Thursday, November 16, 2006

Observations on the Get Up

[ picture of me doing a Turkish Get Up. ]

The Get Up [Turkish or otherwise] has been a drill that I didn't include in my workouts, not because it's an unproductive one. Quite the contrary, it's a drill that covers many areas of one's fitness needs, from balance and stability to conditioning and coordination. It all just depends on the reps, sets, weights and manner in which you use it.

My "conscious" reason for excluding it was that I wanted to focus on other drills and exercises. Since my wrestling days are long past, the "need" didn't seem great. But after Pavel's "Enter the Kettlebell" came out, the Get Up has been reemerged as a true foundational drill, one that stands with the Swing, making up the RKC Minimum. After starting to practice the move again, I realized the real reason I wasn't doing the Get Up.... Doing Get Ups KILLED my knees! I have painful chondramalacia (roughness under the kneecap) and the grinding of my knee into the ground to do the traditional Get Up wasn't worth it. My tight ankles make the Squat version nearly impossible at this time, so I needed to find a better way.

"Enter the Knee-Sleeve"

I dug up my old wrestling knee sleeves (the open-patella version) and decided to give it a go.... Success! I did 15 minutes worth of Get Ups with a One Pood (35#) Kettlebell and my knees felt great.Plus, my shoulders were getting the great workout that they had been missing for so long. I have avoided wearing the sleeves because I thought since I can't wear them when I have to work hard (i.e. firefighting tasks), why train with them. But if wearing these sleeves will allow me to do Get Ups, then that's what I'm going to do.

As I get older, I have to train smarter, not just harder, to see results.

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