If It Came Down To One


I have been asked recently about reading the "4 Hour Body" as it has become a popular book within the gym. I haven't had the chance to truly sink my teeth into it but I did get a chance to breeze through it. I was quite pleased to see some input from Gray Cook as I am a huge fan of what he does. Not that I want to ruin the book but the Turkish Get Up was his go to exercise if there was only one exercise that he was allowed to do for the rest of his life. I was not always a fan of the movement, but as dug deeper into some of Gray's information I began to open up to it. I began to practice it myself and began to implement bits and pieces of it in my programming. I am now sold on it as this movement covers a lot of ground when it comes to resistance training.



1. Shoulder Strength and Stability

While pressing, raising, and pulling are commonly associated with strengthening of the shoulder, the set overhead position is often underestimated when it comes to strengthening the shoulder. When the shoulder is appropriately set, the muscles of the rotator cuff get to do what they are meant to do and that is provide a foundation of stability for the shoulder.


2. Rotation and Stability of the Torso

The movement associated with the Get Up requires an element of rotation throughout in order to successfully complete a repetition. With that being said, rotating with a kettlebell, barbell, or dumbbell requires a lot of stability in the torso to keep it all in check.


3. Unilateral Strength of the Legs

The lunge pattern involved in both standing up and making your way down also provides a healthy challenge for the legs. In particular with weight in the overhead position. When it comes to having one exercise left on this earth, the ability to have some one legged work is a big asset.


4. It Requires Some Undivided Attention

If there is anything I can say about this exercise is that it does not give you a chance to check yourself out in the mirror or turn on your favorite track on your iPod. There is a lot going on in this movement so there is not much going on except for the task at hand. It is amazing the progressions that I see with this movement as it puts people into a situation that requires almost all of your attention.


5. Versatility

I know that we are talking as if this is the only exercise left on earth but I am amazed at what this exercise can do to benefit a lot of different methodologies of training. I have found that combination of mobility, stability, coordination, and awareness has made the Turkish Get Up a unique and effective way to cover a lot of ground when it comes to complementing a lot of different methods of resistance training.


I was a skeptic in the beginning however I can now say I am a believer. This is a tough question to answer as I do have a lot of favorites. With the Get Up I cannot argue with its capabilities as it gives you a bit of everything. While it may look as if it is something bizarre, to feel it and understand it will give you a completely different outlook of the exercise and will give you some great bang for your buck.