Tips for Stringing Together More Toes-to-Bar
Videos by Kirsten Ahrendt & Justin Wright
This video discusses three points of performance for those of you that have the prerequisite strength and skill to kip, but struggle with the rhythm of stringing together multiple toes to bar. The points discussed in the video (above) are outlined below.
Toes to Bar Kip
Remember, it’s a KIP, not a SWING! In a kip, we move between two positions – hollow and arch. We move fluidly between these two points of tension and it creates a rhythm. If you are swinging (uncontrolled) instead of kipping (controlled) you won’t be able to maintain a rhythm for toes to bar.
Using Lats in Your Kip
Turn on your Lats! When you are in the “hollow” position of your kip, your lats are engaged and you should feel like you are pressing down on the bar. When we do this, our hips are behind the plane of the bar. When that happens, we can lift our toes to the bar. However, If we stop pressing down on the bar as we raise our toes, my hips will fall under and be in front of the plane of the bar. You will now be swinging, not kipping.
Staying on Beat with Kip Swings
Don’t DROP into the middle of your swing! Let your feet swing out a little bit away from you as they come away from the bar. Sometimes I think about the sensation of “pulling my feet away from the bar” rather than just “letting them fall”. As your feet come down from the bar, they should pull you back into your “arch” position of your kip. Then you’ll be ready to press down on the bar again and move back into your hollow body position.
Connecting Multiple Reps of Toes to Bar
Having trouble connecting multiple reps of toes-to-bar? Whether you’re having to restart at the bottom of the swing for each new rep of your toes to bar to get a big enough kip swing; or, you’re strong enough to do them but lose rhythm after a few reps, try the drill in the video.
Because this drill starts with about a half-leg raise version of the movement, it allows you to focus on some important things and hone in on where your breakdown is occurring. Understand body position, learn to create more tension throughout your body during the movement, and master your kip by conserving momentum to bring your feet to the bar.
Once you identify the issue, you can correct it and then begin to bring your toes higher and higher toward the bar while noting if you are able to maintain your cues. Just like with any other progression, maintain the range of motion of the movement where you can still keep control of your movement. Continue to push that limit as you are able and incorporate other midline or accessory work to accelerate your progress.
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