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Toes to bar tips

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Hey there SoCo! On Monday our workout will include good ol’ toes to bar. Now for some of you that movement will not be a problem, but for others this may add to the Monday blues. Most people do not have a background in gymnastics which is why many of us fail to string more than one or two together, but have no fear SoCo is here to help you get gymnasty on Monday! Check out a few of our top tips for those wanting to improve their Toes to Bar!

1. Remember your progressions and dynamic
Walk before you run. As with many movements in CrossFit, toes-to-bar is an RX movement. That means it is a goal for us to achieve and perform in WODs efficiently. How do we accomplish this goal? By solidifying and mastering the basics.
First, we must be comfortable and solid activating our lats when hanging from a bar or rings. Second, we must be comfortable kipping on rings and the bar. Third, efficient in combining kipping with a small range of motion such as bent knees to hip level. Fourth, increasing the range of motion to knees to chest and knees to elbow. Fifth, combining all progressions and adding in the final kick from the knees to elbow position to the bar.
Sometimes , taking a step back in your movement will help reinforce the correct positions and build for a stronger, safer, and more efficient movement.

2. Drive those feet back.
Many of you are able to get your toes to the bar, but then lose control of your legs and let gravity carry you back toward the ground causing you to sway back and forth between reps. Once you have touched the bar with your toes drive your heels behind the line of the bar so that your hips are forward of the bar. This puts you into the loaded part of the kip so that you’re ready to do another rep. The speed with which you do this will be key. If you’re too slow you’ll be swaying between reps, if you go too fast you’ll lose your rhythm.
Check out Chris Spealler’s video below to visualize what I’m talking about.


3. Get a grip!

To successfully do Toes to Bar you have to ensure that your grip strength is strong enough so that you can suspend yourself from the bar and have enough time to complete a few reps. If you find your hands cringing each time you come off the bar try implementing some grip strength training into your week. Farmers Carries, wrist curls, and hanging from the bar for time are some awesome starting exercises. Below is a great video with lots of ideas!

4. Ditch the chalk

You may have noticed that our gym is lacking chalk and with good reason! Does your son or daughter cover themselves head to toe before attempting the monkey bars? Do you chalk up before you scramble up Pikes Peak? NO! Get used to being uncomfortable on the bar and work on your grip strength so you don’t have to rely on some white stuff.

5. Don’t forget about the hips

If you lack the ability to flex from the hips you’ll never get those toes to the bar. Try some single and double legged hamstring stretches if you feel those muscles are tighter than normal. Better yet have the front desk turn on ROMWOD and get flexy!

– SoCo Staff