It is December again! Time for the 4th Annual December Turkish Getup/Swing Challenge.
It is simple:
Any required modification is legal. If you can only rise to the sitting position, or to the Getup/Situp as it is sometimes called, that is fine. Any weight is permitted. No kettlebell? No problem. Just use a dumbell, sandbag, shoe or even just bodyweight if needed.
As far as the swings go, the key here is just volume. 1,000 swings the first week; 1,500 the second, 2,000 the third and 2,500 the fourth week.
If you make your first “week” from December 1st through December 7th, then you will finish by December 28th, and have three days of nothing but TGUs. That is fine, because 28-31 of them per day will be plenty of a workout.
Use any weight of kettlebell for swings, and use any swing variation you can think of. I recommend practicing as many different weights and variations as possible to keep your sanity and simply for the sake of working on new skills.
This year I have decided to allow bodyweight squats or Hindu squats as a substitute for swings. So, if you had 2,000 swings one week and decided to do 1,000 swings and 1,000 squats that would be a good option.
My thinking on this is that some days the hands might need a rest to heal a blister, or you might just not have access to a kettlebell for a day or two. When you have 2,000-2,500 swings to complete in seven days, getting behind is really not an option. Also, this challege can include those that may not have access to kettlebells. I know of at least a few from my facility that will be traveling without access to kettlebells for at least a week during the month. Rather than try to get in 1,000 swings per day to make up for it, they will be able to do squats or Hindu squats for that week, and get a great workout.
I know people that use a dumbell swing to substitute, but in my opinion, bodyweight squats or Hindu squats are a better option. Please make sure you do your bodyweight squats full-range, with the crest of the hip descending lower than the kneecap.
If you want results from this, you are flat going to have to work for them. Challenge yourself with the amount of weight you are using for both exercises, and/or the rest intervals. Don’t just use a light kettlebell for the sake of doing lots of reps. Do the work if you want the results.
You may do well to invest in a session with a legitimate kettlebell instructor in your area in order to learn these two movements correctly. In fact, I insist. An hour with a good instructor, will replace 100 hours of stumbling through these movements in order to learn them on your own. However, after getting the basic movements down, only 1,000s of correct repetitions will teach all the nuances required to someday master them.
Have fun and get creative with reps and combinations to get all this in. I guarantee you will have a new appreciation for both of these movements by month’s end, if you complete all required reps.
Feel free to chime in on your progress on the Kettlebell Inc. forums.