Target Your Abs With Toes-To-Bar!
Lex Ave Trainer John Wieland explains his favorite exercise for strengthening the core
Let’s face it: we’d all love to have a tighter tummy. The trouble is, toning your abs is no walk in the park. Many of the most popular exercises for your abs can take tons of reps for you to feel the burn. If not done correctly, core exercises can actually work out other muscle groups, or even put you at risk for neck injuries. That’s why when Lex Ave CrossFit and personal trainer John Wieland is looking to target the core, he looks to the tried and true Toes-to-Bar.
What is a Toes-To-Bar?
To do a toes-to-bar (TTB), all you need is a pull-up bar. Grab hold of the bar and let your feet dangle, toes pointed down towards the floor. Flex your shoulders and chest to reduce unnecessary strain on your upper body. Lift your toes up over your head until they touch the bar, then let them back down towards the floor in as controlled a motion as you can. That’s a rep!
Why do them?
The TTB is a great exercise because it works your entire ab wall and then some. Suspending your body engages your shoulders, chests, arms, while improving your hips and hand grip strength. Controlled motion takes as much balance and coordination as it does raw power.
It doesn’t take many reps for you to feel it the next day. John recommends working up to about 3 sets of 10 reps. This exercise is tough enough on it’s own that you shouldn’t ever need to add a weighted vest or ankle weights. If TTBs get to easy, you can mix it up by twisting your torso, changing tempo, or holding your feet in certain stages of the lift.
If you can’t do a TTB right off the bat, you’re not alone. This is definitely an advanced move that you can work towards with progressively harder leg lifts.
1. Starting from the hanging position, bring your knees up to waist level.
2. When you can do a few reps of those, work on straightening your legs at waist level.
3. Work on adding reps and raising your knees and toes higher, and eventually you’ll get your toes-to-bar!
Abs of Steel!
Now we know John loves his Toes-To-Bars…What’s your favorite ab exercise? Leave a comment below!