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“What is a Turkish Get Up and Why Do We Do Them?”

By Coach Sarah

While at the front desk a friend who recently started CrossFit came up after her workout and said, “Whatever those things are called that we had to do in class are hard”… The Turkish Get Up!

A pretty intimidating movement when you are first learning… However, the next time you see it posted, show up! With OC’s expert coaching staff we’ll help you through each step of this movement.
The TgU is 7 movements to “get up” and then you reverse it… note the “get down” is just as important as the “get up”.
Typically this movement is performed with a kettlebell but you can use other objects like dumbbells or sandbags for more of a challenge.

“Do you know why we do the Turkish Get Up?”

We learned in our CrossFit Kettlebell course that CrossFit introduced the Turkish Get Up (TgU) into our programming in the early days as a tactical movement for military & first responders to be prepared to defend themselves. This tactical movement enables them to keep them from turning their back on their opponent & protects access to their weapon.

While we have several military & first responders who train here at Oregon CrossFit… What about us civilians? Why would we need to do this movement?

Here are 3 great benefits for the everyday CrossFit enthusiast and an interesting story(from Coach Sean):
  • First, Can we all just take a moment to acknowledge the focus & patience it takes to learn how to do this movement… With this movement you are getting the right brain to work with the left… It’s SO good for your brain!
  • Second, It slowly builds a solid foundation of strength & movement to keep you safe during heavy lifting and/or increased intensity.
  • Third, it’s great for shoulder, core, hip, knee health. Strengthening major muscles & improving stabilization… as well as balance & coordination.
  • *Story* Pavel Tsatsouline – credited for bringing the Kettlebell to America, also brought the Turkish Get Up. He has said in interviews that in Russia, they would tell future olympic weightlifters/strongman to do the Turkish Get up until they could complete the movement with a 106# KB, one repetition on each hand… Until then, they were not strong enough to begin weights!

So the next time you see “Turkish Get Ups” on the Workout of the Day “WOD”… don’t skip out on class. I would like to encourage you to GO and strengthen your mind & body!!!

Your coaches love to teach this movement & they are looking forward to helping you get stronger, healthier & more confident!
Does the Turkish Get Up or any other movements frustrate you? Schedule a 30-minute Personal Training session with your coach of choice to work on form & technique.

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