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A Step-by-Step Guide for Mastering the Kettlebell Turkish Get-Up

Post by Bethann Wagner

After you’ve mastered a few necessary basics such as lunges with a kettlebell overhead, you can begin to work on some impressive exercises that not only look pretty legit but feel empowering, too. My favorite? The Turkish get-up. Okay, so, what the heck is it? It’s a bit complicated before it’s broken down, and honestly, it took me a few weeks of practice before I really got the hang of it. Like riding a bike, once you grasp it – you won’t forget it. I’ve broken it down in a few steps with images for you to reference once you decide to give it a try!


Get your kettlebell. Start with a lighter one until you know what you’re capable of and work your way up slowly. Grasp the kettlebell in both hands and lay on one side curled slightly in a fetal-like position. Bring the kettlebell to your chest.

kettlebell turkish get up steps


Position your legs. First, legs form a 90-degree angle with your body. Then, bend one leg (the leg on the same side as the kettlebell) and place that foot flat on the floor slightly above the spot where your knee was before you bent your leg.

kettlebell turkish get up steps


Position your arms. Place the free arm out to your side so that it forms a 45-degree angle with your body, palm down. Place the arm carrying the kettlebell above your shoulder keeping your wrist and elbow completely straight and eyes on the prize… or in this case, kettlebell.


Use the free arm to push yourself up onto your forearm in one swift movement.

kettlebell turkish get up steps


Move from your forearm to your hand. To avoid letting the kettlebell sway forward, try to imagine that you’re placing your shoulder blade in your back pocket.

kettlebell turkish get up steps


Make your bridge by raising your butt off the floor

kettlebell turkish get up steps


Sweep the straight leg back so the knee is where you were sitting.


Slowly rise up so your torso is perpendicular to the ground and your free hand it at your side. Your back foot will be pointed at an angle so adjust it so that it’s aligned behind you like it would be for a normal lunge.

kettlebell turkish get up steps


Keeping your elbow locked, stand up. It’s tricky, but you must try to avoid allowing your ribs to flare out or your lower back to overarch. At this point, you can stop looking at the kettlebell and look in front of you.

kettlebell turkish get up steps


Once your standing, you may feel incredible, but you’re only halfway done with one repetition (sorry!). Now you’ll run it all back in reverse. Two helpful tips: 1.) when you get back to the kneeling position, don’t forget to pivot your back leg below the knee so that it forms a 45-degree angle with your front leg. 2.) As you sit back as you bring the fingertips of your free hand down your thigh until it reaches the floor, and place it a few inches from your knee. Continue to do everything in reverse your steps until you’re in the starting position.


When you are ready for the next side, grasp the kettlebell in both hands and move out of fetal position on to your back. Bring the kettlebell around your head – over the top of it and always still on the floor until you reach your other side. Get into fetal position on the other side and start your 2nd rep.


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