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3 Steps To Build Your Turkish Get Up For MMA

3 Steps To Build Your Turkish Get Up For MMA

  1. Have you ever attempted the Turkish Get Up (TGU)?
  2. Better yet…have you incorporated the TGU to enhance your MMA, Combat, and Fight performance?
  3. Are you interested in learning how to progress up to performing a TGU with seamless technique?
  4. Did you know the TGU will absolutely transform your fitness and fight performance?
  5. Are you interested in wanting to build some serious lean muscle mass while being able to move with the agility of a cat?

After 17+ years of training athletes of nearly every background and every caliber I’m telling you that the turkish get up is a powerful movement for you to incorporate into your strength and conditioning model and if you haven’t already started with trying to master this drill then you should start as soon as possible. Because of this today I wanted to take a moment and breakdown the TGU into 3 movements to help you to build up to becoming proficient with the TGU and propel your fitness and fight performance to a whole new level. I guarantee you this will be a game changer for your fitness and fight strength.

The Turkish Get Up For MMA Fitness

For starters the Turkish Get Up (TGU) is a bit of a complex movement because of the technical aspect involved with performing the drill. This drill is one of the best strength movements there is in terms of helping you to develop ground based agility and total body function.

In terms of fitness this is important for mobility and for helping you to withstand certain unforeseen rigors of life that may include falls, spills, and hits due to unwanted accidents. In terms of fight performance this movement is also crucial for helping you better handle yourself on the ground in a grappling scenario. The Turkish Get Up (TGU) will help you build significant functional strength so you can move against the resistance of your opponent to either get up to your feet for an escape, or to assist in your grappling strength to take them to the ground.

3 Steps To Build Your Turkish Get Up For MMA Fitness

1. Get Up Floor Press (Pre-requisite to the Turkish Get Up):


The Get Up Floor Press is a key prerequisite for practicing the full Turkish Get Up. Granted this exercise variation involves more of a press of the dumbbell, or kettlebell as you rise up off of the floor from the lying position. It’s going to be crucial in helping your progression with the full get up, but is also great for shoulder stability and for the core activation needed for you to enhance your punching power for MMA and Combat fitness.

The first main movement that many trainees have a difficult time with involving the TGU is the ability to roll their body up onto the elbow of the unloaded arm while keeping the arm with the weight perpendicular to the floor and pointed towards the sky.

This rolling over involves a seamless activation of your pillar/core to allow you to actively roll your body up so that you can place your weight onto your elbow on the ground.


To begin roll out of the cradle position with the kettlebell or dumbbell in hand. If the weight is in the right hand keep the arm at about a 45 degree angle from your body with your elbow flexed resting on the ground.

Additionally make sure the unloaded arm is at about a 45 degree angle extended away from your body. Make sure to keep a wide base with your legs with the right knee bent and the left leg straight and extended.

From here roll up onto your left elbow and press the kettlebell to the sky. Once pressed slowly lower yourself back to the ground and lower the bell back down bringing your arm to the floor to set up for another press.


Perform 3 sets of 4 to 8 reps on each arm. Scale your intensity based on the day’s training goal.

2. The Half Turkish Get Up:


The half get up is a great drill for further emphasizing the mobility needed to develop ground based agility for grappling in MMA and for just developing a higher level of overall function through the stabilization of your pillar and your shoulders.

The half get up is also a great middle step to pull off to complete the transition from the floor press into the full get up. The half get up variation is also a great opportunity for you to start challenging yourself with heavier weight in order to intensify your get up ability and to adapt into the full get up movement.


With the half get up start out standing with your feet shoulder width and the kettlebell or dumbbell pressed overhead in the right hand. Once in this position perform a reverse lunge breaking at the left knee and placing it on the ground just beneath your hip at a 90 degree angle.

Next, windshield wiper the left leg swiping your left foot across the ground angling towards your right. This moves your left leg so that you can more easily side bend to place your free hand on the ground forming a letter “T” lying on it’s side when observing your upper body.

Once in this position simply lift the free hand off the ground and reverse the steps in order to end up back to your starting point at the standing position.


Perform 6 to 10 half get ups on each arm either on your mobility strength days, or as a supplemental movement to your lower body days. Scale the intensity and reps base on your day’s training goals.

3. The Turkish Get Up (TGU):


The full TGU is huge for shoring up your weak links by mobilizing your joints to operate throughout a full ROM. Being able to seamlessly perform the TGU is a sign that you’re eliminating many asymmetries and imbalances in your body and optimizing your function.

If you have any inhibition of movement then the TGU will expose it and is even a great solution for correcting many imbalances and problems you may have as well. In addition to this you’ll get stronger…as a matter of fact you’ll get much much stronger.

If you are currently experiencing any inhibition of movement then you are bleeding your body of power, strength, and agility. By becoming less inhibited you are going to be better suited for performing movement with greater quality which means you’re going to better suited for fighting, fitness, and life!


Now you’re going to combine elements of the get up floor press with the half get up in order to pull off the full TGU. Begin in the same position as the get up floor press (with the weight in the right hand) except once you roll over onto your back go ahead and press the kettlebell towards the sky.

From here roll up onto your elbow and then roll up onto your hand locking out the grounded arm. From here push off of your right leg performing a hip thrust with the right leg. Now that your hips are elevated simply slide your left leg underneath your body and plant your left knee on the ground underneath your body directly in line underneath your left hip.

Once in this position straighten up your body lifting your left hand off of the ground. From here simply windshield wiper the left leg to get your split stance lined up straight in order to stand up off of the ground out of the lunge position. Once you make it to a full standing position simply reverse course to go back to the start at the lying position.


Start incorporating the TGU into your MMA and Combat strength and conditioning program at least once a week. You can program to include them as a supplemental lift on your leg days, or as a stand alone training session. Perform 10 to 20 repetitions on the right and left arm. Scale the volume and intensity based on your day’s training goals.

The Takeaway On The Turkish Get Up

As I was mentioning earlier just remember that this movement is a bit more complex so be patient and work through the progressions I’ve outlined for you here. Not only will the TGU enhance your strength and mobility for fight performance, but it will also help you to put on some serious lean muscle. The dynamic nature of the TGU will help you produce a different type of strength where your body has to be able to move throughout several patterns while steadily enduring time under tension.

Are you currently including TGU’s in your MMA strength and conditioning program?

How many days a week do you perform TGU’s?

If you like this article please post up in the comments to tell us about your training. 

Also if you want to learn how to tie these together then make sure you check out my brand new 90 Day MMA Strength And Conditioning Program right here below! I guarantee it’ll get you into the best shape of your life, or I’ll give you your money back no questions asked.


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I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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