Module THREE:
The Kettlebell TURKISH Get Up

For anyone who wants to develop overall body strength, promote shoulder health, enhance fitness, improve core conditioning and functionality, then the Turkish Get up is a must addition to any training routine.


Legend has it that when old-time strongmen were asked to take on an apprentice, they would send the applicant away, telling him not to return until he could perform one Turkish get-up using a 100-pound weight. 


It is also believed that ancient wrestlers in what is now Turkey invented the get-up to prepare for their grueling competitions. 


History also reports that Turkish Janissaries used the get-up as a part of their strength training regime. 


Russian soldiers used kettlebells to prepare for war. It made them strong and provided them with the endurance they needed for battle.


And now you too can use the Turkish get-up as a way to prepare for anything life throws at you. 


It maybe an old ancient exercise, it is still used in the present day as part of elite athletes training programmes.

The get up is quite often overlooked or misunderstood as an exercise, but once you learn the movement, the benefits are mind-boggling.

To start with, it exposes weaknesses and imbalances. The Turkish Get-Up enables you to identify asymmetries between the left and right side of your body.


For runners, this is a huge injury-proofing benefit. Once you dial in this movement and each of its steps along the way, you will start improving your overall mobility, stability, and the often-overlooked time under tension.

The get-up gives instant feedback as to what you need to work on. 


Think about this for a moment. The get-up requires you to hold one arm in a stable overhead position while moving through multiple planes of motion, all while supporting yourself with one hand and transitioning from lying to kneeling to standing. 

The Turkish Get Up is best done with a Kettlebell as it helps keep the arm straight and vertical as it hangs off the back of your hand.


NOTE: In the beginning practice the turkish get up by either using just your own bodyweight only or a water bottle while you master the movements.

  1. Builds total body strength

  2. Increases overall stability

  3. Awareness

  4. Balance

  5. Coordination


Get into position. Lie on your side, one hand under the kettlebell handle and the other over the top to support


Roll onto your back with your right knee propped up and your left leg flat on the ground. Raise your right hand to the ceiling and left hand now out to the side (see image) beginners start the Turkish get-up without a kettlebell initially.


Ensure wrist is locked and straight at the top position. Make sure the wrist is not bending backwards.

The first movement in the exercise is rolling up to your left elbow (or to whichever elbow is not extended upward) and then onto the hand in one complete move..


Do so by keeping your raised hand completely straight. Roll from the shoulder up and slightly to the side to prop up.


Make sure to keep yourself looking at your raised hand (or the weight you're holding) at all times. Left hand is drawn in beside the hips (see image)

From your base position, raise your bum off the ground using the supporting hand.

Move the front foot (the one on the opposite side of the raised hand) back and underneath you pushing your hips back until you can put your knee on the ground.

By this point you should still have your right arm raised to the ceiling, your left foot flat on the ground and your left knee posted on the ground.

Stand up. From the kneeling position simply stamp the right foot & stand up.

Do so by extending your right knee as you raise your left leg to a straight position.

Again, keep your raised arm straight as you do this. Once you have finished the exercise, reverse the steps back to a lying position. Then change sides and repeat, remembering to take the kettlebell around the head to switch sides rather than over the body or over the head. Keep it safe at all times


As you can see the Turkish Get Up is quite a complex movement but when you break it down it becomes a lot more manageable.

Here is how I recommend that you practice and develop the movement:

Step 1 – Half Get Up

As with all exercise, you should only load the body when you can perform the movement without a weight.


Start by practicing the Turkish Get Up from steps where you finish at the the sit up position and then return slowly back to the start position again.

Practice on both sides until the movements from step 1 to 3 are very smooth. You will be getting a great core workout if you take your time and perform the movements correctly.

When you can perform 10 repetitions smoothly on each side move onto step 2 below.

Step 2 – Add a little weight

Once you have mastered the half get up progress onto the full get up still without using a kettlebell. Keep the whole movement slow and controlled.

Practice the full movement holding a cup of water. When you can complete the Turkish Get Up without spilling any water, move onto the next step below.

Step 3 – Fully Locked & Loaded

Similar to step 2 but this time you are going to use a kettlebell. You can start with whatever weight you feel comfortable with but usually Men start with a 12kg / 25lbs kettlebell and Women use an 8kg / 15lbs.


There are not many muscles that are left out when you perform the Turkish Get Up. The real beauty of this exercise is that every muscle has to work with each other in order to complete the full movement.

The Get Up is complex. It requires constant cross overs between the left and right side. Stabilising muscles have to hold tight as larger prime mover muscles work in sync with them. Joints must also be supple enough to put the body in the correct alignment throughout the movement.


After watching the videos and reading the technical breakdown it's all about you practising.....


Kettlebell training is all about practice, practice, practice. I cannot emphasise this enough.

When you decide to learn how to use a kettlebell, you become a student of kettlebells.

Below you will find your kettlebell workouts that you can use to practice.

Please note: I recommend that you spend some time practising the half get up and full get ups without weight before starting the workouts just to make sure you are happy with the technique and movement.


OK so this is important: If you have questions about anything to do with this exercise then you must ask. Fill out the contact box below and I will get back to you. 

First practice the half get up (without weight) and once you're ready submit a video of you performing the Half Get Up first to and I will analyse it and give you feedback.


Getting the initial part of the movement right technique ensures that you can progress the exercise safely.

At the end of the day you want to do it properly, right?

That's what i'm here for to support and coach. So why not make full use of it.

Thanks! Message sent.


No responsibility is accepted for any injury, loss or damage suffered as a result of the use of this information or reliance upon it. it is the responsibility of users to satisfy themselves as to their medical and physical condition, in respect to undertaking the exercises, information and recommendations made. Irrespective of a user's medical or physical condition, no responsibility or liability is accepted for any injury, loss or damage suffered by any person as a result of undertaking these exercises or adopting the information and recommendations.