Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers

When it comes to exercises that show up all the time in fitness classes, mountain climbers are right up there with squats, lunges, and push-ups. So it's worthwhile to make sure you're getting everything you can from them. When done correctly, the mountain climber is an excellent cardio move that works your arms, shoulders, quads, and most of all, your core, explains Cori Lefkowith, Orange County-based personal trainer and founder of Redefining Strength.

"The mountain climber is an important movement because it will not only help you develop a toned core, but it will also help you build core stability and get all of the muscles of your core working together correctly," explains Lefkowith. Building strength in all of your core muscles is important because the core is a major stabilizer for your body when you move, whether you're doing a deadlift or just picking something heavy up off the ground. "If you want a strong core that prevents pain and even helps you lift more and run faster, it is important to include compound core moves like this one," says Lefkowith.



  1. Start in a plank position with arms and legs long. Beginning in a solid plank is the key to proper form and good results in the Mountain Climber. At its heart, the Mountain Climber is a form of plank. Keep your abs pulled in and your body straight. Squeeze your glutes and pull your shoulders away from your ears
  2. Pull your right knee into your chest. As the knee draws to the chest, pull your abs in even tighter to be sure your body doesn’t sag or come out of its plank position.
  3. Quickly switch and pull the left knee in. At the same time you push your right leg back, pull your left knee in to the chest using the same form.
  4. Continue to switch knees. Pull the knees in right, left, right, left—always switching simultaneously so that you are using a “running” motion. As you begin to move more quickly be in constant awareness of your body position and be sure to keep a straight line in your spine and don’t let your head droop. Core body stability is crucial.

If you're looking for different variations of the mountain climbers, click here.

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