turkish get-ups


This exercise is dedicated to my Turkish friend Ugur Kaymak! I have no idea why these are called Turkish get-ups but I discovered them in a tear-out workout from Men’s Health in university and I have kept them in my repertoire of circuit workout exercises ever since. The idea is to keep your arm extended holding the weight above your head for the entirety of the exercise and the sets. Here I am using a 10 lb. dumbbell but I prefer to use 12.5’s – I’d like to work up to 15’s but they are still a bit tough for me to hold above my head for 10-12 reps per side.

Step 1: ( above picture) start by lying on your back with your arm extended out above you holding the weight, here we start with the LEFT arm above us.

Step 2: bend the same knee as the arm that is extended, so here we would bend the LEFT knee, this is a crucial step – make sure you bend the same knee as the outstretched arm and place the sole of your LEFT foot on the mat while sitting up, use the RIGHT arm for support.


Step 3: transfer the weight onto the RIGHT hand without the weight in it, this is a difficult transfer – keeping LEFT arm outstretched overhead transfer your weight into the RIGHT hand so you can kick the RIGHT leg back to come onto bended knee. So to clarify, as the LEFT knee is bent with the sole on the mat we transfer our weight into the RIGHT hand and kick the RIGHT knee back to rest on it in a lunge or proposal ( haha ) position.


Step 4: push into your left foot to take you up to standing position


Step 5: on the way down you are going to step back onto bended knee the OPPOSITE way. You will come down down onto the same knee as is holding the outstretched weight. So you will come down onto your LEFT knee.


Step 6: You will again transfer the weight into your RIGHT hand, shoot your LEFT leg forward and again come to lie down on your back.



Repeat this on the LEFT side 10X before switching the weight into your RIGHT hand and repeating 10X on your RIGHT. This is great as part of a circuit or on it’s own at the gym. It takes a few practices to get the hang of it but then you don’t even have to think about what your doing. Just remember to keep the weighted arm extended and energized the entire time.

Happy Turkish exercising!

ps. all I can think of when I hear the word Turkish is this incredible homemade Turkish Delight from this tiny candy shop in this quaint little town in the countryside of Victoria, Australia. I would dream of this powdered Turkish Delight and absolutely crave it. I’ll be back for it one day!

with love and turkish delight,

Sarah Harvison


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