The Ultimate Total-Body Move

Dec 12 / Build Muscle

The half Turkish getup might fall into the category of "core exercise," but it's far from an isolation move. "It works everything—your shoulders, hips, back, core, arms, and so many other muscles you never even think of," says Robert dos Remedios, C.S.C.S., head strength and conditioning coach for California's College of the Canyons. "It's about as complete a full-body exercise as you'll find." That also makes it more complex than other moves with narrower target areas. Follow these tips to pull off this comprehensive muscle-builder with perfect form.

1. KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE WEIGHT
The key to the entire exercise is to push the weight straight up toward the ceiling. "If you don't keep your eye on it, it will get away from you," says dos Remedios. "You'll push it forward or let it dip backward, and then it's all over." The weight will control you instead of the other way around.  

2. ROLL ONTO YOUR FOREARM
"The biggest mistake I see people make is trying to sit straight up," says dos Remedios. Instead, fire your core and roll up onto your opposite elbow and forearm. Now you're in a position to push the weight up as you raise your torso off the floor.

3. SLIDE YOUR HAND BACKWARD
"You really want to punch that weight as high as you can, and the only way to do that is to slide your hand backward to the spot where your elbow had been," dos Remedios says. By doing this, you'll also achieve full extension of your thoracic spine, improving upper-body mobility.

4. DON'T LIFT YOUR FOOT OFF THE FLOOR
The goal here is stability. "Keeping the foot of your bent leg glued to the floor will help you distribute the load more evenly," says dos Remedios. "And by pressing your foot into the floor, you'll fire up more muslces, including your glutes and hips, giving you more strength and power."

 

Related Video: Watch the full Turkish getup, with instruction from trainer David Jack: