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February 10, 2011

Bob Harper From Biggest Loser: How To Do Kettlebell Get Ups Wrong

I punched myself in the face repeatedly the entire time I watched this clip:

It's not just that it's bad.

It's actually backwards.  Every.  Single.  Thing.  Is.  Backwards.

How Not To Do The Turkish Get Up, With Bob Harper, In Four Easy Steps:

Step One: Start With The Wrong Leg


With his elbow bent he'll never be able to use a weight that will make any difference.  That 5lb weight in his hand sure isn't going to make any difference.

By starting off with the wrong leg, you are forced to put your knees in a comprimised position.  That brings us to Step Two:


The knees get put in a position of pain.  Without weight you can get away with stuff like that.  With a weight in your hand (like how the Get Up is supposed to go) it's likely to injur the average person's knees. 

With the shoulder elevated like that, he's going to injur his shoulder if he uses any significant weight. 

The RKC perspective it that the biggest reason to use the Get Up is to teach people to keep the shoulder down and back (packed and safe) in different positions, and under load (heavy weight).  The Get Up makes the ultimate shoulder stability exercise...  but if your shoulder is up and forward like the picture, it's a recipe for pain.

Step Three:


Because he started on the wrong leg, he can't use his leg to help him down.  Instead, he balances on his butt and lowers himself down with his hip flexors.

The hip flexors attatch at your lumbar spine, so if you have any history of low back pain, the way it is being demonstrated in that "Turkish Get Up" is gauranteed to flare it up. 

If a trainer has ever taken an anatomy class, or ever done a Get Up before, he'd already know that.

Step Four:


Start on the wrong side again!

Look, it isn't like Bob is doing this wrong.  Or that he has a different style.


The point of picking up the knee is to PUSH OFF of it!  And roll the other way. 

There is a reason that the girl looks awkward and uncomfortable doing this!  It's because that doing it backwards takes away all of the leverage to do the move smoothly, strongly, and comfortably.

If a person had ever done a Get Up before, he'd know the way he was doing it was backwards. 

He said he got certified.  I would be interested to know if this is a failing in the trainer's technique, or a failure of the certification to teach good technique.

Look, if you want to do something stupid and hurt yourself, fine.   But when you teach stupid and dangerous stuff publicly and hurt other people, then it pisses me off.

I'm actually really angry about this.



If you want to see all of this done correctly, check out this article in Black Belt Magazine with Dr. Mark Cheng, RKC Team Leader:

Notice how POWERFUL, STABLE, HEALTHY, and STRONG Mark's Get Up looks.  Compare it to the Get Up above.

Let me know if that makes you angry too.

Josh Hillis, RKC2 - "I'm just keepin' the streets safe from fake kettlebell gurus."

P.S. In some of my older videos, you can find little mistakes: Hip snap on the swing is a little slower than it is now, heels come up on the swing from time to time.  I'm not looking for perfection here.  But BACKWARDS and DANGEROUS technique like the video above is unacceptable.

*Of course all pictures of Bob are used for editorial and educational purposes.  Actually, I've never seen a video that better illustrates all of the mistakes a person can make doing Get Ups.


Brilliant! I actually ended up having to get down on the ground to remember how I do get-ups and you're so so right. I can't believe he actually made a video doing it so so wrong. I'm glad yet again that I was taught by an RKC accredited instructor who explained well and was exacting about form....

I love turkish getups, so seeing Bob teach them wrong to his gross amount of youtube fans is just kind of scary.

I'm stunned...that is the most amazing thing I've ever seen...

I just saw this, Josh! NUTS! Totally going to post it to FB. How in the hell can someone screw up a TGU THIS bad? Thanks for posting this! Bob isn't too far behind Jillian when it comes to being a completely incompetent trainer. Ugh. It just seems to get worse!

Hey man. I'm trying to re-create his TGU as a parody. Do you remember any of the things he was saying? I think I have his TGU itself down pretty well, I just want to remember what he said when he was trying to show, through the chick, what was "going on".

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