The One Move That Tones Your Whole Body

Written by Dasha Libin, M.S.

When we think about incorporating a specific motion into our training routines, we typically think of planks, lunges, squats — the standard stuff. And while those are all great exercises, there is a move you’re probably not doing, but should be! Which is why I’d like to introduce you to the Turkish Get Up. Not only does it work your strength and flexibility, but also your mobility. It challenges your body to work together — head to toe.

For those of you who sit at your desks all day, this exercise engages your posterior chain and off-sets all of those hours spent hunched over the computer or TV.

While a Turkish Get Up is traditionally done with a kettlebell (as pictured), you can also execute the motion holding a dumbbell, a sandbag, a water bottle or any other strengthening tool you choose.

I recommend you try the motion first without a kettlebell. The TGU is done by holding the kettlebell overhead, which requires skill, knowledge of motion and body awareness. Learn the steps to master this move:

Step 1

Photo by Natanya Mitchell

Start on your back on the floor with left your arm extended perpendicular to the floor (with or without a kettlebell in your hand of the extended arm). Your left leg should be bent.

Your right leg should be lying straight on the ground, while your right arm is at a 45-degree angle to your body.

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Step 2

Push yourself up to your right elbow. Keep your gaze fixed on the kettlebell the entire time.

Step 3

Push yourself up to your right hand.

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Step 4

Lift your body up by pushing your hips up toward the sky.

Step 5

Swivel your right leg under your body and bend it so that you are now supported by your right knee, left foot and right hand.

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Step 6

Come to a kneeling position by pushing off your right hand.

Step 7

Finish the exercise in a standing position with the kettlebell secure overhead in your left hand.

Reverse the steps to return to the ground and complete this exercise again.

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