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Kettlebell Does the TGU take care of "core strength" in its entirety?

Dayz

Level 6 Valued Member
Say you can do TGUs with the beast, by definition, do you have a strong core? Or might there be gaps to fill with other exercises? If so, what would those exercises be?

Apologies, I know this is a somewhat inane question!
 

Adam R Mundorf

Level 6 Valued Member
Say you can do TGUs with the beast, by definition, do you have a strong core? Or might there be gaps to fill with other exercises? If so, what would those exercises be?

Apologies, I know this is a somewhat inane question!
I think you would have a strong core but would still benefit from hollow body work and leg raises.
 

Bauer

Level 7 Valued Member
Say you can do TGUs with the beast, by definition, do you have a strong core? Or might there be gaps to fill with other exercises? If so, what would those exercises be?

Apologies, I know this is a somewhat inane question!
Bret Contreras did an interesting case study with a lot of exercises way back in 2010. Of course, it might differ due to technique and weight used - but the TGU stood out as a great allrounder (even with 50lb).


Based on the results of this experiment, I bet the following would be one kick-a#@ workout that'd target the abdominals, obliques, and lower back. Enjoy!

* Turkish Get Up
* Chin Up, Hanging Leg Raise, or Weighted Swiss Ball Crunch
* Ab Wheel Rollout, Bodysaw, or RKC Plank
* Kneeling Cable Lift, Tornado Ball Slam, Landmine, or Reverse Hyper
 

Andi-in-BKK

Level 4 Valued Member
I’m not sure it could get you to the level of a 500lb+ deadlift or low bar squat. But it’s a different kind of core strength, bracing to secure the integrity of the torso against a load versus balancing an uneven load.
 

JamesPTA

Level 5 Valued Member
This is definitely a case of perspective. Some would argue, including myself, that it takes a great deal of trunk stability (and mobility) just to be able to get to the standing position from the ground.

Now add the beast…..yes. Your core is rock solid
 

Ryan T

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
GUs are great, heavier ones with sufficient volume will do great things, but there are plenty of other movements and lifts that will give you a strong midsection. Aside from the ones above, heavy double KB front squats, zercher squats, heavy single bell carries (esp rack and farmer), heavy single bell SLDL, BB DLs are also contenders.
 

Period

Level 7 Valued Member
Say you can do TGUs with the beast, by definition, do you have a strong core? Or might there be gaps to fill with other exercises? If so, what would those exercises be?

Apologies, I know this is a somewhat inane question!
I worked up to that level about ten years ago (then went on to a 56 kg sandbag balanced on my palm) - although it was mostly about technique for me, since I could do TGUs with a 50 kg dumbbell pretty much right away. For me personally, it didn't do much in terms of core strength, I got a lot more core activation from AB wheel rollouts. I'd recommend those and at least one variation of hanging leg raises (including one-arm, pull-ups and rope climbing in L-sit) in addition.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
Strict hanging leg raises were a WTH effect of reaching just Simple for me. They have my vote.

This doesn't compute, to me. Doing Simple, or even Sinister, didn't get me to even a decent L-sit -- let alone a HLR! But where I've always been decent with abdominal bracing (for heavy lifting), I've never been good at abdominal contraction for something like a HLR. I'd like to blame my two abdominal surgeries but it's probably just that I've never trained it enough.

Anyway, I'd like to hear more about what you mean by "strict hanging leg raises were a WTH effect of reaching just Simple for me". Do you mean you couldn't do it, then trained to Simple (without training leg raises of any kind), and then you reached Simple, tried again, and were able to do a strict HLR?
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

In all cases, core goal is to stabilize the spine in all directions. This is why it is usually advised to work on anti extension, anti rotation, anti flexion, anti lateral flexion.

For each of these "categories", one may use both static (exp: plank) and dynamic moves (exp: V-Ups).

Then it all comes down to the sport we perfom. There is little but no "twist" involved in weightlifting. However, there is in combat sport. Curling motion is also not involved in weight lifting. However, it is in combat sport.

TGU is a nice "blend", but it has to be paired with other moves (anti extension, such as in swings) and HLR (flexion)

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
Hello,

In all cases, core goal is to stabilize the spine in all directions. This is why it is usually advised to work on anti extension, anti rotation, anti flexion, anti lateral flexion.

For each of these "categories", one may use both static (exp: plank) and dynamic moves (exp: V-Ups).

Then it all comes down to the sport we perfom. There is little but no "twist" involved in weightlifting. However, there is in combat sport. Curling motion is also not involved in weight lifting. However, it is in combat sport.

TGU is a nice "blend", but it has to be paired with other moves (anti extension, such as in swings) and HLR (flexion)

Kind regards,

Pet'

That is a nice summary.

True that the curling motion not something trained with most kettlebell or barbell movements.

And I never thought of swings as "anti extension" work for the abs, but I do agree that they are. Bracing the abs as the weight and movement's momentum tries to make you continue towards bending backwards can definitely be described as "anti extension". Especially with overspeed swings / shadow swings -- they definitely light up the abs!
 

Nate

Level 6 Valued Member
Do you mean you couldn't do it, then trained to Simple (without training leg raises of any kind), and then you reached Simple, tried again, and were able to do a strict HLR?
Exactly. Slow, strict HLR, one arm pushup & easy, full ROM pistol were only possible for me when I was owning Simple. Not before or since & Ive never focused on training any of them. Pullups became effortless though Ive always worked them.
 
