By Elizabeth Towe

As we focus on off-road training this month, it brings up images of beautiful single track trail, the early morning quiet, hearing only your footsteps and the rhythm of your breath.  Your escape to the trails may be walking, running or on a mountain bike, but core stability is the common link to your success to off-road endeavors.

We are taking the basic plank and adding side to side hand taps to bring attention to:
1) feeling the diagonal stability of hand to opposite leg to stabilize core for rotation in running and managing uneven terrain, and
2) stability in the shoulder as you shift your weight from one hand to the other, as you would when mountain biking.

Copyright 2013 Elizabeth Towe  Copyright 2013 Elizabeth Towe  Copyright 2013 Elizabeth Towe


  • Start in a long arm plank position, with hands under the shoulders.  Bring the shoulder blades on the back of the ribcage and bring the sternum forward (think “really good posture, horizontal”)
  • Without rolling the body, begin to shift your weight into your R arm and shoulder while you bring the L hand across to tap the R hand.  Bring the L hand back to the start position and shift your weight into your L arm and shoulder and bring the R hand across to tap the L hand.
  • Continue this lateral tapping movement and mindful weight shift at a pace that you can maintain your spine and pelvis position without dropping or shifting. Be sure that you continue to breath throughout the entire set. (Don’t hold your breath)
  • Repeat 10x to each side, 2-3 sets

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Elizabeth Towe is a runner and a cyclist and the owner of Balanced Movement Studio in Carrboro. She graduated from East Carolina with a degree in exercise and sports science and has been personal training for over 20 years. Her ultimate goal for all of her clients is to help them realize and achieve the optimal quality in their life – and to remember to have fun doing it.