24 Jan 3 Unbreakable Rules For A Resilient Turkish Get-Up

When I think of a Turkish get-up, I think of the word, resilient. It’s an amazing movement and extremely valuable exercise for any athlete or fitness enthusiast.

Gray Cook (Author, Physical Therapist, and creator of Functional Movement Systems) stated at one time that if he was limited to only one exercise, it would be the Turkish-get-up.

If you have at least a basic understanding of how to perform a Turkish get-up, then these are the essential rules that are important when performing this exercise.

If you think about the 3 things I share with you here and apply them, your get-up will be stronger, safer, and more efficient.

These 3 rules will allow you to get more out of your get-up – that I guarantee.

The get-up is a unique exercise and I’d argue that it may be the single most important exercise for overall shoulder health. But, that’s a different topic we can discuss at a later time.

For now, let’s talk about the 3 rules.



By far, the most common mistake with the get-up is rushing through the movement. It’s not a race man. We’re not trying to “beat the clock” with this one. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Take your time and slow it down, almost to the point that it’s uncomfortable.

I recently timed myself performing one full rep of the get-up (one full rep is starting on the ground, going all the way up to standing, then returning on the ground back to my starting position).

How long would you guess it took me to complete a full rep?

Think about this for a minute.

I’ll answer the question at the bottom, but give this your “best guess” before checking below.

Slow down your get up, that’s rule #1.

You must follow rule #1 for the next 2 rules to work.

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As you’re moving through your get-up, you should always be in a good position. What does this mean? This means that if you’re moving through your get-up and something doesn’t feel quite right or it feels awkward, it’s ok to make an adjustment before moving through the next step.

If you need to re-position your hand, move your foot, push your shoulder further away from your ear, or whatever else you need to do – you should do it.

Be in a good, strong, and stable position at each transition as you move through the exercise.

The bottom line is this.

If you’re not in a good position – fix it.


What is the get-up really all about? It’s about “movement under load.”

The get-up is movement skill and control. It’s stability, mobility, and strength. This important 3rd rule is simply about “owning” each step along the way – owning each and every transition. This is what makes it safer – and more effective, in my opinion.

So, owning your movement is being set, stable, mobile, and strong in each and every position.

If you follow rule #1 and rule #2, this rule will be a lot easier. The get-up can be broken down into smaller steps and it’s important to own each of these steps in the get-up.

This is not to say we need to be the “movement police” about performing a perfect get-up. I’m not saying that.

I don’t know if I’ve ever done a perfect get-up. But I always strive to.

Do you understand what I’m saying here?

It’s like that old Vince Lombardi quote, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can chase excellence.

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can chase excellence.Click To Tweet

In summary, the 3 rules I want you to remember are:

  • Slow down
  • Always be in a good position
  • Own your movement

These are the “non-negotiable” big 3 rules and will greatly improve strength, performance and results.


Before I timed myself with this experiment, I “guessed” that it would take me between 45 and 60 seconds per rep (that means one rep on one side, just for clarification).

I did 2 alternating reps on each side with a 32 kg kettlebell.

On average, it took me 50 seconds per rep (+/- 5 seconds). It was pretty consistent for the 4 reps that I performed. I could have done more reps to see if there was more of a variation, but I felt confident that this was my typical cadence and that the number of reps here was sufficient to get a time baseline.

After doing this little experiment, I still feel I can slow it down just a bit. That leads me to believe that one minute per rep is about optimal for superior stability and control.


Also, I like to pause momentarily between each step (each transition) and apply rule #2, which helps me to apply rule #3.

These rules are simple and they all flow nicely together.

“Flow” is what the get-up is really all about.

Apply rule #1 and then let the rest fall into place.

Let the get-up happen.

A solution for the 3 most common mobility problems…


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Scott’s background as a strength coach, athlete, and former clinician are the basis for his one-of-a-kind approach to teaching strength, human movement, and peak performance. Scott is dedicated to helping serious fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and lifters all over the world, regardless of age, background, or training experience, become the best version of themselves through improved strength and skill development for a lifetime of health, happiness, and high-performance.

Scott is the passionate host of The Rdella Training Podcast, a leading weekly fitness podcast in Apple Podcasts where he interviews the most brilliant minds in the industry. Finally, he is the author of The Edge of Strength, available in Amazon and currently working on his follow-up book. To learn more about Scott, please visit our About Page.

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