Thursday 140619

3 Rounds for time of:
Row 15 calories
10 Burpees
*Jump over the rower on each rep of the burpee

Post times to comments and BTWB

CrossFit Roots demoing body angles needed for better Toes-To-Bar.

CrossFit Roots demoing body angles needed for better Toes-To-Bar.

Toes-To-Bar in Pictures By CrossFit Roots 
(Click here for link to CrossFit Roots blogpost)

The toes-to-bar is often thought of as an abdominal exercise. While the abs are definitely used in the movement, the shoulder plays a large, if not the largest, role in enabling an athlete to do toes-to-bar.

Success in the toes-to-bar is rooted in the kip. The ability of the athlete to close the shoulder angle makes it easy for the athlete to then reach their toes to the bar and allows for efficient and consistent movement.

In the first photo (left), you’ll see Nicole is at the very back of her kip as her toes reach to meet the bar. By closing the angle of her shoulder to this degree (almost 90), she shortens the distance her feet and legs must travel to reach the pull-up bar.

In the second photo (right), you’ll see that Nicole barely closes her shoulder angle in her effort to reach her toes to the bar. This means that her abdominals and hip flexors must do more work to lift her legs to the bar. She may be able to sustain this for a number of reps, but eventually her legs will be too heavy for her abdominals to lift them that distance consistently.

If you look at the height of her hips in each photo you’ll see that in the first photo, her hips are much higher and behind the bar. In the second photo, she is mostly hanging under the bar with her hips to the left of the bar she is hanging from. In the second photo, she has to close her hip more to reach her toes to the bar – again using her abdominals and hip flexors a lot!

Development of toes-to-bar starts with a strong kip (and it helps kipping pull-ups a ton as well!). When you’re tired or trying to figure out what to work on, go back to the kip and try to close your shoulder angle as much as possible.

*Toes-t0-bar is a pulling movement that requires pulling power through the shoulders and lats. As we work to build the kipping swing we can also work to build our pulling power. Examples of great exercises to increase pulling power include, but are not limited to, ring rows, supine ring rows, rope climbs, legless rope climbs, strict pull-ups, bent over rows, banded lat pull downs, bent over sled pulls, and seated sled pulls. 

Don’t forget about our swim WODs this Saturday at 9am and 10am @ Berkley Pool. These WODs are free to Verve members, it is a $20 drop in fee for non members. (Directions to pool will be posted on Saturday’s blog)

Verve’s next Happy Hour is Friday June 27th @ 5:30pm at the Interstate Kitchen and Bar. Be there or be a giant Happy Hour hatin’ square.


  1. Rob b :

    DOH! Picture’s worth a 1000 words. I see exactly where my T2B form has been off. Thanks for a great reminder
    FWIW, the other key i found (found being “Matt Chan told me”) is driving the feet straight down to avoid excessive swing

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