Some people are held back from trying out the coolest-looking workout moves because they’re intimidated. If the most ripped, athletic-looking guys are pulling off these awe-inspiring maneuvers, how could a normal dude even have a shot?
The truth is, some of these exercises are really tough—especially the variety that you only ever see attempted on Instagram—but others are much more within the realm of possibility than you might expect. One of those moves is the Turkish getup, a multipart maneuver that looks really cool once you start adding more weight, but is at its core a simple process to learn.
Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., teaches an adjusted version of the exercise that makes it even easier to pull off for anyone, using the first three steps to crush your core.
“If there’s one core move I’d love to get everyone doing, from beginners to advanced folks, it’s this one,” says Samuel.
“It’s a powerful enough move to spark growth and development in the rectus abdominus (your actual six-pack muscles). Instead of merely isolating that and creating an opportunity to grow imbalanced, you finish with a potent glute squeeze.”
The move does more than just work one muscle group—Samuel says your glutes, abs, lower back muscles, and obliques all work together to stabilize your torso.
To pull off the simple 3-step core getup, all you need is a kettlebell or dumbbell and some space to move around. If you need a good kettlebell, check out this option from Onnit.
Men’s Health/Eric Rosati
- Start in a lying position on the ground with the kettlebell in one hand, with that same side leg bent and the sole of your foot on the ground. Press the weight straight up, and extend the other arm out to the side with your palm facing down.
- Squeeze your abs to press your torso upward so your propped up on your elbow. Keep the weight elevated in the same position.
- Push off the ground with your off hand to straighten your arm. Keep the weight elevated in the same position.
- Lean on your arm and squeeze your glutes to push your hips off the ground as high as you can, aiming to create a straight line from your torso through your thigh. Keep the weight elevated in the same position.
- Reverse the motion to return to the bottom position.
Make sure to start out light to nail the form—but one of the big perks of the exercise is how heavy you can get once you master it. “The beauty of the move is that you can load it,” says Samuel. “Planks are great for building a useful core, but to construct aesthetically noticeable abs, you need to challenge your core to be stable in dynamic situations and under load. You get to do both those things here, in a safe, spine-friendly manner.”
To add the 3-step getup to you ab routine, keep the rep load light with 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps. For more tips and routines from Samuel, check out our full slate of Eb and Swole workouts. If you want to try an even more dedicated routine, consider Eb’s New Rules of Muscle program.
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