Shoulder taps are a fantastic exercise for building strong shoulders, stabilizing your core, and improving your overall fitness level. This bodyweight exercise can be performed in a variety of ways, including the classic shoulder tap, the plank shoulder tap, and the shoulder tap exercise. At Boardgains, we love incorporating this fun and challenging exercise into our fitness board game. In this article, we will explore the benefits of shoulder taps, the correct way to perform them, common mistakes to avoid, and tips for maximizing your results.
What is the correct way to do shoulder taps and what are some modifications?
How to SHOULDER TAPS
1. Start in a extended plank position with your wrist under your shoulders and your feet hip width apart.
2. Tap one hand to the opposite shoulder, then quickly return to the plank position.
3. Repeat the same movement for the opposing arm.
4. Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels and maintain a steady pace.
Rep Count: Each shoulder tap left & right is 2 reps.
Modification: On Knees (Watch video for modification)
Benefits of Shoulder Taps
Shoulder taps are a full-body exercise that primarily work your shoulders and core. They require no equipment and can be done anywhere, making them a great addition to any home workout routine. Here are some of the benefits of incorporating shoulder taps into your exercise regimen:
- Improved Shoulder Strength: Shoulder taps work your deltoids, the large muscles at the top of your shoulders, as well as your rotator cuff muscles, which are responsible for shoulder stability.
- Stronger Core: The movement of shoulder taps requires you to engage your core muscles, including your rectus abdominis, obliques, and transverse abdominis, making them an effective exercise for building a strong core.
- Increased Balance and Stability: Shoulder taps challenge your balance and stability, as you must maintain a plank position while tapping your shoulders, which helps improve your overall balance and stability.
- Cardiovascular Benefits: Shoulder taps are a dynamic exercise that gets your heart rate up and can provide a cardiovascular workout.
Proper Form for Shoulder Taps
Before you start incorporating shoulder taps into your workout routine, it's essential to learn proper form. Here's how to do shoulder taps correctly:
- Starting Position: Begin in a plank position with your arms straight and your wrists directly beneath your shoulders. Your body should be in a straight line from your head to your heels.
- Movement: While maintaining a strong plank position, lift one hand off the ground and tap your opposite shoulder. Return your hand to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
Muscles Worked in Shoulder Taps
Shoulder taps work multiple muscle groups at once, making them a highly effective exercise. Here are the primary muscles worked during shoulder taps:
- Shoulder Muscles: Shoulder taps work your deltoids, rotator cuff muscles, and trapezius muscles, which are responsible for shoulder stability.
- Core Muscles: The movement of shoulder taps requires you to engage your core muscles, including your rectus abdominis, obliques, and transverse abdominis.
Variations of Shoulder Taps
To keep your workout challenging and avoid hitting a plateau, try incorporating these shoulder tap variations:
Traditional Shoulder Taps
The traditional shoulder tap involves tapping your opposite shoulder while in a plank position, as described above.
Side-to-Side Shoulder Taps
Side-to-side shoulder taps involve tapping your shoulder with the opposite hand, but instead of returning to the starting position, you bring your hand across your body to tap the opposite shoulder. This movement engages your oblique muscles more than traditional shoulder taps.
Plank Shoulder Taps
Plank shoulder taps involve tapping your opposite shoulder while in a forearm plank position, rather than a traditional plank position. This variation places more emphasis on your core muscles.
Tips for a Successful Shoulder Taps Workout
To get the most out of your shoulder taps workout, follow these tips:
Before starting any exercise, it's essential to warm up to prevent injury. Try doing some dynamic stretching or a light cardio workout, such as jogging in place, before starting your shoulder taps.
Maintain Proper Form
To get the most out of your shoulder taps workout and prevent injury, it's crucial to maintain proper form throughout the exercise. Keep your body in a straight line from your head to your heels, engage your core muscles, and avoid sagging your hips or arching your back.
Increase Difficulty Gradually
If you're new to shoulder taps, start with traditional shoulder taps and work your way up to more challenging variations. You can also increase the difficulty by performing more reps or holding the plank position for a longer period.
Shoulder Taps vs Other Shoulder and Abs Exercises
Shoulder taps are a highly effective exercise for building shoulder and core strength. Here's how they compare to other shoulder and abs exercises:
Advantages of Shoulder Taps
- Full-Body Workout: Shoulder taps work multiple muscle groups at once, providing a full-body workout.
- Equipment-Free: You don't need any equipment to do shoulder taps, making them a convenient exercise to do at home or on the go.
- Cardiovascular Benefits: The dynamic movement of shoulder taps gets your heart rate up, providing a cardiovascular workout.
Disadvantages of Other Exercises
- Isolation Exercises: Many shoulder and abs exercises, such as bicep curls and sit-ups, only work one muscle group at a time, making them less efficient for a full-body workout.
- Equipment-Dependent: Some exercises, such as cable crunches or shoulder press, require gym equipment, which may not be accessible for everyone.
Shoulder taps are an effective exercise for building shoulder and core strength, improving balance and stability, and providing a cardiovascular workout. By following proper form and gradually increasing the difficulty, you can make the most out of your shoulder taps workout.
Are Shoulder Taps Good for Beginners?
Yes, shoulder taps can be a good exercise for beginners, but it's essential to start with traditional shoulder taps and gradually work your way up to more challenging variations.
How Many Shoulder Taps Should I Do in a Workout?
It depends on your fitness level and goals. Start with 3 sets of 10 reps and gradually increase the number of reps or sets as you become stronger.
Can I Do Shoulder Taps Every Day?
It's best to allow your muscles to rest and recover between workouts, so it's not recommended to do shoulder taps every day. Aim for 2-3 shoulder taps workouts per week, with at least one day of rest in between.
Are Shoulder Taps Safe for Those with Shoulder or Back Pain?
If you have a history of shoulder or back pain, it's essential to consult with a doctor or physical therapist before starting any exercise regimen. They can advise you on modifications or alternative exercises to prevent further injury.
Can Shoulder Taps Help Me Get a Six-Pack?
While shoulder taps can help strengthen your core muscles, they're not a guaranteed way to get a six-pack. To achieve visible abs, you need to combine regular exercise with a healthy diet and overall weight loss. However, incorporating shoulder taps into your workout routine can be a helpful addition to your ab workout.
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