Here’s one advanced kettlebell move you should absolutely add to your arsenal: the Turkish get-up. This is Women’s Health’s 2017 Next Fitness Star Betina Goza’s favorite way to use a kettlebell, because “it’s the ultimate total-body movement that incorporates strength, flexibility, and stability.” (Torch fat, get fit, and look and feel great with Women’s Health’s All in 18 DVD!)
Betina says Turkish get-ups also help with proprioception, or the awareness of your own body and strength, which is really important when lifting heavy weight.
To try the move for yourself, start out with your kettlebell next to your body. Then, get on your side and grab the kettlebell with both hands, keeping your abs tight as you roll onto your back. Position the weight one top of your chest. Extend your right leg long, then extend both arms up into the air, raising the kettlebell above your chest. Be sure to keep your shoulders down and back. Then extend your right arm out to the ground. Next, push your legs and forearm into the ground as you bring the kettlebell straight up, keeping your eyes glued to it.
Then press through your hand (like you’re smashing a bug), and bring your hips up. Sweep your leg up and behind you, and bring your entire upper body off the ground. Then, pushing through your feet, press your body all the way up until you’re standing. The kettlebell should stay raised this entire time, and your gaze should follow it. Then complete this entire sequence in reverse, ending on the ground, lying on your side.
As you can probably tell, this is definitely an advanced move, and Betina says you should work on perfecting your form before actually adding the weight of the kettlebell. “Each step should be broken down focusing on the stability of the weight over your head, versus moving through quickly from laying down to standing,” she says. “When you move quickly, you can move with over compensations, which can lead to injuries!”
To work your way up to this complex move, she suggests doing a quarter get-up: a.k.a. only getting to the hip lift part. “I also have my clients do half-kneeling windmills, so they can learn how to hinge their hips with the weight overhead,” she says.
Another trick Betina uses with clients is having them take off their shoe, and use it in place of the kettlebell to really build the much-needed shoulder stabilization for the move, along with balance. Once you’ve mastered the form, you can start adding a 10-kilogram kettlebell to the mix, and keep going up in increments of 10 as you get stronger.
And in no time, this impressive move will be one of your go-tos. Betina loves incorporating one to three sets of Turkish get ups on each side during a strength workout.