Are you getting bored with the standard push-up and looking for a more challenging variation than the Shoulder Tap Push-Up has got you covered.

Push-Ups are an efficient functional compound exercise with lots of different variations. They are also an excellent substitute exercise for days when you can not make it to your local gym.

With the Shoulder tap push-up variation, you will perform a traditional push-up and then balance yourself on one of your hands and touch your opposite shoulder.

This article will include a video, image and written step by step description on how to do the Shoulder Tap Push-Up.

Its difficulty level, the equipment you will need to be able to perform it, and the muscle groups worked.

The different benefits you will get when adding it to your training routine. Also, some different training tips to help make sure you are getting the most you can get out of it.

How to do Shoulder Tap Push-Up

Video Demonstration

Image Example

how to do the Shoulder Tap Push-Up

Step by Step Description

Step 1: Move to the ground and lie face down on the floor with your body straight. Put your palms face down on the floor. Your fingers should be pointing straight ahead. You are going to put the palms of your hands directly under the shoulders.

You are now in the starting position.

Step 2: Tighten your entire body and keep it tight throughout the exercise. Extend at your elbows pressing your body to the top of the push-up position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels.

Step 3 Version A: Lift one of your hands off of the ground and touch the opposite shoulder with the palm of your hand. Return your hand to the floor. Now raise your other hand off of the ground and tap the opposite shoulder with the palm of your hand. Return your hand to the floor.

Step 3 Version B: Lift one of your hands off of the ground and touch the opposite shoulder with the palm of your hand. Return your hand to the floor. Bend at your elbows and lower your body back towards the floor until your chest is almost touching the floor. Now press your body up to the top of push-up position and lift the other hand and tap the opposite shoulder. With this variation, you will perform twice as many push-ups then with version A.

Congratulations you have now completed one repetition. Repeat for the number of reps you have selected.

Difficulty Level

This version of push-up gets rated at an Intermediate Level. You will need more strength in your triceps and shoulders and core than you do with the traditional push-up. Also, stabilization is much more difficult when you are performing the shoulder tap.

You should have a solid grasp on the traditional push-up and also spent some time performing plank ups and plank with shoulder taps before attempting this exercise.

You can make the exercise more simple by placing your knees on the floor. Alternatively, to make it more difficult elevate your feet by putting them on to a chair or bench. Weighted clothing is also another useful option to allow you to continue making strength gains with this exercise.

Equipment Required

Since this is a calisthenic(body weight) exercise the only thing you need is your body and an area large enough where you can lie down.

Another useful piece of equipment to have is weighted clothing. Titan makes an exceptional weighted vest that will allow you to load up to 100 lbs in 2 lbs increments.

Muscles Worked

Like the traditional version, the Primary focus of this lift is on your Chest, Shoulders, and the Triceps.

The secondary muscles involved are your core and the serratus anterior the “wing” muscles directly under your armpit.

Your feet positioning will alter the amount of core requirement involved. The closer you place your feet to one another, the more your core is activated to help stabilize your body.

Shoulder Tap Push-Up Benefits

Since this is a calisthenic(body weight) exercise you do not need any equipment to perform it. Being a calisthenics exercise makes it useful for people who want to do their workouts at home. It is also helpful for days when you are not able to get out to your local gym.

Push-ups are a functional exercise and becoming stronger on them will help you with daily activities that require you to push something or lift something overhead.

Compound exercises like push-ups will train your muscles to work together and allow them to become stronger as a unit. Compound exercises are also a great way to burn a large number of calories in a short period.

Training Tips

Make sure that you keep both of your elbows tucked in close to your sides. Your arms should have a 45-degree angle to your body or less. When you perform push-ups with a 90-degree angle, a significant amount of stress gets placed on your shoulders and increases your chance of receiving an injury,

You should be making your entire body stiff as a board when you are performing the dead stop push-up. Also, it is important to squeeze your glutes(butt) to lock your hips. Locking your hips will help to reduce the stress placed on your lower back. Also, make sure your palms are directly under the shoulders. Having your palms in line with the shoulders provides maximal stability to your shoulder joint and reduces your chance of injury.

The distance your feet are from one another will also slightly alter the difficulty of this exercise. The closer together you bring your feet to one another the more your core is required to help you keep your body stabilized.

In Closing

Basic compound movements like push-ups should be part of the main exercises in your training routines.

Calisthenics exercises like this are perfect for people who workout at home, or for people who cannot make it to their local gym. So what are you waiting for getting up and start pressing your self to a stronger body today? Don't forget to check out our FREE fitness tools from our Exercise Logging Software, Calorie Counter or High-Intensity Interval Timer.

Looking to gain more strength or lose some weight? We offer free fitness tools to help you reach your fitness goals. Register for free while we are in beta and get free lifetime access to our fitness tools that include an easy to use Calorie Counter, High-Intensity Interval Timer, Multiple Fitness Calculators and our Exercise Logger.