The Turkish get-up offers a full-body exercise, with an emphasis on the abs. It works stability of the core and shoulder, and teaches you to use full-body strength to go from a lying position on the floor to standing. While the move might sound intimidating—even watching someone perform the entire exercise can seem overwhelming—you can easily break it down step by step so you learn how to conquer the move.

That’s where this three-step Turkish get-up comes in handy, which Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., Men’s Health fitness director explains with the help of Runner’s World run coach and certified strength coach, Jess Movold. By focusing on the first three steps of the move, you still get the ab, shoulder, and glute engagement, while mastering the first half of the full exercise. You’ll see this move in the new 20-Minute Functional Core program, a collab between Runner’s World and Men’s Health, which is available in the All Out Studio app when you sign up for the Runner’s World+ premium membership.

Even better: This get-up variation provides the perfect way to switch up your usual sit-up. It still provides spinal flexion, which means it hits those six-pack abs known as the rectus abdominis, Samuel says, but also puts an emphasis on the glutes—an important muscle group for runners looking to increase speed and gain power. It also targets shoulder stability, which can help support posture.

How to Do the 3-Step Turkish Get-Up

To add this three-step Turkish get-up to your next core routine, sub it in anytime you might do a sit-up. Here’s how to perform it properly:

  1. Lie faceup on floor. Hold a dumbbell in left hand, arm extended straight up over shoulder. Bend left knee and plant foot on floor. Extend right arm and leg straight out on floor, placed about 45 degrees from torso. This is your starting position.
  2. Using abs, sit up onto right forearm. Keep eyes on the dumbbell the entire time, and keep left arm close to face.
  3. Press onto right hand to sit up taller.
  4. Engage glutes, press into left heel, and lift hips off floor. Pause here.
  5. Lower hips back down, then come back onto right forearm, and slowly lower torso back to floor to return to starting position.
  6. Repeat for 8-10 reps or for 40 seconds. Then switch sides. Do 2-3 sets per side.
Headshot of Mallory Creveling

Deputy Editor, Health & Fitness

Mallory Creveling, an ACE-certified personal trainer and RRCA-certified run coach, joined the Runner's World and Bicycling team in August 2021. She has more than a decade of experience covering fitness, health, and nutrition. As a freelance writer, her work appeared in Women's Health, Self, Men's Journal, Reader's Digest, and more. She has also held staff editorial positions at Family Circle and Shape magazines, as well as A former New Yorker/Brooklynite, she's now based in Easton, PA.

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