One of the coolest exercises I have come across is the Turkish Get-Up. This exercise epitomizes a movement that is beautiful if performed in a fluid controlled motion. I doubt that most people in gyms are using this, but it is certainly one that has some tremendous benefits. Gray Cook puts it simple, “modern fitness techniques can actually allow us to stack fitness on dysfunction.” A simple illustration to this would be to add a bigger engine to a car which has a bent frame. This is an example of why focusing on movement patterns (not isolation) should be of utmost importance. One product I look forward to purchasing in the future is Kettlebells from the Group Up by Brett Jones and Gray Cook, two super smart dudes that take you through each of the 7-steps.
Modern reductionist fitness philosophies have us isolating parts of the body to get something out of our workout, but many miss the understanding that there is a direct interplay between the shoulder and hips (just one example), just look at running for example, the opposite arm and hip are working together to balance the body out while allowing it to move optimally. This is why so many problems at the shoulder can be caused by dysfunction at the opposite side hip (or vice versa).
Benefits: (some of the benefits, thanks to Mike Robertson’s blog for this)
- Improved shoulder stability (low traps & rotator cuff)
- Improved thoracic spine extension
- Improved core strength/core stability
- Improved hip mobility in all three planes
- Improved hip extension
High Threshold Strategies
This is a term that was used by Kyle Keisel (physical therapist/researcher) to demonstrate that a dysfunctional muscle activation pattern (certain muscles should be activating before others) can be brought on by pain & stress. Basically, your inner core is providing subconscious input to your central nervous system (CNS) in order for you to live and to perform tasks (respiration, pelvic floor continence, segmental stabilization of your spine due to the activation of the transverse abdominis and multifidi in anticipation of a spinal stress)
|Outer Core||Postural stability
Resists external load
Tensor fascia lata/ITB
Why is the inner core important for the Turkish Get-Up (and movements in general)? The first step in the get-up is initiated with a 45 degree “roll up” without the down leg coming up. If this happens it causes a high threshold strategy via the hip flexors contracting instead of the inner core musculature which then decreases true spinal/core stability.
First is a video by Gray Cook demonstrating this exercise. Followed by Joe Sansolone video taming “the beast” as it’s called. A 106 lb KB. Impressive stuff.