On the danger of TGU and MP

tommaso marchesi

Level 4 Valued Member
Hello I am Tommaso,

I would like to ask an opinion about how dangerous are some exercises; in particular I would like to ask a comparison between the potential danger of performing turkish get up and military press. Which one for you is more dangerous and why?
Both in the sense of performing the exercise with relative high volume and intensity (injury probability lets say) and also from the point of view of the movement mechanism which one is more insidious and present more critical points.

thank you for your time.
 

Mark Limbaga

Level 7 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
May I ask for more context??

In my personal experience, most potential injuries from the getup are due to less than ideal alignment, attempting a weight you aren't ready for and not knowing how to bail out or poor spotting

The press related injuries are almost always due to using a weight wherein you can't recover from the volume

My humble 2 cents
 

Eric Wilson

Level 4 Valued Member
Every exercise has a chance of injury. And for every injury, there is a 100% chance someone will say "you didn't do it right".

Nevertheless, some exercises have a greater chance of things going wrong. And some execises, going wrong, are worse than others.

I fail at military press regularly, and it never seems like a big deal. The weight just comes back to the beginning. I've had some TGU failures, and they are scary. Twice I hurt my hand (my fault, I instinctively tried to slow the falling bell with my off hand). My 14yo had the same thing happen to him, and needed stitches. Other times the bell has fallen harmlessly, but when a 24 kg bell falls from 5 feet, it gets your attention.

Everybody has a different risk tolerance. Since injuries interfere with training goals, I prefer to not do heavy TGUs. For me, that means that I don't want to do a TGU with a kettlebell that I can't floor press.

Remember, the exercise is made for man, not man for the exercise. Don't do an exercise that doesn't meet your goals. And whatever you do, learn how to do it safely.
 

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
I rate them differently:

Danger from Accident:

Undoubtedly, the TGU is more dangerous if you drop the kettlebell, as your ability to dodge is far worse than when standing up in the press. To make things worse, for a portion of the move, you're lying on the floor, creating a scenario where the kettlebell could be dropped directly on your rib cage or head, smashing them into the floor.

If you drop a press, it's pretty easy to dodge out of the path because you are on your feet.

I'd rate the TGU injury rate higher in the case of "having an accident."

Danger from Bad Form:

It's really, really tempting and easy to press with bad form, to strain overly hard, and do the movement in a way that causes shoulder impingement or rotator cuff injury without realizing you're inflicting damage over time until you've done quite a bit of it and then something goes wrong (AC joint tear, labrum tear, etc.), or getting the same kind of injury from too much volume and repetition.

Bad TGU form, on the other hand, tends to be self-correcting: you can be sloppy at light weights, but heavy weights enforce good (or good enough form; it need not be beautiful) form, otherwise, you don't get up.

I'd rate the press injury rate higher in the case of "doing the exercise badly."
 
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IMayAgainKnowChris

Level 5 Valued Member
Bad TGU form, on the other hand, tends to be self-correcting: you can be sloppy at light weights, but heavy weights enforce good form, otherwise, you don't get up.
Funny you say this cause today I did my TGU with a 24 instead of a 16 and it was, while a little harder, definitely better form. With the lighter weight it felt like I could easily go “off balance” but still had the strength to keep it up and not really notice my form being off.
 

natewhite39

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
the potential danger of performing turkish get up and military press. Which one for you is more dangerous and why?
Relative to NOT having an iron ball floating over your head, they are both potentially very dangerous. As per @Mark Limbaga comment, what is your goal / program?

Both in the sense of performing the exercise with relative high volume and intensity
Per safety protocols, the TGU should be performed as singles with low volumes per training session (See Simple & Sinister). Sure, you will find programs that call for much higher reps, but more is just more and doesn't have anything to do with building a strong skill base.
 

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
Funny you say this cause today I did my TGU with a 24 instead of a 16 and it was, while a little harder, definitely better form. With the lighter weight it felt like I could easily go “off balance” but still had the strength to keep it up and not really notice my form being off.
I think at some level your subconscious thinks:

"oh crap.....this crazy SOB is trying to lift a big frickin heavy weight right over our face!!! pay attention, body, he's likely to kill us!"
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

An interesting thread regarding the danger of the TGU:

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

tommaso marchesi

Level 4 Valued Member
May I ask for more context??

In my personal experience, most potential injuries from the getup are due to less than ideal alignment, attempting a weight you aren't ready for and not knowing how to bail out or poor spotting

The press related injuries are almost always due to using a weight wherein you can't recover from the volume

My humble 2 cents
Hello Mark,
sure.
I was just discussing with another instructor, friend of mine, about the potential risk of the TGU with respect MP in general. For me was more that the MP can be dangerous because of high volume (maybe with poor form) and this can cause injuries on long term, but comparing the specific exercise technique (doing it one time) for me the TGU is far more dangerous because for instance the moving of the body under the load therefore stability issues and the weight is always on your shoulder for like 40s and this increment a lot the possibility of making mystakes.
Don't know if this is expressing better my concerns.
 

