The Toe to bar: Linking Reps

The Toe to bar: Linking Reps

Let’s look at T2B. Often members will have single T2Bs, maybe a great deal of them, but can’t link together a measly set of two. Singles may work or even be preferable in a competition or workout setting, but we all like to have options. So here is why that happens and what you can do about it.

First up, a quick look at CrossFit’s points of performance for the T2B. (

Of course that demo looks great. But perhaps you’ve been put in the position of executing T2B more like in the first two examples in this video (

As the above video eludes to, here is what is going on. For single T2B, people often use what he calls the ‘Tarzan Swing’, which is basically achieved by starting slightly behind the bar, jumping up, then letting the whole body swing forward while folding at the hips. This style of swing will allow for more momentum (without using the lats) than the kip swing. That’s why it works! But what it gains in momentum it sacrifices in efficiency. All that momentum has to come down, and it is going to come down the same way it went up, with the whole body travelling back behind the bar to where it started. And that takes a long time.

So if you find yourself forced into singles, chances are it is either your kip swing isn’t a kip swing, it is a ‘Tarzan Swing’, and/or you aren’t pressing down enough with your lats to move your body back while you lift your legs to the bar. Here is what you can do to get those linked T2B.

1) Practice the Kip Swing. Easy. We do it most days. You know, 10 Passive to Active Pull and 10
Kip Swing. That is your chance.

2) If the Kip Swing is nice and tidy, work on lat strength. Strict Pull Ups are the go-to for this (banded, eccentric lowers, chin over bar holds, etc are all good). But perhaps surprisingly reduced range of motion T2B are also a good way to build up the strength AND improve the kip swing. So for example instead of completing those 10 T2B as singles, consider completing two sets of 5 T2B that bring your feet to chest/chin/eye/nearly to bar height. Scaled score? Sure, if you are into that sort of thing. Totally awesome to help you build your T2B and get you out of singledom? Yep. Definitely.

Single T2B can be great in certain circumstances. But if that is your only option then it means there is an opportunity to improve your strength and coordination. Keep chipping away at it. Reduce the range of motion (keep it challenging!) while keeping the kip swing and lat activation in mind. Through some strict Pull Up work in there and you’ll be having T2B workouts for breakfast.

Eric Loya-Wu
Head Coach 
CrossFit Central Wellington