Take your ab workout to your feet with this challenging multi-part movement that taxes your balance and body control.
Men’s Health Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., takes his time to work through the progressions of the Turkish Getup exercise. That’s not just so that he’s able to seamlessly move from the ground up when it comes time for the full version of the move—he takes a segmented approach to home in on the shoulders, forearms, and core more deliberately.
One of the most important aspects of this version of the Turkish Getup is the manner in which you hold the kettlebell. Rather than keeping the weight down, you should be holding the handle with the weight up (called “bottoms up” position). “The shoulder, elbow, and wrist have to work together to balance that bell,” says Samuel. “They do that by constantly applying force directly upwards, no matter what position I’m in during the Getup.”
To perform the Turkish Getup Challenge, you’ll need a kettlebell and some open space to spread out on the ground. If you don’t have a kettlebell handy, check out this option from Onnit. This is a progression, so you’ll perform each section consecutively, adding the next step as you proceed.
Men’s Health/Eric Rosati
- Lay on the ground with your right arm extended up, holding the kettlebell in the bottoms up position (hand holding the handle with the weight up). Have your right knee bent with your heel on the ground; extend your left leg straight out with your heel to the ground and your left arm straight out to your side with your palm on the ground.
- First Progression: Squeeze your core and press off the ground with your left elbow, then hand to lift your torso up. Keep the kettlebell aloft in your right hand. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
- Second Progression: Perform the first progression, then push off the ground with your left hand and right foot, squeezing your glutes to lift your hips to a bridge position. Keep the kettlebell aloft in your right hand. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
- Third Progression: Perform the first two progressions, then loop your left leg underneath your planted arm and rest your knee on the ground. Keep your eyes on the weight; your arms should form a straight line as you keep the kettlebell in position. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
- Fourth Progression: Perform the first three progressions, then straighten out your torso and take your left hand off the ground. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
- Fifth Progression: Perform the first four progressions, then stand straight up. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
The most important part of the movement is keeping the weight stable. “Your goal is to make it through all the steps of the getup without losing the bottoms up position,” says Samuel.
Try the Turkish Getup Challenge at the beginning or end of your full body workouts with 3 to 4 reps per arm of the whole progression. For more tips and routines from Samuel, check out our full slate of Eb and Swole workouts. If you want to try an even more dedicated routine, consider Eb’s New Rules of Muscle program.
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