19 Sep 3 Common Mistakes With The Turkish Get Up (And How to Fix Them)

TGU MistakesThe Turkish get up is an amazing and powerful exercise that’s evolved quite a bit over the years.

I mean, who wouldn’t benefit from this exercise?

It’s a “one stop shop” for a lot of things.

In the most simple terms, the Turkish get up (TGU) is getting up from the ground and then going back down, ideally under a heavy load.

Of course, there’s A LOT more to it than just getting up and going back down, but there’s been a big evolution of this exercise.

And, it’s critical to get the movement down before adding any type of external load or weight.

Notable benefits of the TGU are:

  • improving movement patterns
  • improving mobility
  • outstanding shoulder and upper body strength exercise (*it’s spectacular for the rotator cuff muscles)
  • surprisingly excellent for conditioning, when programmed correctly
  • dynamic strength development of the trunk and “core” musculature
  • improved athleticism

The TGU is an exercise that deserves to be in the programming of every serious fitness enthusiast and athlete, that would be YOU.

Unfortunately, after learning how to perform a TGU, there are some common mistakes, even with the more “seasoned” kettlebell enthusiasts.

To see the Turkish get up movement, check out the video below (as demonstrated with no weight).

I’ve identified 3 common errors in performing the TGU for you to be on the look out for in order to maximize the benefits.

RUSHING THE MOVEMENT.

Rushing the movement is a very common error with the TGU.

While other kettlebell exercises are fast and explosive, it’s important to remember that the TGU is a slow, controlled movement pattern.

Part of the evolution is the step by step approach (more on that below).

Moving through the TGU too fast actually takes away from the movement.

Why?

For starters, you’ll be more likely to get injured if you rush this movement under a heavy load.

You want to take your time.

The TGU is a movement and an outstanding and unique exercise.

We need to respect it and not rush through it, as rushing through this exercise offers no benefit.

If you want “conditioning” benefits, keep the movement slow and controlled, just add reps.

After a few reps of the TGU under load, you’ll experience the conditioning benefits.

This exercise is designed to be done as a slow and controlled movement.

The pace of the exercise will teach you skilled movement, maximize time under tension, and minimize any movement errors along the way.

THE FIX:  

Simple – SLOW DOWN.

PERFORM TGU’s SLOWER THAN YOU ARE COMFORTABLE DOING.

NOT OWNING EACH STEP.

Another common mistake that goes along with rushing the movement is not “owning” the steps along the way.

If you rush the TGU, you won’t own the steps, right?

What do I mean by “owning” the steps.

Here’s an example.

When your hand (or elbow) is on the ground and the opposite arm is holding the kettlebell, you need to make sure you are set, stable, and in a good position.

Is the arm holding the kettlebell vertical?

Is your weight bearing shoulder “packed,” stable, and positioned down and away from your ear?

Is your spine in a good position?

Is your head in a good position?

Are your legs in the right positions or is one of your knees collapsed in?

I think you get the point.

We should own each step or transition along the way.

A word of caution here though.

Is it possible to be overly technical with this exercise?

Maybe.

It really depends on what we want from the exercise.

We need to respect it, so without making it overly complicated, simply make sure that you slow the movement down and make sure you’re safe and stable with your transitions.

One of the great things I see with the TGU is the constant refinement of the exercise, but the most important thing is to be safe and in stable positions throughout the exercise.

Owning the movement is being in a good position.

THE FIX:

ALWAYS BE IN A GOOD POSITION.

BE SAFE AND STABLE DURING EACH MOVEMENT TRANSITION.

PAUSE AT EACH STEP ALONG THE WAY.

How technical you want to be is up to you.

Personally, I appreciate the technical aspects of the TGU to refine the skill of human movement.

Owning the movement is a mindset and an awareness.

POOR BREATHING.

Let’s face it, breathing is totally underrated in many performance training exercises, yet it’s one of the most important elements.

Even if the 1st two things are corrected, it’s usually poor breathing that can still be a problem for most.

You want to keep relaxed breathing through the TGU that will keep you strong and stable.

Don’t hold your breath, but be aware your breathing patterns.

Are you breathing relaxed or are you tense as you’re performing the exercise?

Are you holding your breath?

Are you aware of how you’re breathing through the transitions?

I like to powerfully exhale at certain transitions (for example, the final step – the half kneel to stand transition).

The exhalation here is similar to finishing off an overhead kettlebell press.

As with all exercises, you need to be aware of your breathing to maximize performance.

Again, the importance of breathing is very underrated, but extremely valuable.

THE FIX:

BE AWARE OF YOUR BREATHING and FOCUS ON RELAXED BREATHING THROUGH THE MOVEMENT.

LEARN TO USE CONTROLLED EXHALATION at the right times during the transitions.

That’s it.

3 common mistakes and fixes to improve training performance with the Turkish get up.

Now that you know, it’s time to take the knowledge and apply it.

  1. SLOW DOWN
  2. OWN EACH STEP
  3. FOCUS ON YOUR BREATHING

If you like the TGU and really want to improve your performance for the results mentioned above, be sure to join the community and subscribe below to find out what’s coming.

I’ll see you on the inside.

Scott Iardella writes about strength training methods to optimize health and performance. If you enjoyed this article, join a strong and growing community of passionate fitness enthusiasts and subscribe below to get a ton of cool, free stuff!  
Subscribe below now or go to RdellaTraining.com/join to get your FREE Report, Kettlebell Impact with 12 Powerful Kettlebell Workouts. 
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