January 13, 2022 9 min read
Shoulder taps are one of those basic exercises that are grossly underrated. While it might look simple, do not be fooled by this low-impact activity.
Shoulder taps are a great way to effectively activate a wide range of muscles in your upper body and posterior chain.
It is a high-energy strength-training exercise guaranteed to provide you with a stronger core and better muscle endurance. Here are shoulder tap tips and tricks guaranteed to help you properly achieve a full-body shoulder tap workout.
Shoulder taps might seem like a not-so-distant family to the plank, but they include more movements of the muscles.
They are an incredibly demanding exercise that works a wide range of muscles in the arms, back, torso, and glutes. Many gym-goers consider the shoulder tap exercise a core workout, but more experienced bodybuilders fondly call it a near full-body workout. Shoulder taps imitate the starting position of the high plank but include more arm movement of using each palm to tap the opposite shoulder alternately.
While this might seem like an easy exercise, it requires an immense amount of arm strength and muscle endurance.
Although arm movements are a significant part of the routine, they are not the only important part. Shoulder taps engage your back, arm, core muscles, and posterior chain to stabilise your upper body as you shift from one arm to the other. This requires keeping the rest of your body straight as a rod and extremely still to get the results you wish.
Shoulder taps are a great addition to your training, regardless of your experience.
It is scalable and can be modified to suit your current fitness state and fitness goals. However, to accomplish this, you need to learn the tricks of the trade. Shoulder taps not only depend on muscle strength but also on the discipline of holding the proper form and avoiding cheat reps. Proper form would not only ensure your safety but also target the right muscle groups for an overall ripped and shredded look.
For an exercise with a limited range of motion, shoulder taps provide surprising results on the body. It is no surprise why it remains one of many bodybuilders’ favourite bodyweight exercises. Including this exercise in your routine means with minor movements, you work your upper and lower body. When done correctly, shoulder taps primarily work the core and upper body muscles while also chipping in on the glutes, thighs, lower back, wrists, and shoulders.
Shoulder taps can be done as a standalone exercise or to warm up in the gym.
Because your body is suspended in gravity and your body weight is supported mainly by your arms and feet, your abdominal muscles are fired up during shoulder taps.
Shoulder taps as a core exercise engage your transverse abdominis and internal obliques.
Thanks to your arms also taking the brunt of your body's resistance and gravity, shoulder taps engage your pecs, biceps, delts, and triceps.
The engagement of these muscles result in toned arms, stimulating muscle gain and better arm strength. Shoulder taps also require the activation of the hip flexors, lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and quads, all of which are essential for functionality. It provides more mobility in the hips, a stronger back, and toned legs and butts. These muscles are just as essential to your life outside the gym as they are inside in the gym. Stronger core and arm muscles will result in your ability to lift more in the gym weight,
Other than the apparent reasons for better muscle strength, enhanced muscle endurance, and killer core strength, shoulder taps are great for your body in many ways.
Shoulder taps target a wide range of muscles necessary to function inside and outside the gym.
These muscles are essential to you regardless of what activities you might engage in. It strengthens these muscles, tones them, and increases their endurance level.
Shoulder taps are easy to learn but require an intentional dedication towards holding the proper form. Your form can make or break your routine.
To do the shoulder tap:
Like any other compound exercise, shoulder taps should be appropriately done to engage the right muscles. This might prove to be challenging as in the process of struggling to keep your balance, you might alter your form to take the pressure off your torso.
To change this, here are some tips to keep you in check:
One problem with many isometric exercises like the planks is that when they are mastered, it is difficult to ramp up the difficulty of the exercises. Thankfully, there are various ways to increase or tone down the intensity of shoulder taps.
If the basic shoulder tap is too much for you, the knee shoulder tap is an easier version with equally good results. In this variation, instead of a high plank, you will begin on your hands and knees. This will reduce the intensity of your core engagement, thereby taking stress off your back and hip. The kneeling shoulder tap variation is an excellent choice for beginners and gym-goers suffering from injuries to the back, shoulders, or hip.
To do this variation:
In the case of an injury, remember to rest in between sets. Adequate time for muscle recovery would reduce the level of strain on your muscles.
Elevated shoulder taps are an equally good shoulder tap variation that is easy to carry out. The incline of your body reduces the angling of your body and thus reduces the stress on your shoulders and wrists. It is a good choice for people suffering from pain or injuries in these joints.
To do the elevated shoulder taps:
This shoulder tap variation is the basic shoulder tap with the addition of a pause at the peak of your movements.
To do the shoulder tap with hold:
The pause increases the intensity of the core activation and is an excellent addition to a routine if you have begun to plateau with the basic shoulder tap
The shoulder tap with leg lifts is a more intense variation that puts your balance to the test. As its name implies, it is a basic shoulder tap mixed with a leg lift. This means you move one leg and one arm simultaneously. The shoulder tap with leg lift stimulates the core muscles more. It places more stress on the bicep of the balancing arm and also helps to work the glutes and thigh muscles.
To do the shoulder tap with leg lift variation:
There are different variations designed to suit your fitness needs. The variation you should choose depends on your fitness goals and athleticism. Regardless of the variation you choose to include in your routine, it is important to hold proper form to provide you with the results you need.
Shoulder taps make a great addition to any workout routine. It doesn’t matter if it’s as a warm-up exercise to gear you up to other strenuous exercise, a core exercise, or a post-workout exercise for muscle recovery, shoulder-taps serve their purpose. Shoulder taps may look simple but they require a massive amount of dedication, muscle control, and focus.
Regardless of how demanding they are, shoulder taps are guaranteed to get you shredded. To assist you in your bulking journey, here are other bodyweight core exercises that are supplementary to shoulder taps.