Move of the week: 1/4 Turkish get up – the move for a better balance and flexibility

Welcome to our weekly Move of the Week series. Every Monday, we’ll be sharing with you one of our favourite exercises – how to do them, what muscles they work and why they should be a regular part of your workout regime. This week: 1/4 Turkish press.

Being strong isn’t just about lifting heavy weights. True strength also means having enough balance and flexibility to enable you to move easily through different ranges of motion. The 1/4 Turkish get up is the move for testing all of those skills. You need shoulder, arm, core and leg strength to keep the weight above your head, the balance to get up while having your centre of balance skewed and the flexibility to get your body from lying supine (facing up) on the floor to sitting up with only one hand for support.

What exactly is a 1/4 Turkish get up?

The 1/4 Turkish get up is the ultimate compound exercise. You start by lying on the floor with one arm in the air, holding a weight. The aim of the game is to set up without moving that arm and to lower back down again. The only thing that should be moving is your torso and stabilising arm as you move from lying to sitting – nothing else.

It’s great because it:

  • Improves balance: With one arm held aloft, you need to be able to balance without proper weight distribution.
  • Works the whole body: We’re working lower, middle and lower body here – everything has to be switched on to help you move smoothly through the exercise.
  • Tests flexibility: Stability is founded in flexibility; you need to be flexible to be able to sit up without much assistance from other limbs.
  • Provides good value: With so many benefits, this move is a great one to include when you’re short on time.

What muscles does the Turkish get up work?

This move is a full body move, working:

  • Shoulders
  • Obliques and abs
  • Glutes
  • Upper back
  • Core
  • Hips

How to do a 1/4 Turkish get up

  1. Lie on your back with your left arm held aloft, holding a dumbbell.
  2. Bend your left leg so that your foot is on the ground and your knee is bent. Keep your right left straight on the floor.
  3. Engage the core and slowly start to sit up – using your right arm to balance.
  4. Keeping the legs and left arm absolutely still, come up until your right arm is straight and your torso is upright.
  5. Keep looking at the weight in the air as you slowly come back down, bending the right elbow as you do so.
  6. Change sides.

Keen to improve your form? Check out our How To library to see exactly how the experts do over 100 of the most common strength training exercises.

Image: Stylist

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