IMayAgainKnowChris

Level 5 Valued Member
To kind of piggy back into this question... I said before somewhere... after I’m done with practice (S+S) sometimes I notice a little tightness in my trap/neck like behind and below my left ear. Anyone have any idea what stretches or mobility work I could do to work on that? As another poster said, I think the KB revealed it, not caused it.
 

barrak

Level 5 Valued Member
If you're asking whether they are inherently dangerous then the answer is no.
To kind of piggy back into this question... I said before somewhere... after I’m done with practice (S+S) sometimes I notice a little tightness in my trap/neck like behind and below my left ear. Anyone have any idea what stretches or mobility work I could do to work on that? As another poster said, I think the KB revealed it, not caused it.
This may or may not relate to your situation, but here goes:

I have always thought that the instruction to look at the bell from supine to half kneel is strictly for safety concerns. I'm not so sure of that as I have been doing my getups (24K) without looking at it and with no instability at all.

What I did eventually realize is that I was progressively losing mobility in my neck (stiff neck, limited turning left and right and neck forward regression). I do suffer from upper cross syndrome.

Now, I'm trying to correct my form with 16K getups while aiming at not just looking at the bell, but turning my head towards it as much as I can. That should, I think, loosen my scapulae which is what you're referring to.
 

Mark Limbaga

Level 7 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Hello Mark,
sure.
I was just discussing with another instructor, friend of mine, about the potential risk of the TGU with respect MP in general. For me was more that the MP can be dangerous because of high volume (maybe with poor form) and this can cause injuries on long term, but comparing the specific exercise technique (doing it one time) for me the TGU is far more dangerous because for instance the moving of the body under the load therefore stability issues and the weight is always on your shoulder for like 40s and this increment a lot the possibility of making mystakes.
Don't know if this is expressing better my concerns.
Any movement done without eagle eye precision to detail and awareness of your surrounding is a threat regardless of the load..

In terms of the getup being more dangerous than the military press, I humbly say that if you feel you cannot safely ro to elbow for the first step, don't continue with the rep..

Safety is married to performance and being safe also means not attempting a rep if the risks outweigh the rewards.

No one loses his man card by using a lighteroad, asking someone to spot him :)
 

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
To kind of piggy back into this question... I said before somewhere... after I’m done with practice (S+S) sometimes I notice a little tightness in my trap/neck like behind and below my left ear. Anyone have any idea what stretches or mobility work I could do to work on that? As another poster said, I think the KB revealed it, not caused it.
Is it in your sternocleidomastoid?



I can get mine to act up if my upper traps are getting too involved in something and my head is too far forward from neutral.

It's a 'geek neck' symptom.
 

IMayAgainKnowChris

Level 5 Valued Member
Is it in your sternocleidomastoid?



I can get mine to act up if my upper traps are getting too involved in something and my head is too far forward from neutral.

It's a 'geek neck' symptom.
I don’t think it’s a muscle that goes toward the front as I never feel it in the front at all. And to elaborate. It’s not so much a PAIN as it is an awareness and a little tightness of it.
 

IMayAgainKnowChris

Level 5 Valued Member
If you're asking whether they are inherently dangerous then the answer is no.


This may or may not relate to your situation, but here goes:

I have always thought that the instruction to look at the bell from supine to half kneel is strictly for safety concerns. I'm not so sure of that as I have been doing my getups (24K) without looking at it and with no instability at all.

What I did eventually realize is that I was progressively losing mobility in my neck (stiff neck, limited turning left and right and neck forward regression). I do suffer from upper cross syndrome.

Now, I'm trying to correct my form with 16K getups while aiming at not just looking at the bell, but turning my head towards it as much as I can. That should, I think, loosen my scapulae which is what you're referring to.
I think I see what you’re saying. Not just looking at the bell but actually turning your head towards it. I don’t think I’ve been consciously performing like that. Thanks!
 

WxHerk

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
As previously stated, it comes down to form. I find a proper getup very safe, as the girevik should take his/her time during each segment plus take the time to keep properly aligned.

I have seen several "getups" where the person is doing a situp with a bell overhead and standing any which way with the bell waving around...back to our point about a proper getup.
 

Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
Out of left field on the subject of certain lifts and risk, but maybe not:
I've heard of a theory on why a bigger,faster,stronger, and having a larger brain Neanderthal died out while Homo Sapiens did not. Theory states that the Neanderthal's were very risk adverse, afraid to move camp any great distance when resources dwindled. Homo Sapiens on the other hand, risk takers, much more antifragile, much more likely to look to the horizon and wonder what is over that body of water or land.
If you find a lift interesting, learn how to do it to a level that will pass a cert. of a respected organization, get some expert coaching. Then use some common sense with weight selection and pace. In your pocket, wherever you go, very valuable tools that will last a lifetime.
 

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
To kind of piggy back into this question... I said before somewhere... after I’m done with practice (S+S) sometimes I notice a little tightness in my trap/neck like behind and below my left ear. Anyone have any idea what stretches or mobility work I could do to work on that? As another poster said, I think the KB revealed it, not caused it.
Could it be the lavator scapulae? Mine gets tight on the left side sometimes.
 
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