Get Physically Fit & Active By Mountain Climber Exercise

Posted by on August 27, 2012 in Climbing Techniques | 0 comments

Get Physically Fit & Active By Mountain Climber Exercise

Mountain climber exercise is good for entire body. It brings strength in arms, shoulders, abdomen and legs.

Systematic approach to perform the Mountain climber exercise.

  • Get into the push-up position (arms straight), balls of your feet on the floor.
  • Keep your body still.

    Mountain Climber Exercise

  • Slowly lift your right knee up towards your left arm, then back down to the starting position.
  • Check to be sure your bent leg and hands carry the weight of your body and that you hold your head up during the back and forth leg movements.
  • Your feet should only touch the floor in the starting position.
  • Repeat with your left knee up to your right arm, and alternate legs with each rep.
  • Repeat 5 times. Progress by increasing repetitions and intensity.


  • Keep breathing steadily, try and get into a rhythm.
  • Keep your upper body stable throughout. The “twist” should come from your core and hips, not your shoulders.
  • Focus on bracing your core and keeping your body balanced with a neutral back.
  • An extra challenge is to go really slow and actually hold your knee by your arm for 2 seconds before bringing it back down.
  • Our head and body should be in alignment while doing the mountain climber exercise.
  • Your abdominal muscles should be tightened during the entire exercise.
  • Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.

Important features

  • Mountain climber exercise is good for entire body. It brings strength in arms, shoulders, abdomen and legs. It also exercises the cardiovascular system.
  • Mountain climber exercise can be modified for the people with low fitness as well as those who have higher stamina in their bodies.
  • Like any other exercise form, the mountain climber carries a risk of injury and should only be used as an exercise if proper alignment and balance can be maintained.

Modified Mountain Climber

There are several ways to modify mountain climber depending on your fitness level. If you have either a low range of motion in the hips or back strain, perform the exercise with your hands on a bench. If that is still too difficult, use a wall instead. To avoid impact, don’t jump your feet to change position. Instead, step forward and then extend the opposite leg back.

Cardiovascular Mountain Climber

Mountain climber increases your heart rate for a cardiovascular workout because it is a total body exercise. The intensity of your workout can be adjusted by how fast you move your feet. Alternatively, you can move slower, but extend your legs into a deeper swing that uses the large glut and quad muscles to increase heart rate.

For greater challenge and aerobic intensity, move your hands with the legs. As your right knee pulls in, simultaneously move your right hand forward 6 to 8 inches. When your legs switch, so do the hands.

Abdominal Mountain Climber

Mountain climbers require engagement of the core to support the back and maintain balance, making it an effective abdominal exercise.

  • To more fully engage the core, start in a plank position and focus on pulling your knee to the chest.
  • To work the obliques, pull the knee toward the opposite arm, or lift the knee to the side and pull it towards the same side shoulder.
  • For more challenge in the arms and abs, lower into a pushup and mountain climb the feet while pulling the knees to your side.
  • Avoid impact and engage abdominals by doing traditional mountain climbers, but instead of jumping, slide the feet on gliders, paper plates or towels.

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