Posts Tagged ‘core stability’

This is Part II on Why Hockey Players Should Do Turkish Get Ups. For reasons #1-5 see Part II below this post.

#6 – It Develops Grip Strength

Have you ever shaken the hands of a top level NHL player? It’s like grabbing a meat hook.

It’s never a weak, limp wristed hand that reaches out to you. It’s a strong firm grip that gets your attention without trying hard to act tough.

Why does this matter?

Well besides the fact that you’ll get off a quicker, harder shot it also allows you to develop more strength and power.

There are more nerves in your hands than most other places in the body. Developing your grip strength innervates these nerves and allows for stronger contractions and more force to be developed through the rest of the body. Turkish Get Ups are great for developing this strength.

#7 – It Is a Self Limiting Exercise

Have you heard this term before?

It means that you can’t overdo the exercise. Think about chin ups for example. It’s pretty hard to do too many. You can either do a complete rep or you can’t. There’s no in between.

The same applies for Turkish Get Ups.

There are a few variations on technique but in the end what matters is whether or not you can get from a position on your back to standing and back down again. All while stabilizing a load overhead.

#8 – Great for Thoracic Mobility

Thoracic mobility is key for hockey players.


Because it allows the torso to dissociate from the hips more effectively. And this separation of torso and hips allows for more power generation on the skating stride as well as greater degree of shoulder rotation on slap shots. Or the tee box in the summer.

Plus from an injury prevention stand point thoracic mobility is important as it helps take strain off the low back and shoulders. In other words if the thoracic spine doesn’t move the body will seek out this mobility elsewhere. And often times this movement is transferred to the low back or shoulders resulting in injury.

#9 – Easily Progressed or Regressed

I like exercises that can be made easier or harder depending in the situation.

For example if a player lacks the strength to perform a TGU with a particular load a lighter one can be used. Or for more challenge the exercise can be performed with the bell up.

And when the situation arises where there is an injury the exercise can be modified. For example with a lower body injury, perform a TGU to the sitting position. Or maybe as far as hip extension. Lastly, with a hand injury substitute a sandbag on the shoulder to eliminate the need for gripping.

#10 – It Develops Toughness

Hockey is definitely a game of toughness. Both physical and mental. Lacking either puts you at a disadvantage.

I’ve worked with some hockey players who have complained about the placement of the bell on the back of their arm. Now I understand this can be adjusted and a neutral wrist will help the bell in place. But really?

You play a sport where 100 mph pucks fly past your head when you set up in front of the goal and you’re complaining about a little discomfort on the back of your arm?

I think it’s good to do some things that are a little bit uncomfortable. I don’t mean stupid circus act training but exercises that are physically challenging enough to make you want to stop.

The question is, do you?

Can you persevere when others would stop? How bad do you want the end goal? Are you willing to pay the price?

Many will say the right things in an interview and may even through in a cliché or two. But fewer will save their breath for the efforts they make on the training room floor.

#11 – Simple Set up

Sometimes I’ll watch videos of hockey training programs. And in the videos they are using the most high tech equipment available and doing some really cool things.

But that’s not the real world.

Most people don’t train where budgets don’t matter, where facility size doesn’t matter and where the expertise of the coach is among the best anywhere.

So we need a better option.

Kettlebells are great in that they are relatively inexpensive, are widely available, can be transported easily and can be used to perform a number of exercises.

There is no maintenance required. No special storage. And there is no set up required is order to use them.


The Turkish Get Up is an excellent exercise choice for hockey players. It develops so many things at once from strength, to core stability, to 3D movement awareness as well as grip strength that it is hard not to include this one in your training arsenal.

If you are going to give this exercise a try start slowly. In fact get used to basic swing first before you progress to the TGU. And if you have an RKC in your area hire them to learn the safe and proper way to perform a Turkish Get Up.


When you mention dryland training to a hockey player the first thing that comes to mind is leg training. And if it’s not leg training it’s core training. Which in an upcoming post I’ll show you can be accomplished at the same time. But for now we’ll stick to the discussion that leg training forms the foundation of training for hockey. And it makes sense. Because the game is played from a position on the feet with force being generated into the ground.
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