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BJJ Shawn

Level 6 Valued Member
This doesn't compute, to me. Doing Simple, or even Sinister, didn't get me to even a decent L-sit -- let alone a HLR! But where I've always been decent with abdominal bracing (for heavy lifting), I've never been good at abdominal contraction for something like a HLR. I'd like to blame my two abdominal surgeries but it's probably just that I've never trained it enough.

Anyway, I'd like to hear more about what you mean by "strict hanging leg raises were a WTH effect of reaching just Simple for me". Do you mean you couldn't do it, then trained to Simple (without training leg raises of any kind), and then you reached Simple, tried again, and were able to do a strict HLR?

I know this was not directed at me, but I also had this happen to me. I could not do half a HLR the first time I tried when I was starting out S&S, but after I reached Timed Simple I started doing PTTP and Hardstyle Abs and my first try at HLR I was able to knock off a couple reps. I don't know if it was the S&S or the weight loss (I believe during that time I lost about 30 lbs), but I definitely improved without doing any ab exercises and after doing Hardstyle Abs for a couple weeks and working on technique I was able to hit 5 good reps.
 
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Adachi

Level 6 Valued Member
For me, the easiest way to acquiring a strong core was and is the barbell deadlift
I would agree that it was easier to focus on during the deadlift. The getup absolutely involves the core and abs. But I'm very distracted by several other things throughout the movement.

In the deadlift I was able to very clearly and deliberately calibrate the tension and bear down on the valsalva maneuver. I could dial up a 10 or a 5 and notice the difference. And, interestingly I found a similarity to the hard style laziness explanation in S&S . Going all in on tensing the midsection didn't turn out to be the optimal move. About 80% was a good effort, and got me a certain amount of change of shape around the coastals.
 

Mark Limbaga

Level 8 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
As @Steve Freides says : YMMV

The movement that I felt really get my abs firing initially were the hardstyle sitback and the HLR..

Also doing head movement found in the Original Strength system made my HLR stronger.. after a month or so taking a deep dive into the HLR, I managed to make solid progress on my dragon flag.

But to answer the question, I did not really get much core benefits from the getup, overall connective tissue, yes..
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Perhaps it helps this conversation to think about the different meanings of "core" and "abs." As someone with a herniated lumbar disc, I have very little use for "abs" as traditionally defined, the rectus abdominis. I used to, before I discovered actual strength training, use a rolled up towel underneath my back and one of those "ab rollers" at the gym, and I would do upwards of 1200 situps in a session, usually broken up into a few pieces, but still, it was 1000 or 1200 situps. It did absolutely zero for me, in my opinion.

Core, OTOH, I think of as stabilizing my midsection to best transfer force from my feet, legs and hips to my upper body.

After deadlifting, I was able to do all sorts of ab things like hanging leg raises, dragon flags, and wheel rollouts on little to no specific training.

Your definitions may vary, and I don't mean to try to hammer out definitions here, just to highlight that we may be talking about different approaches, at least in part, because we're talking about different things.

-S-
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
TGU is great for core development, but nothing "does it all" for core work since most of it is firing pattern specific.

Kettlebell or plate loaded steering wheels, Deadlifts and Good Mornings, Circular Cleans (!), etc etc.

The ones I always felt had the most carryover involved manipulating a load outside my center of gravity. Relatively modest loads produce tremendous tension and all of that is transferred through the core to the ground. After that it has to go to DL, you can feel every muscle between the pelvis and the rib cage activating to transfer the load. Front squat a close second.
 

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
I'll just put in my experience for what it's worth.

I've been doing a lot of 1/4 getups and dead bugs and thought I was doing pretty good but then I tried a lying cross-crawl exercise that I saw in an Aleks Salkin video on YouTube. It's a remedial exercise but I was surprised not only by how hard it was but that it was harder on one side than the other. It seems this cross-crawl exercise uncovered something the others didn't.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

I've reached Simple several times.

The first one, it was by following the programme as per the book. Back then, I had trouble performing HLR, H Wipers or Dragon flags, to name a few.

At some point, I stopped doing TGUs and focused on other moves, which included HLR, H Wipers and DF. Obviously, there's some skill involved.

Then I wanted to hit Simple again. I was extremely pleased to see that TGUs were way easier after my period of dedicated core training.

This does not mean that focused training is "better" than TGUs. It just means that getting a strong core may require a dedicated training. TGUs is one of the best "overall lift" (strength, mobility, etc...) if one wants to get some sort of blend. A great combo could be bent press + TGU. Nonetheless, if one wants - for some reason - an even stronger core, then there are better choices:
- Heavy lifting (bb, sandbags, rocks, etc...)
- Dedicated core training

From a purely anecdotal standpoint (me), if I want to get better at TGUs, I get better results by "deconstructing" it (leg (pistols, lunges,...), core, press at various angles). But getting good at TGU only do not make me better at other moves.

I've been doing a lot of 1/4 getups and dead bugs
IMHO, this is something very interesting. DBs involve some sort of anti-extension and anti-twist. 1/4 TGUs involve twisting and curling. This is a perfect combination of static, dynamic and "3D" work. I like it !

Kind regards,

Pet'
 
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