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Ask Dave: Using the Turkish Get Up for Punching Power

Last week I posted a breakdown of the Turkish Get Up with a stack of detail.

You can read that here if you missed it: everything-you-ever-need-to-know-about-the-turkish-get-up

Prior to writing that post I reached out to get peoples questions on the lift, as I teach it on a near daily basis, I had a fair idea, but it’s always good to get an idea of what the rest of the world wants to ask.

But one question that came in didn’t fit the profile.

It was from Brian.

Brian is a very smart man with a very keen interest in the Martial Arts and particularly the stripped down self defence / combatives techniques/tactics.

Brian asks:

“What do you think of the Turkish Get Up for developing punching power from a poor position. It looks like the action you need to generate power when your hips are trapped, like on the floor etc”

Great question.

Normally we give the Get Up to grapplers, pretty much as standard. Strikers less so, certainly not as a primary exercise, although we will use it as part of their core work and definitely as a drill to great better shoulder stability for power transfer on a punch.

But as a developmental drill for a punch itself, is that possible?

I think so.

Brian suggested the context of a compromised position, as mentioned, his interest is in self defence. Something I am also very interested in. And very often in a self defence scenario we don’t have the luxury of using footwork and having a good hip drive.

As one of my coaches, Mick Coup, is fond of saying on the topic of footwork, “Now try that on a fire escape!”

When we find our hips trapped, for instance if were against a wall, on the floor, over a car bonnet, then power generation must come from the torso only.

Take a look at these two images from Thomas Myers Anatomy Trains:

They show what the AT guys call the Front Line on the left and the Spiral Line on the right. The idea of Antomy Trains is that muscles aren’t individual units, in fact you can trace out entire line (train line) of unbroken muscle and tendon from tip to toe.

These train lines give us a great guide to how we can best use our training to get the responses we desire.

The right hand image is of particular interest as it shows the line we will rely on most when throwing, be that a punch or a ball. The left hand image is more the support line for these actions.

In order to maximise our power we need to load up that diagonal line and then contract it hard pulling our punching shoulder forwards and across towards the opposing hip.

Yes, this takes techincal practice and a degree of spinal mobility. But that’s what training is for.

Does the Turkish Get Up cover this?

Yes if we adjust the way we perform it.

This video here shows the manner in which we can use the Get Up for this purpose:

As you can see we’re merging a floor press into the first portion of the get up. If you include this in your training, put it early in the workout so you are as fresh as possible when performing it. You want to be explosive, moving quickly.

After several low rep rounds of this, I’d suggest moving to a more strength based exercise for the same lines (trains), such as the One Arm Push Up, and before you say it, I know they’re hard, so here’s the progressions:

As you work these, don’t forget to also include pulling, such as Inverted rows and Pull Ups to keep the shoulders balanced.

And as a final note, if the combat sports, martial arts and self defence are your primary interest in training, my two eBooks “WMD” and “Fighting Back” that are specifically written for the martial artists are still on sale until the end of November. You just need to enter the code ” Nov18 ” at the checkout to get 25% off them (valid for all digital my products)

As ever, if you have questions or feedback, I’d love to hear it.

You know how to get in touch


Dave Hedges

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