My top 3 kettlebell exercises can add a fun and functional dimension to your weight training and bootcamp workouts. I love them and use them regularly. Here is the second instalment in this three part series. If you missed it, see the first part here. As I said before, I love the way that the kettlebell encourages flowing, truly functional movement for real world strength and fitness. I now give you the Turkish Get Up.

Turkish Get Up

Popular for centuries amongst wrestlers and strongmen and more recently, strong women alike, the TGU is a total body exercise. It features in my eBook “Eat and Move”  and remains a firm favourite. For the purposes of instruction, I like to teach it back to front. Traditionally, you started on the ground and your job was to get up as if wrestling. For now, let’s start on our feet, we’ll get the technique much more easily.

What’s It Good For?

Whole Body Strength, Mobility & Coordination

Primary Body Parts:

Abdominals, Arms, Shoulders, Hamstrings

Difficulty Rating:


The technique:

Stand Kettlebell Raised

Stand with the kettlebell raised over head. This arm must remain straight and strong, holding the weight above you throughout the entire exercise.

Lunge Back

With the opposite leg to your raised arm, take a big step back and bend the knee into a lunge as pictured. You may place the knee on the ground for balance, but aim to do so without.

Free Hand Down

Place your free hand down onto the ground. About a foot out to the side. Keep the arm and kettlebell upright as you bend to the side.

Hand Takes Weight

Take your weight on both your hand and front foot and take the weight off the back foot. Get ready to move your rear foot to the front.

Kick Through

Take your rear foot from the floor and, leading with your knee, curl up your leg and bring it under you before extending it to the front as pictured.

Lie Down

Still keeping the kettlebell held vertically, lie down on your back as pictured. Keep the knee bent up like mine so that you remember which hand to put down on your way back up.

Time To Get Up

Do it all again in reverse to get back up.
Sit up, place your hand down, take your weight on your hand, take your outstretched leg and curl it under you before stretching it out to the rear. Take your hand off the floor and bring your body upright again. Now you’re back in the lunge position. Stand forwards and up out of the lunge. Swap hands and go again!

turkish get up kettlebell

PHOTO CREDIT: Taylor Grimley

There you have it, the Kettlebell Turkish Get Up. If you’ve never done this before, by all means learn the movements without a weight and add it when you feel ready. A variation is: once lying on your back, hold the weight to your chest in both hands and roll onto your side (same side as the bent knee) almost in foetal position. Get up from here by first rolling back onto your back. You’ll feel the added trunk rotation and difficulty, try it and tell me what you think.

Whether you aspire to be a world class wrestler or just love a physical challenge, give this complex little manoeuvre and crack and be sure to come back and comment below. Maybe you have a variation on this exercise that you’d like to share. I’d love to hear it.

Weight lifting can cause serious injury if performed incorrectly. If in doubt, seek direct instruction from a qualified professional. NEVER lift heavier than you can manage whilst maintaining CORRECT technique. The author does not accept responsibility for accident or injury resulting from abuse or neglect of the instructions given here.

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