The One Exercise You Should Do on Your 'Off' Day

Use this simple recovery workout on the days between workouts to reach your fitness goals faster
The Turkish Getup

Gym Jones draws a certain type of masochist—our average client wants to explore his physical and mental limits every single workout.

We like that. That mindset is what gets you in the door at Gym Jones.

But going all out is a skill that needs to be honed. If you go hard every single time you step into the gym, you’ll fry yourself.

Hence, this motto, which we live by: “Don’t do the work if you don’t have the balls to rest.”

Rest and recovery is where your body adapts and where you truly improve. Good recovery practices are what allow you to go harder the next time you train—and, therefore, get better—so we stress them as much as anything else.

But sometimes I find that when I tell people to rest and recover, they act as though it’s a free ticket to do nothing all day. It’s not.

“Recovery days” should be spent doing things that allow you to go as hard as possible on your hard days (our programs typically have three to four “hard days” each week).

Done right, recovery days build your body back up and help it improve in key areas.

There’s one recovery day routine that we’ve found seems to make nearly everyone better at nearly everything: Do 100 Turkish getups with a 15 to 25 pound dumbbell.

That’s it.

It’s such an effective recovery workout that it’s included in every single Gym Jones training program. That means you might have a 255-pound guy training to put on more muscle mass (me) with our Functional Mass Gain Program doing the exact same thing—with a weight that’s only 5 or 10 pounds heavier—as a 135-pound guy who’s training for an ultramarathon.

Why just one exercise?

The Turkish getup is a very technical, deliberate exercise, one that covers all of the physical attributes you need to have for all around fitness. You have to pay attention—at length—to your balance, mobility, form, proprioception, and coordination. You build all of those skills in the process of performing it.

And it transfers to nearly every single other exercise. If you’re good at the Turkish getup you likely have the attributes to be good at the overhead squat, bench press, strict press, and many, many more.

Case in point: A couple years ago I didn’t overhead squat for 6 months. I spent that time doing a lot of Turkish getups. After 6 months, I tested my overhead squat and I hit a new PR.

The movement also injury-proofs your shoulders. The most important thing for building bombproof shoulders is having the area under pressure, having to stabilize at multiple angles. The Turkish getup does exactly that. You only have one set of shoulders—take care of them.

It also trains your mind. There’s something about doing 100 straight reps of a long, complicated exercise that builds mental toughness, and teaches your brain how to efficiently move your body.

And, of course, the exercise builds strength in the areas most men need to be stronger—especially your core—while burning some calories.

On your recovery days, up to three days a week, grab a 15 to 25 pound dumbbell and do 100 reps. Do one on your right side. That’s one rep. Do one on your left side. That’s another rep. Alternate back and forth between sides until you’ve done 50 reps on each side, for a total of 100 reps. Do each rep perfectly. Rest as you need to—the entire workout should take you about 30 minutes to complete. You can do this workout at home or at the gym.

This article originally appeared on Men's Health US.

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