Many people realize that Turkish get-ups can offer valuable benefits. A question is how many reps and sets you should do of this movement.
One of the benefits of Turkish get-ups is that you can do them for both training mobility and training strength. The repetition and set recommendations vary for these goals.
The second important note is that Turkish get-ups are not the most precisely studied exercise. That means the recommendations below are rough guidelines that can be modified for your personal situation and goals.
That being said, for mobility, most people want to do around 6 to 10 Turkish get-ups on each side for 3 to 6 sets. To train mobility you want to use a relatively light weight or just your body weight.
For strength, you want to do around 3 to 6 Turkish get-ups per side for 3 to 6 sets. In this case, you want to use a weight where you can just barely complete the sets.
If you are new to the exercise you preferably want to start too light instead of too heavy.
Mobility vs strength training
Mobility is the range of motion specific joints or joint groups can do. This often is connected to flexibility which is how much your muscles can lengthen.
On the other hand, there is strength training which is putting your muscles under enough pressure to grow and strengthen skeletal muscles.
The number of Turkish get-ups you do with what weights will influence whether the movement is a mobility or a strength training exercise.
How many Turkish get-ups for different goals
With that in mind, you can start to think about the number of repetitions and sets that is optimal for your goals.
The research about the optimal number of repetitions and sets to train mobility is not that in depth compared to for example weight lifting exercises.
That being said, most people want to go through the Turkish get-up movement with the right technique for a somewhat higher number of repetitions. A rough guideline is 6 to 10 Turkish get-ups on each side for 3 to 6 sets.
To really grow and strengthen the muscles worked in Turkish get-ups you want to use a higher weight for fewer repetitions.
For regular strength training exercises, the optimal number of sets and repetitions are relatively precise. The Turkish get-up is a somewhat long exercise so you want to do fewer repetitions than these guidelines for regular exercises.
In short, you want to do around 3 to 6 Turkish get-ups per side for 3 to 6 sets to train strength. How much weight you use is an important factor.
How much weight you should use
Similar to repetitions and sets, the best weight for Turkish get-up workouts depends on your training goals. In terms of weight, your current strength level also matters.
For mobility training, you want to use a light weight or just your body weight in the Turkish get-up.
Using at least some weight can give you better feedback about things like whether you are keeping your upper arm in the right position.
For strength training, you want to do Turkish get-ups with a weight where you can barely completely your repetitions and sets. As you get stronger, you will have to choose heavier weights to follow this guideline.
When in doubt, you want to start light and build up from there. Due to the position of the weight in Turkish get-ups, you definitely don’t want to risk dropping it. Safety comes first.
If you find these guidelines a bit too vague, one publication in the International Journal of Athletic Therapy & Training offers the following general recommendations for the kettlebell weight during the Turkish get-up (1):
|Skill Level||Kettlebell Weight For Men||Kettlebell Weight For Women|
|Beginner||17.6 – 26.5 lbs (8 – 12 kg)||8.8 – 13.2 lbs (4 – 6 kg)|
|Intermediate||26.5 – 35.3 lbs (12 – 16 kg)||13.2 – 17.6 lbs (6 – 8 kg)|
|Advanced||35.3 – 52.9+ lbs (16 – 24+ kg)||17.6 – 26.5 lbs (8 – 12+ kg)|