Turkish Get-Up

by Strength Training for Soccer
Kinetic Select September 2023


This excerpt walks strength and conditioning coaches through the Turkish get-up exercise.

The following is an exclusive excerpt from the book Strength Training for Soccer, published by Human Kinetics. All text and images provided by Human Kinetics.

Primary Muscles Trained

Gluteus maximus, semimembranosus, semitendinosus, biceps femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, vastus medialis, rectus femoris, rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, internal obliques, external obliques, deltoids, triceps, biceps, pectoralis major

Beginning Position

  • Begin by lying on the floor with the kettlebell by the left shoulder.
  • Turn toward the kettlebell and grasp the kettlebell in the left hand with a closed pronated grip and with the kettlebell resting on the back of the left wrist.
  • Flex the left hip and knee so that the left foot can be placed flat on the floor approximately 12 to 18 inches (30-46 cm) from the left glute.
  • Extend the left elbow so that the arm is fully extended and the kettlebell is now over the shoulder in line with the left elbow and wrist.
  • Place the right arm alongside the body on the right side (a).
  • All repetitions begin from this position.

Movement Phases

  1. Keeping both eyes on the kettlebell, begin by simultaneously pushing into the floor with the flexed left leg and flexing the torso forward, keeping the kettlebell extended at arm’s length overhead until reaching a sitting position with the right arm extended and the palm in contact with the floor (b-c).
  2. From the sitting position push through the right hand in contact with the floor and the foot of the left leg side so that the hips extend to make a straight line through the right side of the body from the right ankle through the right shoulder (d).
  3. With the hips fully extended and the body in an elevated position, bring the left leg under the body so that the knee is resting on the floor under the hip into a half-kneeling position (e).
  4. Extend the torso so that the body is in a half-kneeling position, with the kettlebell arm still extended above the body (f).
  5. Align the body so that both feet are pointing forward (if needed), and push the left foot into the floor and step the right foot forward to a fully standing position with the kettlebell still overhead (g). Perform the movements in reverse order until lying on the floor again.
  6. Carefully switch the kettlebell to the right hand, and perform the exercise in the same manner as described using the opposite hand and leg position.

Breathing Guidelines

Inhale prior to the first upward movement, and then exhale when moving to standing with the kettlebell in the overhead position.

Coaching Tip

Keep the eyes on the kettlebell throughout the exercise and push it into the air as hard as possible to maintain a straight arm.

Figure5.3. Turkish get-up: (a) beginning position; (b-c) support on hand; (d) lift hips and maximally extend them; (e) move right leg back and kneel under the hips; (f) lift hands off floor and extend torso upright; (g) shift weight to left leg and push into the floor to stand up in a balanced stance.

Strength Training for Soccer will help you create a soccer-specific resistance training program to help athletes at each position—goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders, and forwards—develop strength and power that will prepare them for the demands of a game. The book is available in bookstores everywhere, as well as online at the NSCA Store.

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