The Best Strength Drill for BJJ

The Turkish Get-Up is a total-body exercise that creates a link of strength from your shoulders to your hips. When done properly, you will roll, kneel, stand, and reach in one smooth drill. It is one of the best exercises to promote stability and mobility while increasing general strength. 

Bodyweight Turkish Get-Ups

Nail the body weight get-up before adding any weight. Pause in 5 different spots: the elbow, hand, supported ½ kneeling, ½ kneeling, and standing. 

For an added challenge, try balancing a yoga block, light book, or tissue box. Go slowly! 

Tip: Exhale on the initial roll to your elbow. 

Use this as your warmup to any workout. 2-4 sets of 1 rep

Partial Get-Ups

Once you are ready to add weight, start with partial get-ups. Your setup matters. Start lying on your side with both elbows bent. The handle should be on an angle, resting deep in the palm. 

Aim for 3-6 sets of 3 reps on each side with 60 seconds of rest between sets. 

Turkish Get-Up to Elbow

Turkish Get-Up to Hand

Turkish Get-Up to Half Kneeling

Turkish Get-Up With Presses

After a few weeks of training, start adding presses to each of the pauses. This will increase muscle mass and strength while recruiting the stabilizers even more.

Tip: Keep your palm rotated inward toward your face. Squeeze your lats the whole time.  

Try 3 sets of 10 presses each side with 60-90 seconds of rest between sets

Full Turkish Get-Ups

When training the full Turkish Get-Up, start light. Begin with a 10-minute workout. Every minute, start 1 rep. This should leave you with 10-20 seconds of rest. Repeat on the other side. Keep alternating until you hit 5 reps on each side. 

If you’re unsure about your form or have questions, schedule a technique session with Katia. She is available in-person or remote via Zoom. E-mail her at

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