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My Favorite Pregnancy Exercise:The Turkish Get-Up

August 24, 2017

In the past, when it came to working out, I used to be a “as quick as possible” girl. I aimed to get as much done in the shortest amount of time, without any regard for form or desired result and found it very hard to break out of that mindset. Now as a personal trainer, this is a mentality I often preach to my clients about NOT doing. Not only can it lead to injury but it also can effect the specific goals you may have in mind. I was a hypocrite but FORTUNATELY with a baby on board, I have been forced to take the advice I should have been following myself long ago.

Almost 6 months pregnant, I’m starting to experience my balance wavering as my core expands weekly. With this occurring, it is becoming more important to focus on alternative ways to exercise and still gain strength, stabilization and mobility. The Turkish Get Up is a exercise that does just that and much more!

Turkish Get Ups are a multi-step skill that forces you to slow down, isolate, strengthen, lengthen and then coordinate. Among building a stronger core, it is a movement that helps strengthen your shoulders and overhead holds, improves posture, and provides great mobilization for the hips and back (two areas us pregnant ladies tend to complain about).

For many of my clients, whom I introduce this skill to, they are usually at first intimidated. And I get why. There are lots of steps to remember and while it may look like you are simply getting up and down off the ground, it is actually much more intricate.

Despite your fitness level and regardless of if you are pregnant or not, this is a skill I ALWAYS recommend starting off slow with. It is important to focus on the form first and then add in the strength aspect later. Trust me, you’ll be surprised when you realize that sometimes bodyweight is all you need for this one. Once you have mastered that, then you can proceed further using a dumbbell or kettle bell.

Curious yet? Well below I have broken down the movement for you and have given you step-by-step instructions for how to better master this wondrous skill. PLEASE NOTE: While it is best to avoid lying down for long periods of time during the 2nd/3rd trimester, short durations can be okay. Listen to your body and watch for any symptoms of nausea, light headedness, or shortness of breath. If ANY of these symptoms occur please refrain from movement until steady. If you plan on continuing, place a pillow under your head to increase the incline and decrease pressure. ADDITIONALLY,  WHILE THIS IS A SAFE EXERCISE TO PERFORM WHILE PREGNANT, ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOU HAVE DOCTORS CLEARANCE BEFORE ENGAGING IN ANY TYPE OF EXERCISE DURING PREGNANCY. 


  1. Lying Down, extend one arm straight and bend the same side knee
  2. Keeping your eyes ALWAYS on your Fist/Dumbbell/Kettlebell, press and roll up to your elbow
  3. From your elbow, continue pressing up to your hand.15035362882129015.gif
  4. Sitting up, press into the ground with your hand and extend your hips to the sky (push yourselves in this step to go as high as possible)15035351122129097.gif
  5. Bring opposite leg (the leg that is straight) under your body.  Pull your leg back till your knee is directly under your Fist/Dumbbell/Kettlebell. 15035354122129071.gif
  6. Now in a hinged over position, engage your core and twist your hips to come to a classic kneeling position.  
  7. Once in this kneeling position, engage your core again and simply stand up. 1503535317772514.gif
  8. Congratulations! You have achieved HALF of a turkish get up. To complete this movement we will now want to work in reverse by retracing the same exact steps.


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