Kipping Toes to Bar by Lindsey Johnson of CrossFit Invictus San Diego

Kipping Toes to Bar – Let’s Tackle These Bad Boys!
Written by Lindsey Johnson

Toes to Bar – they can really make or break your workout, can’t they?  It’s one of the more common questions I hear as a coach; “Can you help me with my toes to bar?”.  I find it more challenging than any of the other kipping movements, especially for us ‘long limbed folks’. It’s all about timing!  It’s a long way to go to get those toes all the way up to the bar and back down repeatedly! Trust me, as vice president of the ‘long femur division’, I know!

Here are some things to think about that will hopefully help you the next time Toes To Bar are prescribed in a workout.

1. Initiate the kip with your shoulders, NOT your legs. When you feel like a kid swinging on the monkey bars and your kip is totally out of control, it’s because you’ve attempted to kip using your legs rather than your shoulders.  Think about bringing your chest forward and back rather than lifting your legs up first.

2. Get your booty behind the bar! Your hips need to be behind the bar – not under the bar – so that  you can bring your legs down and your chest can swing forward; this is what  moves you into the kip for the next rep.  If you hips are under the bar when you make contact with the bar the timing will be off and you won’t have time or momentum to bring your legs up for the next rep.

3. Tuck, Pull and Scoop! After your toes have made contact with the bar, TUCK your legs in towards your chest, PULL them down and SCOOP back up.  The biggest mistake people make is thinking that they can just let their legs fall from the bar.  It’s a long way down, people! You’ve got to actively bring your legs toward your chest, pull them down and kick back with your heels.

Check out the above video demonstration; as I move into the next rep, I think about kicking my feet forward, tucking my knees towards my chest and kicking towards the bar. Another way to look at is, if you’re comfortable with “knees to elbows” but not yet connecting the toes to bar, practice the knees to elbow and finishing that movement with a kick towards the bar.  If you have the kip down for the knees to elbow, it’s sometimes a good way to transition to toes to bar. Good luck!