In this video you’ll see a variation of the traditional get up.

This version requires significantly more thoracic mobility than a traditional get up. If your goal is to perform a windmill or bent press, this is a fantastic variation of the get up to perform prior to doing those other drills.

Things to note:

  • If you have poor shoulder mobility and or thoracic mobility, this is not the version of the get up for you.
  • This position also requires some a lumbar flexion so if you do not tolerate lumbar flexion well, this is not for you.
  • If you’ve got some asymmetries or glaring and balances , clean up those limitations first,  progress to a traditional Turkish Get Up and then try the SOS Get up! 
  • Be smart and start light on these. I would suggest around a 12K kettlebell for most males or 18LB for females to start.

The SOS Get Up Video

The SOS Get Up Step-by-Step

(for a left-sided get up)

1. Roll to elbow

This is identical to the traditional get up. Roll onto the elbow and aim to keep your top arm vertical and shoulders packed.

2. The sweep into the tripod

 This transition feels very similar to the full kettlebell arm bar. It will take a few reps to own the transition, but after some practice, will become simple.

This step requires a slight bridge with the left leg as the right knee slightly bends and sweeps underneath. The left leg will follow the right until you finish with both knees down.

In this position, both ankles are plantar flexed. I’d suggest keeping the knees slightly wider than hip width and the toes pointing towards one another.

The arm holding the kettlebell should stay vertical for the duration and as you perform this movement, it will truly challenge your thoracic and shoulder mobility/stability so please, move slowly.

The down elbow should remain in the position where you started.

3. Tripod

At this point, both knees should be down and the right elbow is on the ground. To challenge your upper body mobility even greater, we will slowly rock back into a position where we have some slight lumbar flexion. The slow rock into this position will challenge your thoracic and shoulder mobility even more.

Because we are in lumbar flexion, we cannot borrow rotation from the lumbar spine. Therefore you’re asking more of the thoracic spine, scapula and shoulder. 

This position demands the most amount of mobility from the upper body.

4. Tall kneel

Once we own the tripod position, we will slowly transition to a tall kneel. Because of this transition, the down arm will straighten, stay in contact with the floor  and provide some slight stability as you make the transition from the tripod into a full tall kneel. This will challenge the shoulder in multiple planes just like the traditional get up.

The ankles will remain plantar flexed until you feel comfortable you own this position.

5. Half kneel 

Once we own the tall kneel position, we move into the half kneel. The difference with this variation is we will step into the half kneel position with the opposite leg (in this video, Steve steps with his right leg). We chose this step on purpose to work the diagonal pattern from shoulder to opposite hip.

When we initially move into the half kneel position, The left ankle can be plantar flexed. Right before we make the transition to standing, you will dorsiflex the ankle, pull the toes into extension, step up and stand tall like a traditional get up. 

6. The return

Step back with your left foot. Once you land safely with a dorsiflexed ankle and extended toes, plantar flex the left ankle, and transition back to the tall kneel.

With both ankles in plantar flexion, perform an upper body rotation to the left and find the floor with a straight arm.

As you rock back into the lumbar lock position, you can transition back to the elbow. Be sure you keep the forearm and kettlebell vertical. We’ve found that keeping the knees slightly wider than the hips and the toes pointed towards one another is the most comfortable position. 

Once you are in this position, you will rotate to your left and sit through.. you will have to rotate on the ball of your left foot while sweeping your right leg through like a traditional get up.

How to Implement the SOS Get Up

Use the SOS get up as part of your warm-up. I recommend 3 to 5 on each side to do the trick. Because this is an exercise that you aren’t familiar with, I would make sure that you practice traditional get ups prior to these.