Coach Broder’s Tips on How to the Master Toes-to-Bar (T2B)
February’s contest of the month is max toes-to-bar (T2B). That doesn’t mean that you have to go wild on the bar for 60 seconds straight—though some have done that, and, WOW!—rather, the idea is to give you one solid minute to work on getting your very first T2B.
And you should want to achieve that goal one day because T2B is a wicked, full-core exercise that develops strength in your abdominals, lats, and hip flexors, to name a few essential areas.
Now, here are some tips to help prime your body for your first T2B:
Perfect your hollow body/Superman position
The most important step in perfecting any skill is getting the basics of the movement. You MUST be able to hold the hollow body and Superman positions before you attempt a T2B. To get the hollow body hold think about creating a “shallow bowl” with your body. The core is tight. Press your belly button into the ground. Extend your arms and legs in front of you and raise your arms overhead. Slowly raise your legs and shoulders off the ground. Toes are pointed.
The Superman position is the mirror opposite. Lie on your belly, with your arms and legs extended. Engage your back body as you slowly raise your arms, chest and legs off the ground.
The Kip Swing
Once you’ve mastered those positions on the ground, try to recreate the shapes on the bar in movement. The kip swing flows between a Superman position and hollow body hold in a controlled motion (you shouldn’t be swinging wildly). Initiate the movement forward (Superman position) with the shoulders, core and hips—do not swing with your legs. The objective with the kip swing is to create enough power that the hips and shoulders move behind the bar (Superman/extension) to make a counterbalance for our legs when we move into flexion (hollow body).
Knees to elbow
Once you are able to create power in your kip swing, you can start to lift your legs. At the peak of your hollow body hold, drive your knees up toward your chest. To bring your knees up while you are in the back end of your kip (hollow body position) you need to pull down on the bar, which will keep your shoulders and back engaged. As your knees go back down, think about recreating the Superman position.
After that progression, you should be ready to attempt a T2B. Using the kip swing to drive your knees up to your elbows, give a quick toe tap to the bar. This is done at the height of the kip and needs to be done aggressively. Once your toes have touched the bar, drive them back down into your tight Superman position, which will propel you back into your second rep.
Now that we have gone over the mechanics of the movement you can start putting it into practice. Remember: master the basic positions before you try getting your feet all the way up to the bar.
Good luck with the contest of the month!
Written by Coach Broder, Owner of Alchemy CrossFit