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Master This Move: The Turkish Getup

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Big ups to one of our @SHAPE_Magazine Instagram followers for suggesting this move! (We're always open to requests—just tag us and use the hashtag #MasterThisMove to let us know what moves you're looking to nail.) Upon investigating the history and benefits of the Turkish Getup, we immediately needed to know how to master it too.

Turns out, Turkish wrestlers came up with the move in the 1800s as a means of literally getting up once pinned to the ground. So, there's some practical use here as well as the better body benefits to be had. (Check out 7 Functional Fitness Exercises.) “The Turkish Getup Is amazing for developing coordination and total body strength,” says personal trainer Nick Rodocoy. Your shoulders and lats join forces to stabilize the weight while your glutes, hamstrings, adductors, and quads are the main movers of this exercise. Plus, it's a pretty impressive trick to pull out at the gym.

Before attempting it, know this: “It's not an easy move and it takes a fair amount of practice to master,” says Rodocoy, who recommends grabbing a trainer at your gym for help the first time you do it. But if you do give it a go on your own, don’t use the kettlebell until you’re completely confident doing all of the steps just using your own bodyweight. (Check out The Bodyweight Exercises You Should Be Doing.) “From there, you can progress to a shoe (yup) to learn proper alignment and then to a dumbbell, kettle bell, barbell, or person,” says Rodocoy.

The key: “Move with control. Make sure you take it step-by-step and don't rush through the movement,” cautions Rodocoy. Here’s how to do it.

A Begin lying on your right side (in a fetal position), holding the weight with both hands.

B Roll to your back and press the weight up with both hands. Keep your right arm (with weight) extended and right foot flat on the ground close to your hamstrings. Extend your left leg and bring your left arm flat on the ground.

C Come up on to your left elbow while driving through your right heel, keeping your eyes on your thumb.

D Come up onto your left hand, keeping your core tight.

E Drive though your right leg to come up in to a bridge position, fully extending your hips.

F Thread your left leg under your body and land on your knee to create a solid base.

G Come up in to a lunge position (bring your left heel directly behind you) with left hand on hip. Take your eyes off the bell and look directly in front of you.

H Finish the move by standing straight up, holding the weight overhead and keeping core engaged with a neutral spine (flat back).

Reverse the steps to return to the starting position. That's one rep. Do 3-5 reps, then repeat on the other side. Rodocoy recommends doing 2-3 sets total, working this in to your strength training routine once a week.

If you missed last week's debut post, learn how to master the Chin-Up!

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