If there is one exercise that should be in everyone’s fitness arsenal, it’s the Mountain Climber. Although it can appear simple, it’s a workout for the entire body. If you do them fast enough, it acts as a cardio workout but even if you do it slower, it will still target the core muscles. Your legs and upper body get a great workout and it’s sure to get the heart rate up and burn some of that belly fat. Mountain Climbers are great for building cardio endurance, core strength and agility.
How To Do The Mountain Climber
- Start in the traditional plank/press up position.
- Position yourself with your shoulders over your hands and on your toes. Keep the weight distributed evenly, arms straight and legs extended.
- Keep your core engaged and bring your right knee forward under your chest.
- Return it to the started position.
- Repeat the movement with your other leg then continue with alternating legs.
- Pick up the pace until it feels a bit like running and continue for one minute.
- Remember to breathe!
You can perform the move just about anywhere, incorporating it into your daily workout at home or the gym. The basic mountain climber is good for beginners, but experienced exercisers can try some variations. If you are having trouble with the weight on your hands, try it resting on a step instead.
The Don’ts – Common Mistakes From The Mountain Climber
Not having the correct position
Make sure your back is straight and flat, not curved or arched and your hips are not raised (your bum shouldn’t be up in the air). Review the form while in the plank position and then try to hold it as you perform the move.
Not letting your toes touch the floor
As the move speeds up you may end up not fully completing the movement by letting your toes touch the ground as you bring them into your chest. Don’t this means that you might not get the full benefit of the injury and could risk injury.
Bouncing on your toes
Don’t be tempted to bounce on your toes as you workout – it may feel like you are working out harder but it doesn’t engage your core muscles properly.
A More Advanced Mountain Climber
When the basics are mastered, you can try some different versions that are a little harder.
- Instead of doing a run, try switching your feet each time i.e take your right foot back at the same time as your left foot forward and vice versa.
- Try on a hardwood floor with a towel to create sliding mountain climber. Rather than just moving your leg, by putting a towel under your leg and sliding it back and forth this will work your quads more.
- Move your knew to the opposite shoulder and twist your torso slightly from a cross body climber.
- Try taking your feet off the floor and pushing them against a wall. Keep the pace slow as you bring your knee forwards and back to the wall and switch, but it will help with upper body strength.