The Turkish get-up is one of the most comprehensive exercises in existence. It trains full-body strength, motor control, stability, and mobility. It’s usually performed with a kettlebell or dumbbell, but use a barbell and you’ll amplify the intensity, especially in the shoulders and forearms.
Perform one rep of the barbell Turkish get-up with 40% of your bodyweight. Bonus points if you can do it without a spotter handing you the bar.
That’s it. Just one rep. Sounds easy, but you’ll be winded after just one rep… if you can even do it.
How to Do It
Assuming you’re lifting the bar with your right hand…
- Lie on your back with your right knee bent and your left leg straight.
- Press the barbell up as if you’re doing a floor press.
- Use your left arm to push yourself onto your elbow and then your hand without letting your left leg bounce up too high.
- Once there, push through your left leg, bridge up briefly, then slide it behind you into a lunge position.
- Push off your left hand to get into a lunge position.
- Once there, simply stand up.
- Once up, reverse everything back down. Go back to the lunge position, bring the left hand down, slide the back leg back through, and lie down.
- Lower the weight onto the ground, lie there in pain, and feel accomplished.
If the technique felt off, you can try changing your grip. I’ve known people who actually had more success when the weight wasn’t fully centered.
If you couldn’t do it because of strength, simply perform a few sets each day with a lighter weight.
Finally, definitely don’t do this in a busy gym. You don’t want to be the guy that ends up dropping a loaded barbell on some grandma doing crunches on an exercise ball. And be sure to use clamps or else you’re going end up as a viral gym fail video.