The Ultimate Power Move: The Turkish Getup

If unending burpees and planks are burning you out, try this equally economical workout that neglects no muscle.

Devised by 19th-century wrestlers, the Turkish Getup "hits the shoulders, chest, core, and legs; unlocks tight joints; and sends your metabolism through the roof," says Jon Engum, master kettlebell instructor with strength-training group StrongFirst.

The exercise takes you from lying flat to standing tall (wrestlers used it to prep for escaping a pin). "To get off the ground while holding a weight overhead, the entire body must work in cohesion under the load," Engum says.

A single rep of the Turkish Getup takes about 30 seconds—something many guys haven't experienced, Engum says. "Most moves have only one or two steps, and take just a second or two. That's why doing the Getup usually translates to new size, strength, and fat loss." Add it to your routine and watch your fitness level rise faster than the Ottoman Empire.

How It Works

The Turkish Getup requires more than transferring a weight from point A to point B. Here, we break it down step by step.

[A] (Pictured, top) Lie face-up on the floor, right knee bent with foot flat and left leg extended to a 45-degree angle from your body. Extend your left arm to a 45-degree angle as well, palm facing down, and grasp the handle of a kettlebell in your right hand. Press the kettlebell directly overhead, bell hanging against the back of your forearm. (Hold the bell overhead for the entire exercise.)

[B] Roll to the left, shifting body weight onto your left elbow and forearm, keeping back straight and eyes on the bell.

[C], [D] Slide your left hand backward slightly as you straighten arm and prop yourself onto left hand. Then press up into a bridge as you bend left leg and sweep it back under your hips. Your left hand, left knee, and right foot should form a triangle on the ground.

[E] Rotate left foot slightly to the left and raise and rotate torso so that it's vertical and hips and shoulders are squared toward right leg in a lunge. Take eyes off the bell and look forward.

[F] Shift body weight to right foot and straighten leg, bringing left foot to meet right, and stand tall. Reverse the movement. That's 1 rep.

3 Ways to Use It

As a Warm-up
Perform 1 rep without weight, then perform 2 reps with an 8- to 12-kilo kettlebell. Switch sides to complete set.

As Your Workout
Perform 10 reps with the heaviest kettlebell with which you can do a perfect rep. Shoot for at least 24 kilos. Switch sides to complete set.

To Complement Cardio
Perform 1 rep per side without weight before running, swimming, or cycling. After, perform 3 reps with an 8- , then 10- , then 12-kilo kettlebell. Switch sides to complete set.

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