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Exercise We Recommend: Shoulder Taps

My Youtube video on Shoulder Taps has been quite popular, roughly 11, 000 views to date….I’m pretty much a celebrity, no big deal…so I thought it would be a good exercise to highlight this week.

Here’s what the exercise looks like in action:

Why should you do this exercise:

Most people are familiar with the importance of core strength, but what about core timing?  Our deeper core musculature  (transverses abdominus, internal and external obliques, multifidus, illiocostalis, and longisimus) in conjunction with our more superficial musculature (rectus abdominis, lats, erectors) must contract in a reactive way during movement in order to provide stability.  A lag in the timing of our core muscles firing can cause a loss of stability, which can lead to a loss of power or even an injury.  So even if you have a “strong” core you may be missing a very important link in your training if you haven’t focused on exercises that specifically address improving your core timing.

Why we like it:

This is not only a great exercise to improve core efficiency but can also be used as means to assess a client’s (or your own) core timing.  Those who are not able to complete this exercise perfectly should regress to something like the Stationary Bear Crawl, which you can learn about HERE.  Those that can perform this exercise well can practice it and slowly progress it as tolerated.

Who should do this exercise:

In order to perform this exercise WELL you should have the following pre-requisites:

-be able to perform a proper RKC plank for 15 seconds without feeling any low back fatigue

-be able to complete Stationary Bear Crawl without shifting your hips

-understand how to properly load your wrists

If you meet all of the above criteria than you should be doing this exercise!

Coaching cues:

Place your hands close and feet wide to start, making sure the weight is in the heel of your hands

Keep your legs as straight as you can, making  sure that your quads and glutes stay engaged the entire duration of the exercise

Before you lift your hand brace your core like someone is about to punch you in the stomach

Don’t lift your feet or rotate your hips

Only do as many reps as you can do without compensating, aim for 3×10-20 alternating taps

Try adding this exercise to your warm-up or pair it up with a compound lift and let me know what you think!



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About the author

Andrea Lawson has been a practicing Kinesiologist since 2008 and is the founder of Balance in Motion, a training facility created for people to rehabilitate from injuries, improve athletic performance, and crush their health and fitness goals. She is passionate about providing a space where anyone can step foot in and feel both comfortable and productive no matter the injury, age, or stage they may be at in their fitness journey. With this vision, Andrea has witnessed her clients achieve goals they never thought possible, and gain unmatched levels of confidence in themselves, helping them to Go Beyond Better.