Coach Alicia Fong

Just another weblog

Health tip for week Dec 21st

  • Do Turkish Get up – the one exercise that works your entire body

The Turkish Get Up is awesome and a lot harder than it looks.  It works your entire body from shoulders, abs, core, hips and legs.  This exercise is for total fitness.  It targets strength, mobility, flexibility, stability and coordination.

This exercise is really a primal fundamental movement.   Training or performing exercises like this one replicates how we use our bodies in the real world.  The linking of primal movements is exactly how we move around in every day life and on the sporting field.  Some coaches like Gray Cook and Peter Rouse will add that Turkish Get Up serves as a corrective exercise and movement screen.

Let’s see how Turkish Get Up works as a host of different movement patterns:


  • You start by lying down next to the Kettlebell.
  • While holding the Kettlebell, you roll to your back.


  • You push the Kettlebell above your chest.
  • You push up off your supporting arm to provide the room for your straight leg to sweep under the hips
  • In addition you hold a static push with the Kettlebell overhead as you perform the remainder of the exercise


  • You bend as you sit upright to commence the upward phase of the exercise
  • To sit upright and maintain vertical alignment, you must use your thoracic spine.  The exercise mobilizes your T-spine which is a key part of the human body when it comes to movement from the waist up.

Hip Extension

  • You elevate your hips as high as possible towards the ceiling, while keeping the hips as close to level as possible but without hyper-extending the lumber spine.  Lumber spine is about stability and not mobility (refer to joint-to-joint approach for training).
  • This position requires strength and flexibility.
  • This phase brings your upper body into optimum alignment in preparation for standing up.


  • You perform a lunge or squat as you stand up and again when you descend down depending on which variation of this exercise you are performing.
  • While holding the Kettlebell and maintaing vertical alignment, it develops coordination while performing a lunge or squat.

The amount of weight you should use depends on the amount of experience you have in doing the Turkish Get Up, not on your strength.  For females, I suggest to start with the smallest Kettlebell (4 to 6 Kg) for beginners and heavier if you have more experience.  For males, I suggest 8 to 12 Kg for beginners and move up if you have some experience.

Here is a video of a Turkish Get Up.  Enjoy.  Email me if you have any questions at


December 20, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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