Toes To Bar

This movement is a such a love-hate relationship for so many of us.  If you can do them effectively and efficiently, workouts that have them in there can be a breeze.  If you struggle to link them or burn out quickly, they are a nightmare.

So, let’s dive in. Below are two masters.  On the left, he is doing a strict T2B, so I wanted the picture on the right to be a proper example of the typical kipping positioning we use while linking these during WODs. Meet Carl Paoli and Julie Foucher.

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So, now I present to you some not so great positions for the T2B. Both these guys are not looking so hot.

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So, what’s the issue here.  Let’s start with the guy with his legs up in the bottom position.  His knees are bent.  When we look at the examples of proper movement, we see that Carl’s legs are completely straight and Julie’s are slightly bent.  Much less so than the guy in the bottom picture.

Because of the guy on the bottom’s lack of hamstring mobility, we see that translate up into the shoulder.  Look at how far Carl’s head is behind his bar.  Julie’s is a little farther behind, and the the guy in the bottom is way behind.  What’s up with that.  The less length you can get from your hamstrings, the more you have to use your lats and get closer to the bar with your head.  So less, hammy mobility, equals pushing harder with the arms (more shoulder flexion), which equals extra fatigue in the shoulders and grip.


Now, let’s take a look at the bottom position.  Since Carl is doing a strict movement, we can’t really use that except for the pointed toes.  DO IT!  It helps your legs work together as a unit. Notice that Julie has pointed toes during the bottom piece of her kipping movement as well.

When we look at Julie’s bottom position compared to the guy in the picture on the bottom, we can see that they both have their heads in FRONT of their shoulders.  The difference comes in the hip position.  Guy in the bottom pic has his hips BEHIND his toes and Julie has her hips in FRONT of her toes.  I can assure you, the guy on the bottom has done a double swing because he is not transferring momentum properly here.  So where do we need the length here?  The lats and pecs and the hip flexors.  Open the shoulders and the hips, send your head through your arms, and you have set yourself up nicely to link these suckers together.

Batman Hip Openers

  • Work both Hamstring Mobility and Hip Flexor mobility.. work for an upright torso and a straight front leg. Do you best.  The band helps a lot.
  • 2 minutes each side
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Shoulder Extension

Foam Roll Lats

  • 2 minutes each side.
  • Notice that you can play with angles a little bit to work different sections of your muscles.  You will want to go all the way down to the bottom of your rib cage and up into the tricep area a little bit.
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Back and Shoulder Extension

  • This looks a whole lot like the kipping position
  • Hold 2 minutes.  Take deep breaths and really try to release.

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