Toes to Bar Exercise (How NOT to Work Your Abs!)

Train your abs the right way in every exercise here…

The toes to bar ab exercise is a staple for building a solid six pack, if you actually do it the right way. Performing this exercise for efficiency only is likely to leave your abs wishing you thought differently about what the purpose of our workout really should be.

In this video, I show you the right and wrong way to perform the toes to bar exercise. While it’s not a toes to bar tutorial, it does show you that changing your mindset from one of flailing your way towards an unrealistic number of reps towards concentrating on doing quality reps can have a huge impact on your ab development.

If you want to consider this an abs challenge then you are going to have to perform the exercise in a way that actually works your abs. Kipping your way to the top of a rep is going to involve enormous momentum and hip flexor activation with very little to no abdominal engagement. Done in this fashion, you turn one of the best ab exercises into one of the worst ab exercises.

Hanging ab exercises can truly be the hardest ways to work your abs, and therefore belong in any advanced ab workout. Finding ways to cheat the difficulty in the name of efficiency however is not going to do you any favors in the long run. When training, your goal should be to develop efficiency only through getting stronger, more stabile and powerful in the muscles that are actually intended to provide the strength, stability and power.

In the case of the toes to bar exercise and how to do it correctly, you are going to want to get those abs workout from start to finish. Stop worrying about counting to 100, and instead concentrate on counting only your high quality reps. You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll be by doing this.

If you want to train like an athlete and develop better abs while becoming more powerful, be sure to head to and get your ATHLEAN-X 90 day training system and day by day ab workouts.

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29 Replies to “Toes to Bar Exercise (How NOT to Work Your Abs!)”

  1. Jeff, I have been working on toes to bar now for three months the Athlean-X way. I'm up to seven in a row. If you do them the right way, you can definitely feel your abs.

  2. Just got done at cross fit wod and they told us to kep when we did the ttb I see how your way Jeff is way better

  3. I've been cringing at the bad technique vids until I found this one. I'm currently on 8, but the last 2 are a struggle. My back stay straight the whole time (I have metal rods) which is challenging but I'm getting it 👍🏼

  4. i do 3 sets of 10. that's pretty good for me. i usually do them with a reverse grip with my arms bent. its easier since a bent arm is stronger than a straight arm. doing them with a straight arm puts too much of a strain on my arms.

  5. 8-10 strict form. After that I start a little swing at the bottom. I'm just trying to get my muscular endurance back since having back surgery last year…discectomy! Thanks for the video it has helped me out a ton!!!

  6. I've got a good challenge for you: Go up with your toes to the bar and stabilize. Do a full circle down to the right and up to the left and stabilize again. From here, raise your body up towards the sky, you should be in a straight line along the y-axis with your hips above the bar, stabilize here and go down to the toes at bar-position. From here, do a full circle in the other direction, down left and up right, and stabilize at the top. Do another rep of reaching with your feet towards the sky, then go down to the starting position. That's one rep of the challenge. Please try it and tell me how it feels! 🙂

  7. Crossfitters can do both strict and kip with no problem. Kipping is a faster and more efficient way of completing the reps. If a workout required strict toes to bar there would be no doubt any crossfitter could handle it. Why don't you go take a crossfit class and do a wod strict and see how you do Mr. Know it all. It's easier to hit 10 reps of some curls and take a 5 minute water break, change your music and then hit another 10 reps. You talk shit because your weak ass couldn't hang.

  8. You engage your biceps when you do toes to bar, this exercise need more shoulder stabilisation , flexibility in your hips and of course core strength!

  9. im 17 and i did 32 and a half but some of them such as the lest 5 too 10 i didn't really extend my legs so ya

  10. I found that the trick to get my abs to work with these is controlling my movement on the way down. Going up I don't feel anything yes, but if you can stop yourself at the bottom this is a decent high-rep exercise in my opinion anyway

  11. OMG……………..How many inches are Jeff's biceps ?    Haven't watched his videos for a few weeks.  They must have grown again.    18"  ?     20"   ?

  12. 15 is all i could do. My whole body was feeling it and especially my shoulders.

  13. Great video. I had a question about doing superset variations of just pull ups and push ups (wide, close, regular, ect…) is it better to superset wide grip pull ups with wide stance pushups or is it better to do close grip pull ups then super set with wide stance push ups, or does it really matter. I normally superset like this: wide push/pull then close push/pull then regular push/pull…and so on. Any advice?

  14. 10, with proper technique, but hanging at the elbows with straps instead of hands on bar. Will see if I can get more with my knees bent as much as in the video.
    This is my favorite exercise in the gym, as I couldn't even do one when I first got back into fitness.
    Fun addition can be to go for maximum fatigue by doing knees to chest after you can't get your toes all the way up to the bar anymore in a set.

  15. Hey Jeff,
    doesn't the toe to bar work the hip flexors more than the abs?  and How can I focus to keeping the hip flexors out of my  ad workout and focus on ads?
    Thank you

  16. Coach Jeff, can you do a vid on soy and its effect on testosterone I'm finding the evidence hard to distill.

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