Want one move with total-body results? Cue the Turkish Getup (TGU), which pushes practically every major muscle from delts and abs to quads and glutes through a large range of motion. This highly functional movement combines several exercises into one, tasking your body from head to toe and strengthening its foundation, explains NCCP weightlifting coach Steve Cristini, co-owner of CrossFit Markham & Reebok CrossFit East Woodbridge, Canada. “Taking your shoulder through various positions of loaded movement strengthens and increases shoulder stability,” Cristini says. “[The move] also requires a lot of core strength, to get from the floor to your knees. Your quads and glutes are key to helping you bring your body from the kneeling position to the standing position.”

But that’s not all. This killer movement not only helps build total- body strength, it’s also a great way to torch calories and rehab shoulder injuries. “[The TGU] requires multiple directions of movement, and the load can vary,” Cristini adds. “This makes it the perfect tool to improve shoulder strength, flexibility, and stability following an injury.” So, whether you are rehabbing a nagging shoulder or looking to take your physique up a notch, you can step up your workouts and progress with a session of TGUs.

The Workout

Do 4 sets of each

Turkish Getup – 10 reps each side.

Russian kettlebell Swing – 10 reps.

Kettlebell Snach – 10 reps each side.

Plank – Hold for 60 seconds.

Beginner Basics

Beginners should practice the TGU in segments, Cristini says. “Mastering the order of the steps before adding weight is key to maximizing the benefits.” once your body acclimates to the movement, you can slowly add on weight.

Advanced Technique

“Change upyour object—use kettlebells, dumbbells, etc.,” Cristini says. Integrating a variety of tools will taskyour muscles to work at different angles—and keep the movement feeling fresh. to make it even more challenging, try performing the movement bilaterally, with a weight in each hand. “you can also make use of tempo,” he adds. “slow down or hold each part of the sequence for three to five seconds to increase the stabilizers required.”

Perfect The Turkish Getup
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  • Lie flat on the floor with your right arm straight out to your side and left extended above your head holding a dumbbell, knuckles facing the ceiling.

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  • Slide left foot back, placing it flat on floor.
  • Roll onto your right side, shifting body weight onto right elbow and forearm, keeping abs tight and eyes on the weight.
  • Transfer from elbow/forearm to the palm and extend your elbow.
  • Drive up through left foot, keeping right leg straight, extending your hips into a bridge.
  • Slide right foot back and under body to rest on your knee.


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  • Use your quads and glutes to press up into a lunge position, then finish the movement by standing straight up and bringing your feet together.
  • That’s one rep. Reverse the steps to return to starting position.