Shoulder Centration in the TGU Part 2

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Want better shoulder mobility? Download Day 1 of our Shoulder Mobility Program for free:

Shoulder Centration in the TGU Part 2 | Week 27 | Movement Fix Monday

If you haven't already watched part 1, you can find it here.

Up arms vs down arm

As we continue on with this mini-series, it's important to note that parts 1 and 2 are about the down arm (parts 3 and 4 will be about the up arm). The turkish get up is a closed chain exercise for the down arm and an open chain exercise for the up arm. This matters because if you are trying to improve your shoulder joint centration and motor control in a closed chain activity (handstands, push ups, pull ups, dips), thinking about the down arm may be more effective as a skill transfer.

If you need help with open chain movements (kettlebell swings, olympic lifting), then working on the up arm (or open chain arm) may be more beneficial. In my opinion, most people need both, so just work both unless you have a good reason to focus on just one.

Positions 3 and 4

In this video specifically I demo how to actively work into positions 3 and 4, which are the high bridge (high post) and the bottom of the lunge.

Everyone always wants to rush through turkish get ups. Whenever I have someone demo a turkish get up at a workshop, they always go fast. I am not sure why we have such tendency to move so fast through the TGU. Maybe it's because it requires gaining and holding a lot of muscular tension and we want to rush through that. I like to savor it.

I see the biggest value in the TGU coming from moving slowly and controlled. I'd rather someone go slower with light weight and control every degree of movement versus seeing how much weight they can lift by doing it quickly.

The turkish get up isn't a fast lift like a clean and jerk or snatch. It's a slow lift and that means you can and should slow down and enjoy every second you are forced to get and maintain tension.

Working it

There isn't a magic way to work through the turkish get up. There are a lot of good ways and this is where the art comes in.

A common misconception with the turkish get up is that the only way to work on it is by doing complete reps. This couldn't be further from the truth. That would be like saying if you want to work on snatching a barbell, you can only ever work on snatching a barbell. For snatching there tons of drills to be done like snatch balances, snatch grip deadlifts, pulling drills, footwork drills, and more.

There are similar ways to work on the skill and technique of a turkish get up. You can work slowly from one position to another and back again, you can explore all the possible places you can get into within a position, you can do a press in each position, and much more. Make sure to watch the video to see how I work through positions 3 and 4.

Thanks for reading.

- Ryan

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