Fitness is always a popular choice to start fresh at the beginning of the year. That being said, you should be in a routine, and the soreness of any new fitness routine has worn off by now. it is time to intensify your routines and give yourself a challenge.

Our move today is a planking shoulder tap. All you need for this exercise is a flat surface. This shoulder-tapping plank will be working your whole body, but focusing on the core, your balance and upper body.

Begin this exercise on the floor on all fours. Positioning your hands shoulder-width apart, hold your chest tall and engage your core. Then, extend both feet behind you by straightening your legs and propping your body weight onto the balls of your feet.

Now, you should be in a planking position with both arms sturdy underneath your upper body. Your core is engaged and your legs are holding the weight of your lower body. Once you are in this position, you are ready to start tapping each shoulder.

Keeping a focal point, begin to lift your left hand off the floor and reach over to tap your right shoulder. Replace that hand on the ground and immediately shift to your other side. Take your right hand off the floor and tap your left shoulder. This may be slightly tricky at first, as it could throw your balance off. You can always drop to your knees at first to get a feel of the movement, and as your balance and strength increase return back to your toes.

This shoulder-tapping plank can be performed for a particular length of time or a set number of shoulder taps. Either way you choose, you will find this move not only challenging, but rewarding as well.
This exercise is a great way to challenge your workout partners. And it’s great on its own for a quick personal task. It can even be added to any upper body routine.

Marlo Alleva, an instructor at Gold’s Gym and group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gills YMCA in Lakeland, Florida, can be reached at faluvzpa@msn.com.