Iron 101: The Turkish GetUp 2.0 “Pound Sand”
I’ve written an article on this particular subject before. But as I always say as a coach, you should always be growing. And in my own personal training I have found a way to take my Turkish Get Up training another step further, and I’ve had a lot of success with it.
So first things first, if you’re unfamiliar with what’s going on here in this picture, the athlete is performing a Turkish Getup. It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself, when Done PROPERLY.
The Turkish getup, much like any lift, can be done with poor form, it can be done with a lot of weight with poor form, and in doing so (just like any other slow lift) you can put yourself at risk for injury.
The key comparison here between the Getup and other slow lifts is the term SLOW. It shouldn’t be something that is rushed or butchered for time.
Let’s get back on track here for a second. I was first officially taught a proper Getup by my mentor, Jeff Martone. While Coach was starting his intro to the Getup he dropped some awesome knowledge that would put a goal in my sights at the time.
“Back in the Old time StrongMan days, one of the standards to be able to train to was being able to perform a 100 pound getup on your right and left arm.”
I instantly told myself I needed to be able to do that.
I was a broke trainer at the time so I only had light bells and other stuff you find in a traditional gym. But with proper attention to the movement over time, I was able to work my way through curl bars, sandbags and finally able to lift my manager over my head up and back to the floor with both arms She was 125#, and I’ve hit heavier human getups since then.
What I’m getting at is that this movement, if done correctly, not only builds strong and stable shoulders but an immensely strong trunk. All of which have huge benefits in your Training.
But this movement should be approached with lots of respect and proper technique and not hammered into workouts where positioning can become compromised by a clock.
Now this is where we get into the 2.0 of this whole thing. Building strong, stable shoulders with the TGU is important for durability, strength, symmetry, you name it. I recommend folks hitting two sessions a week of 8-10 Heavier Kettlebell TGUs to establish all those things.
Now let’s talk about the broke trainer that I was. Or Maybe an athlete having to work light TGUs for stability only. How can they go Heavy? Well that’s where a new favorite of mine gets center stage: The SandBag Turkish Getup. NO, this is not done with an extended arm overhead. This is performed by placing a sandbag on your shoulder and recovering from a sub optimal position on the ground and moving to standing without some of the limitations that may occur with a traditional getup. And you can instantly start working with a heavier load compared to the traditional KB TGU. It’s not odd for me to teach this to someone new using an 80# bag for the guys and a 50# for the ladies.
It’s simple, effective and easy to bail out of because it’s a bag of sand. Now this doesn’t mean form goes out the window, but it does allow you to work with heavier loads at a slightly faster tempo.
And here is the prescription I try to get in personally, and we see posted to our Training Log. If you want to pack your trunk with Iron, to reinforce everything from a strong back, and give yourself the ability to work with heavier loads in your lifts, it’s simple. Do 10 minutes of alternating Sandbag Turkish Get Up once or twice a week and see the benefits across the board.
Beside the strength gains across multiple plains, the continuous movement gains builds an awesome base of stamina that really shows when reapplied to your higher output intensity based workouts.
So take a couple times a week to work 8-10 Heavier TGUs into your program, and then also make the the time for a couple sets of 10 minute Sandbag TGUs. You won’t regret making these movements a priority in your training.
You can find a video of a sandbag TGU on my Instagram account today showing the simplicity in this version of an awesome old time lift.
Posted by: Z