BTWB’s First Toes-to-Bar Program is part of the Varied Not Random series, curated by CrossFit coaching legends Pat Sherwood and Adrian Bozman. Across 20 training sessions, the program can help athletes master this tricky gymnastics core movement, combining the momentum, timing, and control of a kipping pull-up with the core strength of a sit-up. This is an important movement to master as one progresses from basic ground core movements like the sit-up and v-up to more advanced equipment-based movements like the GHD sit-up and toes-to-bar.
Each session of the program involves a warm-up and 2-3 functional fitness skills and drills to focus on and develop core strength and lat strength. A combination of strict and dynamic core movements will help to strengthen the entire core, with a mix of shoulder stability drills, active hangs and holds, kipping drills, and body control drills to ensure excellent timing and form when performing the toes-to-bar movement. Because the athlete’s skill is tested at the beginning of the program, their progress also becomes easier to gauge as the weeks go on.
The First Toes-to-Bar Program is self-paced, meaning it can supplement a current fitness routine or become a strict focus. BTWB recommends completing 2-3 sessions per week to complete the program within a range of 6-10 weeks. This recommendation is based on achieving the sweet spot of exposing the muscles to the stimuli while ensuring the right amount of recovery.
AM I READY?
Before starting this program, BTWB recommends that you’re already able to complete a 30-second active bar hang. Grip strength is a crucial component of the toes-to-bar movement, and this prerequisite is critical to your safety and success in the program.
10 PVC Pass Throughs
10 PVC Lifts
Plank Hold, 30 secs
-- then –
Stretch your hamstrings with pike stretches, forward/backward lunges and bootstraps.
Kip Drills, 3 x 5
We are not only practicing the kipping movement pattern used in a lot of other gymnastics movements, but also building strength in our lats. This skill is important because it teaches us timing and how to get behind the bar as we press down.
Banded V-ups, 3 x 10
We are going to set up a dumbbell behind us and attach a band to it. Scoot forward to get some tension on the band, then do a v-ups with this setup. We want to make sure we are keeping our arms straight and using our lats to press down on the band. This is an important skill because we are essentially doing the full toes-to-bar movement, just on the floor. If the v-up is too difficult at this time, then do tuck-ups instead.
Active Bar Hang, 3 x 30sec
We want to make sure we are staying in a hollow position and actively pressing down on the bar. This is an important skill because it helps us build stability in the shoulders. By doing that it will keep us safe and help us to potentially avoid hurting our shoulders when we move through a fast range of motion. With all static holds you should really focus on breathing. Never hold your breath on a hold. Breathe the whole way through.