The getup is a great exercise. I sat down to list out why that is so and came up with 13 different benefits that make this move amazing.
- Shoulder health – The getup works you through a wide range of planes of motion for the shoulder which includes the front, overhead and side.
- Side strength – Specifically from the above it is the side plane of motion, which is where most of the getup is active in, that seldom gets used. You may bench or pushup (front plane) and military press or handstand pushup (overhead), but how often are you strengthening this range of motion?
- Mobility demands – The shoulder and arm must be mobile through the above range of motion. But the hips and spine and rest of the body need mobility too. If you can do the getup you can move reasonably well. If you can’t, well then working on something like the getup may get you there.
- Unilateral/Asymmetric – The majority of training done by most people is symmetrical. Two arms. Two legs. This isn’t bad…unless its done to the exclusion of asymmetric movements. Most of life is asymmetrical and therefore it should be trained. This is done well through unilateral moves such as the getup that have the weight in one arm at a time.
- Coordination – The basic move require some 15 steps to do the movement. And that’s just going up, you have to reverse those 15 steps on the way down. All of that mobility must be coordinated. In so doing you may find…
- Increased cognition – Some people may think this is a stretch but recent science seems to be proving it out. The more coordination and complexity of movement patterns you do, the more it requires neural rewiring. Greater neural rewiring then makes your brain and thinking run better.
- Progressive – A lot of people stop moving forward with the getup after they’ve achieved a certain degree of competence with it. But it can be taken much further than most people think. And the barbell is actually an ideal tool for doing so.
- Balance – Speaking of the barbell just think about holding a 7 foot long weight in one hand while going through everything listed above. The increased balance demands further amplify the benefits and the skill needed.
- Skill – Related to the coordination and neural pathways discussed above, the getup makes an ideal move for practicing and building your skill level in. My experience is that treating at least some of your training as a skills practice rather than a workout will give you additional and different benefits than just the latter as most do.
- Unlock your hips – There is a certain variation of the getup that involves a high hip bridge. This is tougher and therefore a progressive step beyond the average hip bridge move. Incorporate this into your getups and you’ll have stronger glutes, a more relaxed psoas and greater movement ability.
- Rehab shoulders – Yeah, I know I already mentioned shoulder health. But two additional getup variations kick this up an incredible notch allowing you to make the shoulders that much better. Rehab old injuries and pain, or prehab them so that doesn’t happen in the first place.
- Wrestling and martial arts ability – While the getup is good for this in general, there is a specific variation using a different tool that is even more applicable to these sports.
- Fun – Because it is a challenging move taking strength, mobility, coordination and skill, it can actually be a whole lot of fun to do. I know some people may not see it that way, but the important thing is that some WILL see it this way.
So how do you “operationalize” these benefits?
You do the getup of course! And if you want to learn all the details I could possibly give you, then you’ll want to check out the newest issue of the Strength Health Mind Power Inner Circle newsletter, “How to Master the Getup.”