Strict Toes To Bar

Kat Dalecki, Australian CrossFit Regional Athlete for Reebok CrossFit GCS, demonstrates how to do strict Toes To Bar (TTB).

Points to Note:

1. Kat maintains control of her spine and speed throughout the movement — no “hinging” at the thoracolumbar junction, no flicking of the legs, no kip, no throwing the head back etc

2. The slower the movement, the harder it is. Kat can do these because of her great “strict” strength

3. Her mobility allows her to achieve these movements with grace, elegance and strength…she works on her mobility — it is like a chipper-style workout — just keep going, keep chipping away at it

Some Progressions to Consider:
1. Dead hang in “hollow” or Flat back position. Too many people start with extended thoracolumbar junctions and whip back and forth from there. Like the “hollow position” on the ground, you should be aiming to achieve the same on the bar.

2. Controlled Knee Raises. Keep working on your ability to keep your back flat in the dead hang. You will flex your back during the movements — that is ok…but you be feeling lots of work in your abs, not strain in your back. Progress by lifting your knees higher and higher until you can get your knees to your chest.

3. When you can hold your knees to your chest, try to extend your legs out slowly without swinging on the bar. This requires excellent hamstring mobility. Control the descent into the dead hang with hollow position.

4. When you can do 5 of the exercise above, try to raise up with bent knees and lower with straight legs (eccentric loading)

5. Work up to straight leg Toes to Bar.

If you have any mobility, flexibility, stability or injury concerns, please see your health professional as these may hamper your performance and/or increase your risk of injury.


About Antony Lo
Antony Lo is an APA Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist based in Sydney. His website is He specializes in the management, treatment and prevention of pain and dysfunction, particularly of the pelvis and ribcage. His sub-specialties include Crossfit and Exercise Performance Optimization, Ante-Natal and Post-Natal Care and difficult cases that have failed treatment elsewhere.

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