How To Do Plank Shoulder Taps Properly

Plank shoulder taps are a variation of a traditional plank with an added compound movement. When you suspend your body in a prone position, you are keeping tension on your abdomen, lower back, shoulders, and glutes.

Plank shoulder taps are a rather complicated move,  hence it is advisable that you use good form. Not only does proper form prevent injury but also ensures you get the most bang for your buck.

Here are the right steps when doing plank shoulder taps:

  • Get into a high plank position with your directly under your shoulders, feet hip-width apart.
  • Keep your spine neutral, neck and back straight, and hips aligned with shoulders.
  • Engage your core and squeeze your glutes so your body remains flat and stable.
  • Raise your left hand to tap your right shoulder, and set it back down.
  • Raise your right hand to tap your left shoulder, set it back down
  • Alternate tapping your left and right shoulders.
  • Go for 15 taps on each side for 3 rounds

Below you can find a hyperlink that fully illustrates the plank shoulder taps workout procedure:

BENEFITS OF DOING PLANK SHOULDER TAPS

According to trainers, plank shoulder taps offer a  variety of benefits:

BODY STABILITY

Plank shoulder taps help keep tension on your abs, low back, shoulders and glutes. When the shoulder taps are added you effectively engage the obliques and increase the demand on your stabilizers, or smaller muscles. This helps keep your body from rotating too much.

STRENGTHENING ARMS

Plank shoulder taps give the arms a nice workout. It enables you to hit the biceps as you contract and bend your arm to tap your shoulder. lt also strengthens the biceps as you hold yourself up and shift your weight from one arm to another.

IMPROVED POSTURE

Plank shoulder taps give better posture. In addition to that, it reduces lower back pain and improves body balance.

MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN DOING PLANK SHOULDER TAPS

Planks may be a common move you have done countless times but that does not make it less challenging. The following are some of the mistakes people often make while doing shoulder tap plank.

HAVING HIPS TOO HIGH

It is advisable to avoid hiking your butt into the air or dipping your stomach to the floor. Always make sure your back remains flat.

KEEPING THE FEET TOO CLOSE

Keeping your feet too close together causes the body to rotate or twist as you bring each hand to the opposite shoulder. You should instead keep your feet hip-width apart so that your body remains squared up with the floor even as you move.

SLIDING YOUR HAND OUT

As you begin to get tired, you may be tempted to slide your hands out in front of you

This may overextend your body in a way that places unnecessary stress on your shoulder joints. Your hands should instead be stacked directly under your shoulders.

SHIFTING YOUR WAIST

You should aim at keeping your hips to the ground throughout the workout period

This can be achieved by avoiding excessive side to side movement

WHAT MUSCLES DO PLANK SHOULDER TAPS WORK

Finding alternatives to plank shoulder taps is one great way of riding your workout routine of monotony. These alternatives are also referred to as modified plank shoulder taps

BELLY UP CRUNCH

Lie on your right side, balancing your forearm, hip on the floor, and left arm resting just above your left leg. Keep legs straight as you raise them a few inches and reach the left ankle. Repeat for 45 minutes then switches sides.

CRUNCH AND REACH

  • Lie faceup with hands behind your head, legs straight lifted to the ceiling
  • Open legs to form a V shape.
  • Close legs, cross ankles, and crunch up.
  • Lower and repeat, alternating sides with each rep.

DIAGONAL CRUNCH

Lie on your right side, balancing on your forearm, hip on the floor, and left arm resting just above the left leg. Keep your legs straight ad you raise them a few inches and reach your left hand toward the ankle. Repeat for 45 seconds, then switch sides.

Additionally, there are other simpler alternatives that you can try out as well

Try just tapping your opposite hand, rather than reaching all the way up to your shoulder. You will indeed agree that it’s truly a less cumbersome workout. Another simple alternative is to keep both hands planted on the ground, before shifting eighty to ninety percent of your body weight from arm to arm for one to two seconds at a time. Having been exposed to such a wide variety of plank shoulder tap workouts you can be sure to achieve a strengthened core, glutes arms wrist, and  shoulders

PLANK SHOULDER TAPS MISTAKES TO AVOID

STICKING YOUR BUTT IN THE AIR

Just as with any regular plank, the success of this exercise is largely determined by the form you adopt while doing it. For this exercise, make sure your whole body is aligned, and the back remains straight.

Sticking your butt in the air no doubt makes the exercise seem a little bit easier. However, this will be cheating and will rob you of great gains. Thus, make sure your body is aligned from the shoulders to the heels.

TWISTING THE HIPS

This exercise is devoid of side-to-side movements of the hips. If you keep finding your hips twisting, place your feet wider to give you more grounding and stability. Also, try to squeeze and hold your abs to avoid your hips dropping, the aim is to keep the hips square to the ground.

CONCLUSION

The normal plank can be a little boring once you get used to it, so there is no harm in switching it up a little bit. The plank shoulder taps in an excellent way of making the plank a bit more challenging and more interesting.

The intensity of this exercise may also depend on how you position your feet, whereas narrower feet make it hard while wider feet make it much easier because your base is much wider.