Calisthenics Crossfit

How to Do Knees to Elbows Crossfit?

Knees to elbows Crossfit is an effective exercise to train core muscles. It does not require special equipment other than a bar. You can also perform it with TRX suspension trainer.

To perform a regular knees to elbows Crossfit grasp a bar or TRX handles in a dead hang position. Contract your core muscles and bring your knees up until they touch elbows. CrossFit knees to elbow can have different variations, and performing with TRX straps can be more challenging than a fixed bar.

Benefits of Knees to Elbows Crossfit

Crossfit knees to elbows, which is a type of knees up Crossfit, covers a wide range of motion for core muscles. It also requires a firm hand grip, which is a determining factor in many outdoor activities such as climbing and kayaking. 

Knees to elbows Crossfit strengthens abdominal muscles and improves control and stability of core muscles in other activities. Crossfit knees to elbows is a bodyweight Crossfit exercise that needs no equipment.

Crossfit Knees to Elbows Standard

  1. Start from a dead hang position with hands slightly wider than shoulder width.
  2. Loose your legs from knee joints.
  3. Contract core muscles and raise your knees until they touch elbows.
  4. Bring knees down with a controlled motion. During the downward motion, maintain the resistance in abs and hip flexors.
  5. Perform in sets of 10-30 repetitions.

Strict knees to elbows Crossfit is a controlled motion without extra swing. It keeps tension on the abdominal muscles. There is a brief pause at the bottom of the movement to make sure you do not take advantage of the momentum produced by swinging.

Kipping Knees to Elbows Crossfit

Kipping knees to elbows Crossfit adds an extra swing to the strict Crossfit knees to elbows. The added kipping movements make it more challenging for hands grip. Hence, it is possible that your hands get tired before finishing the exercise. In that case, it is better to drop shortly from the bar and grip again to continue with the remaining repetitions.

At the top of the movement, shoulders move backward, and at the bottom of the movement legs push back. That way, you produce a perpetual motion with your body. Lock your elbows and do not allow them to bend while you are raising your knees. Produce momentum with the core muscles and shoulders to touch knees with elbows.

It is natural that in this swinging motion, your shoulders move backward behind the bar to allow your knees to touch elbows. This movement also contributes to strengthening muscles related to pull-ups. 

Lying Knees to Elbows Crossfit

To perform supine knees to elbows Crossfit:

  1. Lie down flat on the floor. 
  2. Hold on to a post above your head to prevent downward movement of elbows.
  3. With the strength of core muscles, bring knees close to elbows so that they touch each other.
  4. Bring knees back to the starting position.

Crossfit lying knees to elbows can have different variations. Another method of performing supine knees to elbows CrossFit is without holding an anchor above our head. In this variation, bring knees and elbows simultaneously together and then extend back to the initial state.

Supine knees to elbows crossfit while lying flat on the floor

Dragon Flag Crossfit

In Dragon Flag Crossfit similar to lying knees to elbows, hold on to a post but lock your news in an extended state. Pivot from upper back and raise your legs high. Core and legs remain in a straight position throughout the range of motion. After a momentary pause on top, bring your legs down to the starting position.

Lying Knees to Elbows Oblique Crunch 

This exercise strengthens core muscles and the sides of the abdominal area.

  1. Lie on your back with legs extended and hands behind ears.
  2. Crunch one side of the body and bring the elbow and knee of the same side together.
  3. Bring the knee and elbow back to the starting position.
  4. Contract the other side and bring the knee and elbow close to each other.

Lying Knees to Elbows with Opposite Knee and Elbow

Similar to lying knees to elbows oblique crunch but this time each knee touches the opposite elbow in a cross position.

Lying knee to elbow with opposite knee and elbow

Side-Lying Knee to Elbow Crunch

  1. Lie flat with one side of the body touching the ground. 
  2. Bring the knee and elbow of the other side together.
  3. Return to the initial position and repeat.
  4. Lie on the other side of the body and repeat the exercise with the opposite arm and leg.
Side lying knee to elbow crunch in crossfit

Hanging Knee Raises Crossfit

Hanging knee raises is a basic gymnastic movement in which we don’t bring knees up to the elbows level, but up to the chest level. Since knees do not rise until elbows level, we don’t move shoulders backward. Torso remains vertical during the movement.

How to Do Hanging Knee Raises

Standing Knee Raises Crossfit

Standing knee raise is another form of knee ups Crossfit that needs no bar. Position yourself in a standing state and raise one knee close to the chest and bring it back down. You can combine it with a twisting motion of the upper body from side to side, while extending both arms to your sides.

CrossFit Toes to Bar

Crossfit toes to bar has the same basics as Crossfit knees to elbows. Start from the dead hang position and lift your feet up until toes touch the bar. Contrary to Crossfit knee to elbow, in Crossfit toes to bar feet remain straight during the range of motion.

Crossfit toes to bar has two main variations:

  • Strict toes to bar
  • Kipping toes to bar

However, we can apply the same variations of knees to elbows to it, such as Crossfit toes to bar on the ground.

Which Muscles Worked by Toes to Bar?

This is a compound exercise, so apart from core muscles toes to bar involves other muscle groups.

  1. Upper body, such as biceps and triceps, shoulders such as deltoids.
  2. Back muscles such as spinal erectors and latissimus dorsi.
  3. Core muscles (Abdominal muscles) 
  4. Leg muscles, in particular hip flexors. At the lower end of the motion, it also stretches the hamstring muscles.

Crossfit Toes to Bar for Beginners

Paying attention to a few tips can make toes to bar a more feasible exercise. 

  • Try not to keep your head down. Instead, looking at your target, which is the overhead bar, makes the exercise move doable.
  • Keeping your knees completely locked makes the exercise very hard, especially if you lack hamstring flexibility. A slight bend in the knees gives you more hamstring flexibility and allows you to bring toes all the way to the bar.
  • If bringing your toes to the bar with straight legs is difficult, tuck your knees to your chest and then flick your toes to the bar.
  • “Kipping toes to bar” makes use of momentum. So if strict toes to bar is hard, adding swinging motions can help to reach the bar.

Crossfit Knees to Elbows vs Toes to Bar

Some believe that knees to elbows CrossFit is the beginner version of Crossfit toes-to-bar, whereas there are others who find T2B Crossfit much easier than K2E.

Having a long torso with short arms and legs can make K2E Crossfit more difficult. 

For T2B, hamstring flexibility is another factor that is usually underrated. It plays a major role when you are trying to bring your toes close to your hands. By trying to touch toes with fingertips while bending on the ground, we can estimate the amount of flexibility required for this act. From there, we can gauge how much we should bend our knees that allow us to bring toes to the bar.

What Muscles Are Worked for Knees to Elbows?

K2E Crossfit strengthens hands grip. It also engages the upper body and in particular upper back muscles. It also strengthens core muscles, including front and oblique abdominal muscles. In the lower body, hip flexors are mostly involved.

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