Welcome to Gav Clarke's Blog

Turkish Get Up - How it can improve your Strength for BJJ

What it is?

Turkish Get Ups are an amazing exercise for anyone who conducts BJJ, grappling or MMA. As the Russian saying goes “you are only as strong as your weakest link.” This exercise will show you what that weak link is. TGU is an exercise that hits upper body, core, hips, legs, back, bum. Well everywhere really. It also promotes great mobility which is needed in BJJ and other forms of grappling. The key is doing it properly. I was lucky enough to learn from the man who introduced it to Pavel in the 90’s. That was Steve Maxwell, he did not invent the TGU but showed it to Pavel as an exercise that would be great to conduct with a KB.


Evidence of this exercise dates back too where  Russian strongmen shows were regarded as a very popular form of entertainment. They would conduct TGU with very heavy weights and Kettlebells.There is also evidence dating back 100’s of years ago, as a popular Turkish Wrestlers exercise.

How to do it?

I like to start at the top and take my time. Any fool can fall down and get back up again. But an effective TGU is all about structures and control.

  • Start with KB overhead and locked into position.
  • Step back with opposite leg to the arm have KB in and kneel on the floor.
  • Windscreen wipe leg so it is at an angle.
  • Place hand on the floor hold and kick kneeling leg through
  • Place elbow down and then slide arm out, so lying on the floor.

  • Roll up onto elbow then hand.
  • Support weight then bring leg through.
  • From kneeling position windscreen wipe leg and then stand.

How to implement it into training regimen?

Less is more with TGU’s and it’s not an exercise which is designed to use high reps. I would recommend building the weight up making sure you choose an initial weight which is challenging but not to heavy so cannot conduct the exercise smoothly. I would recommend 2/3 reps each side.

Rest for a min or two then repeat increasing the weight and conduct 2 more reps. Rest for another min and increase the weight and conduct 2 more reps with heavier weight.

If you feel that could increase weight, then would look at starting with initial heavier weight and build up.

Some people conduct them at the end of a session but there is advantages of conducting it earlier in session. This all depends what type of session you are conducting. For example if you are conducting big muscle movements like Deadlifts

Spread the word. Share this post!