Turkish Get Up (TGU) Drills for Beginners

The Turkish Get Up (TGU) is possibly the greatest exercises in the world.

It takes you through the stages of human development.  Working every muscle and pattern like we did back when we were helpless babies.

In this manner, it can help to "reset" the normal movement we used to have.  It can over write bad patterns we've accumulated while trying to become adults.  

On one level, it's a simple exercise - simply going from supine to standing...and back.

On another, it's the most nuanced exercise with many complexities along the way.

Where to Start

There are some easy drills you can do to help learn this movement pattern.

Besides performing the exercise with no weight and/or balancing something on your hand (shoe, yoga block, beer), the best place to start is with isolated transitions.

Quarter TGU / Baby Get-Up

This is the best place to start.

Master the basics.  Build a strong foundation.

The stronger and smoother this transition becomes, the easier the rest of the movement gets.

It's the "proximal stability facilitates distal mobility" part of the TGU.

2 Things to focus on here:

  1. Don't use momentum
  2. Prevent the leg from kicking up (hip flexor substitution for anterior core sling)

Quadruped Transition

One of the most difficult transitions is from the quadruped transition.  Going from the hand to 3 point kneeling.

It's not that it's physically difficult.  It's more that it's "neurological" difficult.

It feels awkward.

To help with this transition, Kult Fitness, has come up with this great drill to get familiar with the movement.


Start adding the TGU into your routine.  It's prehab, rehab, and training all in one.

Try these two drills before diving into the full movement.