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The Purpose of Our Get-Up Day

Updated: Jun 15, 2023

Today we are going to talk about get-ups and programming them.

For those of you who don’t know what a get-up is, CLICK HERE to see a video.

Why do we do the get-up, you ask?

Here are just a handful of reasons for doing get-ups:

  • Promotes upper and lower body stability

  • Gets the upper extremities working reciprocally

  • Stimulates the visual system

  • Stimulates the proprioception system

  • Promotes spatial awareness

  • Develops and front/back weight shift

  • Develops upper body strength, trunk strength (think core), and hip strength

The get-up can be done using just bodyweight, dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, sandbags and humans. :) This movement is one that I believe should be done every day. Even if it is part of a warm-up or cool down.

Now, how in the world do you actually get to a point of putting weight over your head in a get-up or eventually doing a barbell?

At ANCHOR, we have a day specifically devoted to get-ups and the whole purpose is to start getting more weight overhead in a comfortable and safe way. One program that I am absolutely obsessed with is below:

  1. Get-up: 15 seconds holds x 1 L/R

  2. Deadlift or Swings x 10

  3. Get-up: Roll to elbow x 1 L/R

  4. Squat x 10

  5. Get-up: Tall Sit x 1 L/R

  6. Deadlifts or Swings x 10

  7. Get-up: ½ Kneeling x 1 L/R

  8. Squat x 10

  9. Get-up: Full x 1 L/R

In the above program, we are breaking up the get-ups into their different sections, so that heavier weight can be used. For example, say your goal is to do a 20 kg get-up and you currently can do a 16kg bell for a full get-up. You want to take part A and use a 20kg to push the bell up (you can use both hands) and hold the bell in that position for about 15 seconds per side. Most likely, if you do that for 2–3 weeks, you will get comfortable in that position and then you will be able to use the 20kg bell for part C which is the next step of the get-up. As you move into part E, you can then drop the weight to the 16kg bell and the rest of the get-up parts. The goal is for every 2–3 weeks to be able to increase the goal weight to another step until you can do a full-getup at the goal weight. Now, if you are just starting out, you may end up hitting these goals quicker. If you are getting close to doing ½ bodyweight, it takes a bit longer to progress through the program and some other progressions or accessory work may be needed. (CLICK HERE FOR EXPLANATION AND DEMO)

For those of you who are in class on these get-up days, start trying to progress and use different weights for the different get-up progressions. Get a goal on the board and let’s make it happen!

If you have never done a get-up before, try using bodyweight first and then use a shoe or a block to balance before adding weight (a dumbbell may be the best way to start). CLICK HERE for this instructional video.

If you have any questions on where to start or where to go, respond to this email and I would be happy to help.

Until next time,

Pick up heavy things… safely!


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