Countless workouts deliver high-intensity training to raise the metabolism, burn fat, and boost conditioning, but you can get all of that in a single exercise: the Turkish Get-Up. This conditioning move targets every major muscle in the body and leaves you breathless. Still, many lifters avoid the Get-Up because it requires multiple steps and a kettlebell, which can be daunting. We’ve boiled the exercise down here in a step-by-step guide, so you’ll know exactly what to do to reap the benefits. Try it with a 8kg kettlebell to start (about 18 pounds), and once you’ve nailed the movements, go up in weight.
Step 1: Starting Position
Lie on your back, legs about shoulder width apart. Bend one knee so foot is planted on floor. Hold the kettlebell in the same-side hand as your bent leg, arm extended directly above the shoulder, bell resting against forearm. Maintain a straight wrist and arm throughout the move. Your opposite arm should be flat on the floor at a 45-degree angle from your body. Keep your eyes on the bell at all times.
Step 2: Elbow and Hand Phase
Keeping the knuckles of the hand holding the bell toward the ceiling, rise to come up onto the opposite arm’s elbow. Get as tall as you can in this position. Next, press into your planted foot and palm to straighten your opposite arm.
Step 3: Bridge and Lunge Phase
Press into the floor with your planted hand and foot and raise your hips as high as you can. The goal is to get as much clearance underneath the butt as possible. Pause in this position for a full second count.
Pull your straight leg under your hips and back behind you until you can plant your knee down for a half-kneeling position. At this point, you can lift your planted hand off the floor. Straighten the torso and center yourself. Your body should now be in a tall, half-kneeling position, with the working arm still straight.
Step 4: Stand Up, Then Reverse
Stand up from the half-kneeling position. The rep doesn’t end until you’ve returned to your starting position, so you have to reverse your steps to get back down. Plant the knee back down on the floor (don’t forget that it’s the knee of the free arm). Next, plant the hand down to the side on the ground, and allow the kneeling leg to travel under the hips and straighten it back out in front of you. Lower your hips to sit back down, and lower your elbow to the floor. Finally, use both hands to carefully guide the bell back down to the ground alongside the shoulder of your working arm. That’s one rep. Repeat on the opposite side.
To add this as a cardio and fat-burning component to any workout, run a clock for 10 minutes and see how many reps you can complete of the Turkish Get-Up, alternating arms.
For a stand-alone workout of Turkish Get-Ups, try rounds of 6 reps (3 per arm), with 2 minutes rest between rounds. Do as many sets as you have time or energy for. If this movement poses too much of a challenge, break the Get-Up down into its components. Start with the Turkish Sit-Up to get comfortable moving with the kettlebell.