If you were looking for the 2 perfect movements that would not only burn a larger amount of calories, scorch fat, build muscle, boost your endurance, and would also improve your posture and help keep you from getting lower back pain—you’d need to look no further than the The Turkish Get Up (TGU) and Russian Kettlebell (KB) Swing.

First lets look at what the Russian KB swing brings to the table:

 1) Increased power

To properly do a kettlebell swing, you’ll need hip drive. Being able to use your glutes (that’s yer butt) and hamstring muscles in order to propel the bell along its path dynamically. In all forms of athletics, strengthening this movement pattern will give you the advantage of being able to quickly activate, creating power to move fast.

2) Increased aerobic capacity

KB swings used in moderate to high repetition will give your pulmonary system an incredible workout. Studies have shown that this kind of training will help to increase your VO2 levels.

VO2 max (also maximal oxygen consumption, maximal oxygen uptake, peak oxygen uptake or maximal aerobic capacity) is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption as measured during incremental exercise.

Simply put, if your heart is able to supply blood more efficiently to your body, then your body will recover and perform more optimally. This has an incredible benefit to your overall well being, allowing you to regain a sense of ease quicker when recovering from stress.

3) Better muscular endurance

Muscular endurance is your ability to generate sub maximal muscular contractions for extended periods of time. Moderate to high reps of KB swings will add to your muscular endurance.

Increased muscular endurance will allow you to do more for longer periods of time. When you can apply this idea to your favorite athletic activities in and out of the gym, it means being able play even longer (and who doesn’t like that???).

Be sure you are doing these repetitions with good form and technique. This helps promote proper body mechanics that apply to other facets of movement including good spinal health.

4) Full body training

More bang for your buck!!! This movement is amazing for its overall effect on the body. Everything is employed when you learn to utilize the KB swing efficiently and safely.

Now let’s take a look at the benefits of the Turkish Get Up or TGU…

1) Full body exercise

Let’s start where we left off… Bang for the Buck!!! The TGU is what I consider a “Complex Carry”. It is a full body exercise that promotes cross lateralization (getting the right brain to work with the left side). It promotes upper and lower body stability while simultaneously developing upper body, trunk, and hip strength.

  1. 2) Challenges balance and coordination

  2. Something that always seems to get overlooked in training is the stimulation of the vestibular, visual, and proprioceptive systems.

  3. Some of us might remember spinning in circles as a child or playing on the playground merry go rounds til we were dizzy.

  4. Activities such as these help these systems to develop. Their importance to our general homeostasis, which is the tendency of the body to seek and maintain a condition of balance or equilibrium within its internal environment, even when faced with external changes. These systems play an underlying role throughout our lives, and have sometimes an even greater impact as we age.

3) The TGU as a “corrective” exercise

  1. In the modern day we see a lot of systematic maladies do to the lack of movement and through an increased sedentary population.

  2. Work place ergonomics play into this in a big way by sitting daily at a computer (or just sitting). If we can use this movement to get our members and clients moving better and pain free, increasing their ranges of motion, than we are damn well going to!

  3. Studies using the TGU to rehab injuries in the shoulder, hip and torso have shown to have amazing benefits to patients not only getting them back to their previous fitness levels, but have shown to increase those levels in the process.

  4. In the martial arts and sports training community, the use of the TGU as an “injury preventative” has become a standard amongst coaches who are aware of the importance of bolstering the musculoskeletal system helping athletes to limit chances of injury during combat and ballistic sports.

4) “If you want to get truly strong pick stuff up of the ground, lift stuff over your head, and carry stuff around”

~Dan John

  1. There is not a single situation in life where being strong is not an advantage. Although martial arts is based in the concepts that a smaller athlete can overcome a larger athlete with technique, the basic fact is that when two equally skilled athletes are paired, the stronger athlete will come out ahead in the end.

  2. Strength allows us the ability to help others, to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Strength brings resilience and vitality to the quality of our everyday lives.

  3. As the saying goes, strong people are harder to kill!

    4. Come to our Odd Objects Playground classes to learn these exercises and more. Check the schedule for current class times.