How to do Mountain Climbers

What are Mountain Climbers?

Mountain Climbers are one of those exercises that you need to add to your workout regimen. This movement gets your heart pumping, your legs moving, your arms burning and your core aching. This is an excellent conditioning exercise, and will improve your overall functional strength, balance, quickness and agility. 
Mountain Climbers are a high intensity movement performed at a moderate-to-fast tempo. Mountain Climbers engage your entire body, and requires agility, balance and core strength in order to do this movement with proper form. If you are a beginner, I’d encourage you to check out the High Push-Up Hold Position before trying Mountain Climbers. 

Mountain Climbers are a full body exercise, with a major emphasis on the following muscle groups:

  • Core
  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Triceps
  • Legs

How to Do Mountain Climbers (Instructions):

Start in a high push-up position, with your hands shoulder width apart, back straight and feet back. Using your shoulders, chest and core to stabilize your body, bring your right knee up near your right elbow, return to starting position, then bring your left knee up near your left elbow, then return to starting position. Alternate bringing your legs up to your arms as quickly as you can, while maintaining proper form.

Trainer Tips for Mountain Climbers: 

  • Progression (make harder)
    • Increase the speed and tempo of the movement while maintaining good form.
    • Perform five repetitions on each leg and then do a push-up.
    • Perform five repetitions on each leg and then do a lateral crawl
    • Perform five repetitions on each leg and then do a burpee.
  • Regression (make easier)
    • Perform the movement at a slower tempo. 
    • If you are a beginner and cannot do this movement with proper form, start with High Push-Up Position Holds.
  • Application:
    • Add 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions (each leg) of Mountain Climbers to the end of your core workout. This is a satisfying exercise to finish a workout with.
Mountain Climbers are used in the Layman’s Fitness 12 Week Bodyweight Workout Program, which you can learn more about here.