whole sequence of movements that must be performed to get up from a prone position with a kettlebell in an outstretched hand and then return to it. Even doing it without weight is not an easy task. During the different phases of the exercise, the muscles of the core, shoulders, legs, and arms work. In other words, the main advantage of exercise is that it loads the entire musculature, forcing the various muscle groups to work in harmony and coordination.


In addition, the inclusion of the exercise in the training program will allow:

  • Make the tendons more elastic and the joints mobile. Strengthening the shoulder joints and arm muscles in particular. It helps a lot when doing other strength exercises like the military press, arm raises, etc

  • It’ll teach you how to keep balance, perform movements in combination

  • Burn a lot of energy, which is important when losing weight

It is also worth noting that Turkish get-ups should be avoided in case of shoulder injuries. Either do them without weights or use a kettlebell or dumbbell of minimum weight.

Technique of Turkish get-ups

Describing the technique, it’s important, on the one hand, to divide the complex movement into several phases, so that it is easier to navigate in the sequence of their execution, and on the other hand, not to tighten the instruction too much, so that when reading the last lines, the first ones are not forgotten.

turkish get-ups-technique

The sequence of lifting the kettlebell

So Turkish kettlebell get-ups are done like this:

1Lying on the floor, legs and arms outstretched, the kettlebell stands near the shoulder. The hand with the kettlebell is working, the second is the supporting one

2Turn around, take the kettlebell, and lie on your back again. Turn towards the kettlebell. Take it by the bow with both hands. Lie down

3Lift the kettlebell up with one hand. Lower one hand to the floor, and raise the kettlebell with the other. Fix your gaze on the weight

4Bend your leg and stand on the elbow of your supporting arm. The leg from the side of the hand with the kettlebell must be bent at the knee and firmly placed on the floor. Lift up with the abdominal muscles and lean on the elbow of your free hand

5Straighten the supporting arm and lift the pelvis off the floor. Twist the body, even more, straighten the supporting arm. Leaning on an arm and a leg standing on the floor, straighten the body and raise the pelvis above the floor. The position of the working arm doesn’t change – it’s still extended upward

6Bend your free leg and put it on your knee. Bend your unused leg and kneel

7Tear the supporting hand off the floor and straighten up. Transfer the weight from your supporting arm to your feet and lift it off the floor. Raise the body vertically. Stand on your knee and foot. Lower yourself to the floor as if lunging

8Stand on both feet. Transfer your weight to your foot, stand on both legs, and stretch upward

Half of the exercise ends here, however, to complete the cycle, you also need to lower yourself correctly. All movements are performed in reverse order:

1Take a wide step back and kneel down. Leave the opposite leg with the kettlebell back. Get down on one knee

2Lean back with your supporting hand on the floor. Straighten your standing leg

3Pull the other leg out from under you and pull it forward

4Lower the pelvis to the floor, bend the supporting arm at the elbow

5Lie down in a horizontal position. Keep the kettlebell on a straight arm; you don’t need to put it on the floor. From this position, the next kettlebell lifting begins

“When you need to change your hand during the exercise, do it in a standing position, at the top of the movement.”

Do the exercise 5 times on each side in one set. There can be 2 or 3 such sets, depending on your level of training.


Here are some helpful tips to help you get the most out of your workouts:

  • To load the shoulders, Turkish get-ups can be combined with military press or side raises

  • Start with lifts at the start of your workout while your muscles are still not fatigued by another load

  • Don’t bend the wrist in which you are holding the kettlebell

  • Practice the technique with a minimum weight kettlebell and only then increase the weight

Do it regularly, and Turkish get-ups will work all your muscles and improve coordination.

I'm a professional fitness instructor and nutritionist, runner, husband and father. I do my best in providing the right guidance when it comes to the grounds of sexual health, nutrition and common fitness.

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