Turkish Get Up 1, 2-Mar-2016

Been doing the Turkish get-up (TGU) since New Year’s, 3-4 times per week, as a ten-minute warm-up before all exercise sessions.

It’s an ancient movement I learned about in The Four-Hour Body, a great book which explains how the get-up was used by the Indianapolis Colts:  The TGU was one of their benchmark exercises, used for”pre-hab,” an ounce of prevention.  Players did it and were assessed on it regularly.  The correlation I love is that from 2000-2009, the Colts had the smallest players but the best injury record.

Gray Cook and Jon Torine worked with the Colts during this time and drove the use of their TGU, and they make available much knowledge on the movement.  The book Functional Movement Systems, related instructional videos, and Perform Better Summit seminars are all sources to consume their knowledge.  Mark Chang, Brett Jones and Pavel Tsautsoline are also good resources.

I don’t have the world’s strongest friends, but of them, the guy who IS the strongest does TGU’s before every training session.  This was another clue that maybe I should be doing them.

A TGU moves the body through all three planes of motion, trains dynamic stability, and reveals asymmetries.  (Asymmetries are often correlated with injury risk.)  I have much more trouble rolling to seated position on my right vs my left, for example.  The goal is to keep practicing and correct this over time.

So teach yourself, or ask someone for help, and learn the get-up.

Demo videos are below, along my own form-check.

Recording yourself is a great way to diagnose technique.  Better than mirrors, which I largely discourage, as they hinder proprioception.  

Gray Cook’s demo:

FMS Unplugged: Ep 7 – Cook – ing the TGU Speed Bump Part 2

Another good demo, from Zach Evan-Esh

Kettlebell Turkish Get Up

And my own diagnosis video:



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