The Turkish Getup Is Overrated. Do These Exercises Instead.

You’ve probably watched in awe as a trainer worked through the first few steps of the Turkish outfit: they start with the kettlebell up, then get up, and then…just keep going. Deep down, he may have been suspicious of the actual training benefits of the maneuver. You’re not alone.

There are so many better options for your time and energy, especially if you have specific goals you’re looking to accomplish in your workouts, let’s say men’s health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, CSCS and Men’s Health Advisory Board member David Otey, PPSC, CSCSin the latest installment of our Overrated video series.

“It’s not optimal exercise and movement that everyone has been trying to sell you,” says Samuel.

The problem with Turkish attire, says Samuel, is what he calls “inconsistent loading.” Instead of lifting as heavy a weight as you can to progressively adapt, as is often one of the goals of strength training, the complexity of the Turkish outfit forces you to rapidly switch through many movement patterns, providing less muscle engagement than the ideal through some of the phases

“Unfortunately, when it comes to making Turkish attire, the focus is on the need to keep this weight from falling off,” adds Otey. “So you don’t focus on individual parts of hip extension or internal rotation. You are more focused on not failing.”

Also, completing just one rep is a long process: seven unique steps (and not all of them necessarily beneficial). By the time you get to the final move of the first phase, standing up, you’ll likely have fatigued. Also, Samuel says, because of the time between movements, it’s almost impossible to make any kind of mind-muscle connection with this movement. .

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“When I do bicep curl reps, when I do squat reps, I’m working and targeting one muscle group and working to better explore and understand how I move,” says Samuel. “But when you combine seven different movements into one exercise, all of a sudden, I can only spend a brief moment training my glutes when I’m in that hip range of motion in Turkish attire.”

In other words, there are several options that you should incorporate into your workouts.

“Surviving in an exercise is not worth it,” says Samuel. “Focus on better exercises than Turkish attire.”

3 Exercises for Turkish Dress Alternatives

Here are three alternatives:

room attire

In this position, you’re lying on your back with the kettlebell directly above your head, your arm locked in a nice, stable position. With this, you activate your frontal nucleus a lot.

“This is an amazing stabilization exercise for the back shoulder and the front shoulder,” Otey says. “And it’s more core work than you’ve used in many other exercises, it’ll put your abs and planks to shame.”

Windmill with kettlebell

With this exercise, you will get hip extension and also the opportunity to twist and rotate at the same time. The windmill also helps with shoulder stability. And you also get a lot more reps than you would with the Turkish outfit. “It’s one of my favorite moves,” says Samuel. “You can repeat this and take your time through that movement which is much more effective than the two times you can do that part of the movement… it takes a full 90 seconds to do the entire movement. [Turkish getup].”

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Overhead reverse lunge

This can be done unilaterally or with both arms overhead, usually with dumbbells or kettlebells. It’s a vital move from a practical sense just to get up off the ground and onto your feet, something you’ll need to do for the rest of your life.

“That’s a big thing when it comes to unilateral leg strength, it helps with basic support and stabilization,” says Otey. “And if you’re talking about actual balance training, getting into that split stance position is how you’re going to want to do that.”

Jeff Tomko is a freelance fitness writer who has written for Muscle and Fitness, Men’s Fitness, and Men’s Health.

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