Innovative Mobility: Performing The Half Get Up For Optimal Mobility

By: Brandon Richey, B.S.,CSCS

Owner: Brandon Richey Fitness LLC

In my world the key to mastering mobility is being intelligent about how you progress it. This frequently involves taking a trainee from one step to the next in the most sensible and idiot proof way possible. Today’s topic is going to be an example of how to go about doing just that. Today I want to address a great strength drill that I like to introduce in the iron game on a fairly regular basis.

Progressing Mobility

Anybody that has been around me for any respectable amount of time knows that I like to hammer on the fundamentals. After all, I think it should go without saying that without having a solid handle on any foundation of movement you can quickly throw out the idea of progression in a hurry.

Unfortunately the reality is that I’ve frequently witnessed many coaches over the years that choose to shift their focus more to achieving quantity of movement rather than emphasizing the quality of movement when it comes to training.

The truth is that this is an unfortunate trend that has sparked the harder is better attitude with many coaches and trainers in the industry. This is a common mistake and faulty belief system that has taken hold in the business. Just because something is harder doesn’t make it better…remember only better makes something better!

A big part of improving a trainee in the area of mobility involves the stabilization and mobilization of the joints, particularly with the shoulders and hips. I stress the shoulders and hips not only because they are mobile joints, but because they are the primary mobile joints that function directly off the trunk of the body in most every major movement that we do.

The Half Get Up

When it comes to working in a great deal of mobility there are few drills better than the turkish get up. However when looking at the get up it can be a rather challenging and at times cumbersome to teach to a newcomer right out of the gate unless you have a sound plan of progression.

The reason for this is that there are several steps to address with a respective trainee and at the same time the drill itself can also introduce significant flaws and cheats that a trainee may fall victim to throughout the duration of the exercise.

Common cheats that many people fall victim to when attempting to perform the get up is not maintaining a perpendicular angle with their lifting arm to the sky throughout the drill. Another fail typically might involve them improperly setting up the drill by lunging with the wrong leg from the start.  This immediately places them in a compromising position to inhibit them from executing the drill. I could go on and on.

The point here is that as a coach I like to address these in a very practical way when coaching up a trainee to execute the movement right from the start. At the beginning I like to teach a trainee to perform the lift without a weight in hand to start…and then later have them move on to performing the drill while lifting and controlling an additional load with a kettlebell or dumbbell.

To simplify this drill I prefer to start by teaching new trainees how to perform a half get up instead of a full turkish get up. This teaches a trainee to control themselves in the middle of the movement so that it’s easier to coach them through the rest of the get up exercise. The full get up involves going all the way to the ground and back up to a standing position. The added steps can often create a more cumbersome training experience in the beginning so to simplify this I just prefer eliminating the portion of the drill that takes us all the way to the ground…at least in the beginning.

This is a very simple set up for most any trainee and it doesn’t require any equipment whatsoever. As stated earlier in addition to this I can address some other common problems that generally arise with the get up such as a trainee’s arm position.

The arm should maintain a rather perpendicular angle to the sky as a given trainee, or athlete progresses through this exercise in it’s entirety. To ensure this and to enforce this technique in a safe manner I usually have a trainee perform the drill either with a deck of cards (still in the box), or with a more handy implement by having them use one of their shoes. That’s right, a shoe is a fantastic tool for the half get up.

As you can see this is an effective application to prepare most anyone to perform this drill. It forces them to train this movement by maintaining the proper arm position during the movement.

I’m a huge proponent on hammering away on the importance of technique. The only means to acquiring optimal performance is making sure that we are proficient in performing the fundamentals. Quality always trumps quantity no matter the endeavor.

In Closing

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and if so then please don’t be shy about posting up in the comment section here below. What kind of mobility work are you doing? Are you implementing the get up, or some other similar variation into your training program at the moment? Stay strong, be better, and train smart!

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