Fit and fine by Kamal Singh CSCS: Have you heard about the Turkish Get Up?
What if I were to tell you that there is an exercise, which can increase your full body strength, improve coordination, decrease dependence on the bench press to hypertrophy the pressing muscles – chest, shoulders and triceps while shoulder health is maintained or becomes better? This magical exercise teaches how to go from lying down on the floor to standing up and back to lying on the floor. It also has direct transfer to any contact or combat sport like MMA, wrestling and Kabaddi. This exercise was originally called the Turkish Get Up – do not ask me why it was called that, now It has been shortened to the Get Up!
How to do the Get Up
The Get Up takes a certain amount of practise to get it right. I recommend that trainees start with just a five-pound plate in their hand. This description pertains to weight being held in the right hand.
•Lie flat on your back, with your right arm at right angle to the body and pointing to the ceiling. Keep the elbow locked. Throughout the exercise your eyes will be focused on the weight. Your right knee is bent while the left leg is flat on the ground.
•Come up on our left elbow while keeping the right arm as vertical as possible.
•From the elbow come on to the left hand. You are now in a reverse plank or bridge position. Left leg is straight, with only the heel touching the floor, right knee is bent and the foot flat on the floor. The right arm is still perpendicular to the body.
•Bring the left leg back and come to the half kneeling position. By this time the right arm is straight over head, elbow locked.
•Now stand up from the half kneeling position. This is half the repetition.
•To go back down – reversing the steps.
From the description and the photos, it is obvious that the Get Up is a complex exercise and should not be loaded in a hurry. Get used to the sequence of going from flat on the ground to standing up and back to flat on the back. Start with light weight and progress slowly.
There are two very specific “don’ts” of the Get Up. Since the body goes through a very wide range of motion, not sticking to these “don’ts” can lead to severe injury:
1.Keep the working arm’s elbow locked always. In the process of doing the Get Up, an unlocked elbow can lead to the weight being dropped with catastrophic results.
2.Keep your eyes always on the weight. Looking away can result in loss of control of the weight and a disastrous accident.
Including the Get Up in a training programme
I recommend substituting the Get Up for a horizontal pushing exercise like a bench press or a push up. Initially when you are learning to do it without any weight, you can use it as a mobility or core exercise. Once you start adding weight, then the bench press or push-ups can be dropped in favour of the Get Up.
•Finish the desired number of repetitions one side, then switch.
•Keep the number the of repetitions low to medium. Depending on the weight being used, 5-8 repetitions is a good range.
•Doing the repetitions at a brisk pace gets the heart rate up very quickly. Rest between reps if you feel the exercise is turning in a conditioning exercise.
•Working up to multiple reps with a 24kg kettlebell is a worthwhile long-term goal.
•To make things harder at a lower weight, do the bottoms up kettlebell Get Up.
•Pair the kettlebell Get Up with the kettlebell swing for a full body workout.
The Get Up is great for increasing strength in the shoulder girdle, improving core stability and kinesthetic awareness. Now go do it….
Kamal Singh is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist who has been coaching for 15 years
From HT Brunch, February 21, 2021
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