Achieving Toes-to-Bar


Toes-to-Bar is a core-strengthening exercise where the athlete hangs from the bar and raises the toes up until they touch the bar. This movement is the last in a series of movement progressions once the athlete has proper upper body and core stability and strength to effectively complete the movement. A standard progression for athletes would start with hanging knee raises, knees-to-chest, and then toes-to-bar. All of these movements will work the shoulders and core muscles as the athlete tries to maintain a steady position while raising and lowering the legs.

Watch the video clip below for a full explanation of technique, tips and tricks for performing the movement with efficiency, as well as precautions for staying safe.


  1. Hands Just Outside Shoulders: As you jump up on the bar, it may seem logical to place hands directly above your head; however, this position can prevent you from correctly keeping your shoulders engaged throughout the movement. Instead, place your hands slightly outside your shoulder line. This will better engage your back, which is one the strongest muscle groups in your body, and help you keep your shoulders active.
  2. Keep Shoulders Engaged: As you hang from the bar, keep your shoulders actively engaged by focusing on pulling downward with your lat muscles, located in your back. Another way to visualize keeping an active shoulder is to try to close your arm pits. You will notice your shoulders drop correctly and your head and neck rise up appropriately.
  3. Complete Basic Knee Raise: To complete basic knee raises, the second progression in the series of movements toward completing toes to bar, keep your core tight as you hang from the bar and simply raise knees to just above hip height. Lower your legs back down nice and straight and try to prevent a swinging motion or kip as you do so.
  4. Perform Knees-to-Chest: The next progression is to achieve knees-to-chest. This requires a kipping motion that starts from the shoulders, not the legs, and enables more momentum for the athlete to appropriately raise knees above hip height until they reach chest height. Often athletes will try to create a kipping movement with their legs, but this will throw the athlete into an inefficient swing. Instead, just as with other gymnastic movements where you are hanging from the bar, focus on engaging the shoulders to activate the kip.
  5. Achieve Toes-to-Bar: The final progression is to perform toes-to-bar where you will complete the same movement as you did with knees-to-chest, but as your knees reach chest height, simply extend your legs up to touch your toes to the bar. Your kip should be the same as it is with knees-to-chest, but to efficiently touch the toes to the bar, try and focus on flicking your legs up quickly. This last flick of the legs should enable you to reach the bar with your feet while maintaining the proper shoulder engagement and kip motion.

QUESTIONS: Ready to get started, or curious to learn more about how Fierce Play can help you meet your health and wellness goals? Contact us for more information. Also feel free to check out more of our videos series to learn how to perform the basics with solid form and efficiency.


Fierce Play’s Hanging Gymnastics Series focuses on proper technique, as well as tips & tricks, to master some of the foundational movements that will be integrated into many of the workouts you will perform. Start your next workout with the confidence and skills to do the movement safely and effectively.


Simply fill out the form below and then schedule Your FREE No-Sweat intro Consultation on the next page.

Shortly after we will be in touch with you to confirm your intro session.

We are excited to meet you!



I am fully dedicated to helping every single one of you finally reach your goals.


CrossFit Level 1 Certification



Mark Mancuso started his fitness journey while enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Like most individuals, at first, he only focused on bodybuilding type workouts. Mark learned quickly that focusing just on the aesthetics of the body would get you only so far. In 2013, Mark found out about Crossfit and fell in love with everything that it stood for.

In June of 2015, Mark was Honorably Discharged from the Marine Corps and returned from his duty station in Okinawa, Japan to his home in Maple Grove, MN. Not having any formal coaching in Crossfit he was on a mission to find a Crossfit Box to call home. Fierce Play welcomed him with open arms, and he hasn’t looked back. Mark obtained his Level One Crossfit certification in November 2015 and plans to add additional certifications in the future. He also intends to compete in a variety of Crossfit competitions as opportunities arise.


CrossFit Level 1 Certification


Owner & Head Coach

Jeff Birthler has a contagious passion for fitness. He graduated and obtained a personal training certificate from the National Personal Training Institute in 2010. On his way, he discovered and fell in love with CrossFit. Jeff hasn’t stopped learning, and still seeks a well-rounded education within the health domain, going beyond physical facets. He has trained clients at several corporate gyms, including Fitness 19 and LA Fitness, as he established a plan for his own gym.

Fierce Play was established in 2012 in a 500 sq. ft. garage. After a few moves and upgrades, it now has a permanent, 4800 sq. ft. location in Maple Grove. Jeff calls it “home”.


NPTI (National Personal Training Institute) CPT Diploma January 5, 2012

CrossFit Level 1 Certificate

CrossFit Level 2 Certificate

CrossFit Olympic Lifting Certificate

CrossFit Power Lifting Certificate

CrossFit Mobility Certificate

CrossFit Gymnastics Certificate

USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Certification



To Request a membership hold, please fill out the form below. Warning, by filling out this form your membership will not be put on hold. This form is simply a way to let us know you would like to request a membership hold. We will then review your request, then reach out to you to confirm.


Please fill out the form below and one of our team members will review your request. Warning. The submission of this form does not cancel your membership. We will review your request, then reach out to confirm.


We Would Love To Meet You!

Simply fill out the form below
& one of our amazing
coaches will be in touch asap! We are excited to meet you!


We Would Love To Meet You!
Class Sizes Are Limited.

If you would like to reserve a spot... Simply fill out the form below letting us know what day you might come by & one of our amazing coaches will reach out to you to reserve your class.


$25 - Must contact prior Fierce Play to get signed up for Class

OUR Information:


11650 96th Ave N, Suite B Maple Grove, MN 55369




We Want To Offer You
The PERFECT Membership For YouR NEEDS.

Simply fill out the form below
& one of our amazing coaches
will send you our current
membership information.