Turkish Getup: Steps 1-3 From a Rehab Perspective

May 24, 2019 | Tony Mikla DPT, MSPT, CSCS

The Turkish Get Up has become a much more popular exercise over the past decade, but it has extensive roots. We have found the get up to be an amazing tool in rehabilitation process because of these demands it places on the body.

The exercise is multiplanar, involving all 3 planes of motion.
Control, sequencing and rhythm are necessary to complete the movement.
Open and closed chain positions are required of all 4 limbs, demanding true coordination
Attention, Focus, and Intention are necessary towards a task

1- The exercise is multiplanar, involving all 3 planes of motion.
2- Control, sequencing and rhythm are necessary to complete the movement.
3- Open and closed chain positions are required of all 4 limbs, demanding true coordination
4- Attention, Focus, and Intention are necessary towards a task.

Position 1: Supine Arm Bar
The get up truly starts in a side-lying position, then includes a rolling maneuver to achieve a supine position. In supine, with the loaded arm flexed to vertical, the shoulder must find dynamic stability. In this position attention focus is elevated as the weight is now overhead, eyes focused on the hand. The intent from this position to rise to a standing position, all the while pushing the weight towards the sky.

Position 2: Roll to Elbow
The transition from position 1 to 2 requires a sequential roll onto the elbow. The rolling should occur segmentally and be rotary in nature. The roll-to-elbow is performed sequentially in relation to an axis created between the bent knee, heel, and elbow. Commonly people will use flexion of the spine here opposed to rotation. As you reach the position of being on the elbow, you now have closed chain pressure through the down arm and open chain control through the loaded arm. This position encourages thoracic mobility into extension and shoulder/cervical stability bilaterally. This step is one of the most challenging of the entire sequence and requires coaching. Integrating the trunk, shoulders, and cervical spine in this way is fantastic when done well. Note with the loaded arm that we achieve a thoracic motion under a scapula. This type of sequencing is more consistent with how we originally developed shoulder stability and control.

Position 3: Press to Post.
As we move from the elbow to a straight arm position, more mobility and more stability is needed from the body. The loaded shoulder is now in an overhead position of 135 plus degrees of flexion. The hand on the ground now requires a shoulder to be in a more depressed and stable position. Posterior chain and hamstring mobility is now required from the straight leg. Significant focus must be placed on pushing the closed chain hand through the ground, pressing the thoracic spine into more extension. At this point, common society posture of forward shoulders and head is reversed and we have demanded thoracic extension, scapula depression, and cervical extension to maintain vision of the load.

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