The G-Force Source: toes-to-bar efficiency tips

The G-Force Source: toes-to-bar efficiency tips

“A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death.”  — John F. Kennedy

Strength, stamina, endurance, dexterity: these are the physical traits we want to achieve. How we go about achieving them comes down to a number of factors which include the accuracy of coaching, the accuracy of programming, but also just as important, efficiency. If your training and learning process–and your actual movement–are not efficient, you’re going to form bad habits or not achieve anything at all.

Form and technique are about parallel in CrossFit movement. Allowing yourself to succumb to fatigue which in turn results in bad form is a deadly sin, as is practicing bad form and technique in your everyday training. At G-Force, we pride ourselves on maintaining high levels of form, technique, accurate and efficient coaching to help you move the best way you can. Hence, this edition of our blog, The G-Force Source, focusing on the efficiency of toes-to-bar.

Knees-to-elbows and toes-to-bar are very relative. The latter is merely an extension of the former with a slightly extra movement. A common problem in CrossFit is the ability to string reps of toes-to-bar together with the kip. We tend to see people lose their kip and end up swinging like Tarzan vine-to-vine through the jungle.

Whenever your body strays too far forward or backwards from the vertical plane of the pull-up rig (being the pole that’s next to you which is bolted to the ground), you’re going to find that your body is going to swing back and forth and in turn make it hard for you to re-kip your movement. It is imperative that you remain in line with the bar to prevent the swing and to achieve this, you must kick your feet directly down in line with the bar after you’ve performed a knees-to-elbows or toes-to-bar. Kicking out away from you or kicking your feet too far back will begin a swing and nobody got time for that. Ain’t nobody got time for dat, ain’t nobody got time for dat, ain’t nobody got time, ain’t nobody got time, ain’t nobody got time for dat!

Toes-to-bar should be achievable for those that can perform a knees-to-elbows, because simply put, a toes-to-bar should be performed in almost the exact same way as a knees-to-elbow, but instead you flick your feet (or kick your feet) to the bar to perform the toes-to-bar. Keeping your legs straight like a gracious and flexible gymnast will tire you quicker than a knees-to-elbows with a feet flick.

A few tips to keep in mind:

  • Remember your hollow position. This transfers to the knees-to-elbows and toes-to-bar. When you kick straight back down in line with the vertical plane of the bar, your midline remains tight. The tension you create with your strong midline is going to create momentum. Your loose and floppy position will not. Tight is light, loose is heavy!
  • Mobilise and stretch your posterior chain, especially the hamstrings. Kicking up above your head will be much harder if your hamstrings are tight, so give them a nice stretch prior.
  • Your hang from the bar should not be loose. Your neck and head should not disappear between your traps like a turtle. Switch your lats on and be tight (there’s that word again). If you’re having trouble switching on your lats, think about rotating your wrists to point your thumbs behind you. That should switch your stingray-like lats on.

We hope these tips have helped you in some way. If you need advice, seek your coaches as we’re always there to help. Remember: ideas know no bounds. Put the idea in your head that you can achieve these movement because that idea will endure.

See you all in the gym at G-Force.

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