Benefits of the TGU

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My Grandma lived alone in a house outside Pittsburgh, PA for many years. While she had family close, and we would visit as often as we could, she did a great job of living by herself and being independent.

One day while walking up her front path, she leaned over to get a piece of mail she had dropped, lost her balance, and fell. Not the first or last time, and usually wouldn’t have been a big deal, however she happened to slip between the shrub and the wall and ended up flat on her back.

While she wasn’t hurt at all, it didn’t take her long to realize that she was stuck. She didn’t have the core strength to sit up and she couldn’t turn over on her stomach to push up onto her hands and knees because of how she was wedged between the wall and the shrub.

If only she had practiced her Turkish Get Ups, she would have been up and out of there in no time. Instead, she started kicking her feet and whistling, hoping someone would see or hear her and come to her rescue. Eventually, a neighbor heard her whistling and came over and helped her up.

Often, we take for granted how much of an impact some of these exercises can have on being able to live a long and independent life. And that’s the key word…”independent”.

Today at WildFire CrossFit, we are going to be doing Turkish Get Ups, an exercise that many of the old-time strongmen would use in both training and competitions. In fact, in an article I found by Dr. Mercola titled:  “Turkish Get-Up: Secrets Revealed of Old-Time Strongmen”, he explained that when a strongman was training an apprentice, the first thing they would teach them was the Turkish Get Up and then tell them not to return until they could complete this exercise with a 100 lb weight.

In addition to core strength, this exercise will help you build balance, coordination, and overall stability. Since the weight is placed at the furthest point away from our core and we are moving from flat on our back to standing, we also build upper body and shoulder strength and stability.

Today, we are focusing more on speed and efficiency than on weight and since we are alternating these with Kettlebell Clean and Jerks it is very different from just doing sets of Turkish Get Ups over and over.

Seriously, its one of the best overall exercises we could do and quite frankly, we don’t do it enough. I highly encourage you to incorporate more TGUs into your training outside of what we do in class. Especially if you know you need to work on building core strength and if you find you have a lot of shoulder and upper back and neck pain. This is a great exercise to get rid of that.

Then, our workout today is one of my favorite time domains in the Tabata workout. This time domain was specifically developed to help combine aerobic (continuous) and anaerobic (without oxygen). The point is, to go fast and hard during the 20 second working periods because you know you are going to get a 10 sec rest.

Today is also a great day to get over some of the soreness you might feel from the sleds and snatches earlier in the week, so get into WildFire CrossFit. If you plan to live a long and independent life, this is a great place to start. So, let’s have some FUN!

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