September 26, 2017

Circus Trick or Important Training Exercise: The Core Hammer Turkish Get Up

Circus Trick or Important Training Exercise: The Core Hammer Turkish Get Up

By Justin Lind

Coach Justin Lind Core hammer Exercises

Balancing the core hammer on end while performing a full Turkish get up might look a little silly, but it brings numerous benefits to your program. The balance, stability, and control required cannot be trained with any other tool out there. Even if this movement seems too lofty (or perhaps even impossible) for you, the progressions towards completing it bring their own host of benefits. While the full version surely turns heads, with the Core Hammer Turkish get up, the journey is the destination.


Some Turkish Get Up Finer Points

This article aims not to be an in-depth guide about all of the intricacies of the Turkish get up. Myself and others have covered that at length elsewhere . No, this article will remind you of the key points to smooth get ups and show how the Core Hammer can bring even greater value to an already invaluable movement.


Roll to the Side vs. a Sit-Up

Many people attempt to curl their shoulders off the ground to initiate the get up. Beginning with a sit-up seems to make sense but this technique will see your progress stall out once you move to heavier and less stable loads. Instead, drive through your planted foot and roll onto your opposite shoulder, then pull up onto your elbow. From there, press up onto your hand.

You will maintain greater contact with the ground and find more strength and stability. While it’s not an abdominal crunching exercise you will actually feel even greater core engagement. This method uses contralateral loading (cross-body) because your opposite-side arm and leg see the primary work.  


Structure to Structure

Smooth Turkish get ups - especially with huge or unbalanced loads - hinge on maintaining solid structure under the weight. Each position and the transitions between them should feel completely solid. Many athletes move quickly through their weaker positions or allow themselves to fall out of one position and catch in another. Like the sit-up technique, this will not present an obvious issue until attempting heavy or unstable loads. 

Focus on establishing one position before transferring weight into it. A prime example of this principle comes when descending back down from the get up. Too many athletes tip and fall from their lunge onto their hand. While they only lose control for a split second, re-establishing control can lead them to drop the weight. Instead move slowly and deliberately, placing the hand lightly on the ground and then smoothly transferring your weight onto it.

Apply this same deliberate approach to the entire movement, up and down.


Adapting It to the Core Hammer

Let your first get up with the Core Hammer be a more stable version so that you can adapt to the weight. Grip the handle just below the head to hold it like a dumbbell. This progression still presents a stability challenge because of the asymmetry, but is easier to balance than later progressions. You can increase the imbalance by gripping the handle further from the head of the Core Hammer.

Once you feel confident in this first progression, move to holding the Core Hammer vertically with the head pointing straight up. As with the previous version, gripping further from the head increases the stability challenge. As your strength and balance develop, work to move your grip further and further away from the head, eventually gripping the handle from the very bottom.


For a truly impressive challenge, try the most advanced version of the Core Hammer Turkish get up. Balance the hammer vertically in an open palm. Develop control by balancing the hammer in this position for extended holds. Next, attempt movements such as squats and lunges, eventually progressing to the get up.