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Toes-to-Bar in 3 steps

TTB head cut

What is Toes-to-Bar?

Toes-to-bar is an abdominal strengthening exercise that also develops the stability of the back muscles. It’s one of the most advanced core strength exercises out there, requiring flexibility, mobility and core, back and shoulder strength. This also means that there’s a set of progressions it’s important to work through before tackling this exercise to ensure that you’ve developed the necessary strength.

These are the three progressions you should master before Toes-to-Bar:

Hanging Knee Raises:

These will get you used to engaging your core while hanging from a bar. Once you’ve mastered 3 sets of 10 of these, move on to…

Hanging Leg Raises:

The next level up. These require more hip mobility and considerably more core strength. Always focus on technique rather than speed of execution, concentrating on keeping your legs straight and parallel to the ground at the top of the movement. As best you can, try not to swing on the bar as this reduces the extent to which your core is activated. Aim for 3 perfect sets of 10 of these before moving to...


It might seem counterintuitive to get off the bar, but these are actually the best preparation for Toes-to-Bar as they require full body flexion around the hips - think of it like a Toes-to-Bar from the ground. Once you can comfortably do 3 sets of 5 of these, you might be ready for Toes-to-Bar itself.

Let’s recap:

It’s worth remembering that, depending on your skill level at the start of your Training Journey, your Coach will always make sure to take you through all these steps en route to Toes-to-Bar. You’ll never be thrown in at the deep end, but will have time and opportunity to work your way through these progressions.