May 01, 2007
The Turkish get-up (TGU) is an outstanding exercise that develops strength, flexibility, and stability throughout the entire body. It has especially proven itself as an excellent prehabilitation and rehabilitation exercise for the shoulders. In addition, a mastered TGU will make all overhead exercises safer and easier.
Historically, the TGU was a staple exercise for old-time strongmen and wrestlers. It’s been said that in the days of old, this was the first and only exercise taught to many aspiring weightlifters to practice. Supposedly, no other exercises were taught or practiced until the pupil could perform the TGU with a 100-pound weight in either hand. At first, I thought this might have been just weightlifting folklore. However, I decided to make the 100-pound TGU a personal goal. After reaching this goal, I quickly realized the wisdom behind the methodology. First, it takes tenacity and commitment to conquer this feat of strength. Second, it slowly yet steadily builds a solid foundation of strength that nearly "injury proofs" the body, making it ready for more demanding training. Third, it significantly strengthens the major muscle groups, small stabilizing muscles, and connective tissues.