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Fit in summer 2022: benefits of mountain climbers exercise and how to properly perform Mountain Climbers.

The mountain climber exercise, or the so-called mountaineers, is a great way to incorporate a cardio workout with your own body weight into your strength training program. However, it’s all about proper body positioning as well as variations and common mistakes. Climbing a mountain would be a daunting workout for most, but what if the mountain was the ground? That’s the concept behind Mountain Climbers. Performed from a plank position, you alternate bringing one knee to your chest and then back, speeding up each time until you’re racing against the ground. Here are some tips that can help you stay fit during the summer season.

How to build muscle with the help of mountain climber exercise

advantages of mountain climbing exercise train yourself at home according to instructions

Mountain Climbers is an explosive that works multiple muscle groups simultaneously . This helps improve balance, agility, coordination, strength, flexibility and circulation. As a compound exercise that works multiple muscle groups throughout your body, the mountain climber exercise is an effective way to strengthen your arms, back, shoulders, core and legs. Perform it by getting into a high plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart underneath you. Activate your core to keep your upper body and lower body in a straight line. Lift your right knee under your body toward your chest before lowering your right foot back to the floor. Repeat this movement with your left knee, switching sides with each repetition.

fitness trainer shows a woman mountain climbers on the beach

Another benefit of using multiple muscles at once is an increased heart rate. This helps to allow you to burn calories through the mountain climber exercise . This makes this a great workout if you want to train your abdominal region. In addition, Mountaineers can also improve your reflex speed, joint movement and overall stability. The good news is that you don’t have to hike to the nearest mountain to try this exercise. In fact, you don’t need any equipment at all, as you can perform mountaineering moves anywhere and at any time. Read on to discover the step-by-step instructions for performing a mountain climber.

Performing the mountain climber exercise correctly

train during summer vacation and do mountain climbing workout outside

While the movement sounds simple, mountain climbers work out almost your entire body and increase your heart rate. You can easily add this to your morning workout at home or at the gym, while traveling in a hotel room, or even in the break room at work. The basic movement is great for beginners, but pros can take it up a notch with variations.

work muscles throughout the body with mountain climbing exercise


For Mountain Climbers, start with 2-3 sets and 10-20 reps on each leg. Choose your sets and reps based on your ability to maintain good technique on all of them. As you perform the movement, your shoulders, arms and chest work to stabilize your upper body while your core stabilizes the rest of your body. As the driving force, your quadriceps also get an incredible workout. And because this is a cardio exercise, you’ll reap heart health benefits and burn calories . If you’re just starting out, try the classic version of the exercise:

  • Get into a plank position and make sure to distribute your weight evenly between your hands and toes.
  • Check your form – your hands should be about shoulder-width apart, your back flat, your abdominal muscles tight and your head aligned.
  • Pull your right knee to your chest as far as possible.
  • Switch legs, pulling one knee out and bringing the other knee in.
  • Keep your hips down and run your knees in and out as far and as fast as you can.
  • Breathe in and out alternately with each leg change.

Avoid common mistakes

common mistakes in mountaineering exercise do exercise correctly and keep toes on the ground

There are a few common mistakes that can make a mountain climbing exercise less effective or even unsafe. Bouncing on your toes is one of them. You need to exercise with proper form to not only maximize effectiveness, but also prevent injury. For example, a common beginner mistake is to hop on your toes while performing the movement. Hopping may feel like a harder workout, but it actually requires less use of your core muscles. So don’t let your toes touch the ground.

in the gym a workout with mountain climbers exercise instruction from professionals


Another body position mistake you may make, especially as the movement gets faster, is not completing the movement fully by letting your toes touch the ground while bringing your knees to your chest. If your toes don’t touch the floor, you won’t get the full benefit of the exercise and could injure yourself. Shifting your weight backward can also be wrong. If you’re not used to this movement, it’s easy to shift your weight backwards so that your body ends up in a rundown type of motion. Keep the weight balanced and the shoulders above your wrists.

Modifications and variations of the mountain climber exercise

mountain climbers workout as an effective method to build muscles in summer

Use these variations to adapt the exercise to your level and ability. If you are a beginner, start with a low impact version.

  • From a plank position, bring your right knee to your chest and keep your right foot up.
  • Then move your right foot back to the plank position with your toes touching the floor.
  • Quickly reverse the motion, this time bringing your left knee to your chest and keeping your left foot off the ground.
  • First, bring your left foot back to the plank position with your toes touching the floor, and immediately lift your right foot to repeat step 2.
  • Quickly switch sides for one minute or for the number of repetitions you choose.
  • If you feel you need to take some weight off your arms, shoulders and hands, try modified mountain climber exercise on one step.
  • For this variation, raise your upper body on a step or block. This can be helpful if you are starting to exercise again after an injury or are still working on developing your upper body strength.
  • Once you’ve mastered the basics, challenge yourself with a more advanced variation.

Mountain climber exercise with foot switch

do mountaineers exercise with your own body weight and all muscle groups

This variation is more of a foot switch than a run. It has more impact and the potential to really get your heart rate up.

  • Again, start from a plank position.
  • As you bring your right knee in, touch your big toe to the floor.
  • Alternate with your feet, simultaneously taking your right foot back and your left foot forward.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions or duration.

Sliding Mountaineers

do mountain climbers exercise outdoors during lunch break and stay fit in summer

If you have a sliding disc or towel and a hardwood floor, try using them to change the basic movement.

  • Place your disc or towel on the floor, then position your foot on it while assuming a plank position.
  • Start slowly with a basic repetition, using your other non-sliding leg and your upper body to stabilize yourself.
  • As you speed up the movement, you’ll feel this variation work your quadriceps more than the basic version.

Do mountain climber sport exercise while standing

correct body position for mountaineering exercise with knees to abdominal region

Add some extra cardio to this movement by doing it while standing:

  • Start by raising your knee to hip level, then drop to the floor, maintaining a plank position.
  • Perform the basic movement, bring your knee to your chest, and then pull it back out.
  • To increase your heart rate, try counting to 10 before switching to the other side.
  • You can also try slowing down the movement to intensify the stretch.

Prevent injuries with precautions

prevent possible sports injuries by stretching

When trying exercise of all variations in mountain climber training, rely heavily on your ability to assume and maintain a proper plank position. This includes checking to see if:

  • Your arms and hands are positioned straight down from your shoulders
  • Your back is straight and flat, not curved or arched
  • Your hips are not elevated (your butt should not be in the air)

experienced fitness trainer shows mountain climbers exercise calorie consumption

To ensure your workout is effective and safe, check for proper plank position. Performing a plank with incorrect body position can put you at risk for injury and will significantly reduce the benefits of the workout. In addition, you should avoid the mountain climber exercise if you have any injuries or instabilities in your shoulders or pelvis. It is a great workout for your knees, but if you have had surgery or need surgery, you should talk to your doctor or physical therapist before incorporating these movements into your routine. If you have recently been pregnant or had certain types of abdominal surgery, you may be suffering from a condition called rectus diastasis, where the muscles of your abdomen are separated. Until this condition is completely healed, you should avoid these types of core workouts.