Mountain Climbers

Published on: July 25th, 2019
Updated on: November 28th, 2023
This article is in categories: Exercises | Fitness

Mountain Climbers are an excellent full-body exercise. When done with intensity, this bodyweight exercise will increase your heart rate, giving you a cardio and strength building workout in one. The hamstrings, quads, glutes, abdominals, and deltoids are the main muscle groups that are worked during this movement.

Benefits of Mountain Climbers

  • Increases core strength
  • Provides for a total body workout
  • Combines strength and cardio into one movement
  • No equipment needed
  • Can be performed anywhere

Movement Standards

  1. Start in the upper push-up position. Ensure your back is straight and not arched or sagging.
  2. While holding this planked position, lift one foot from the ground and bring your knee to your chest while tightening the abs.
  3. Once the knee has reached your chest return it to the starting position while bringing the opposite knee to your chest.
  4. Repeat the alternating positions until you have completed the repetition or time requirement.


  • Ensure your hands are on stable ground and under your shoulders to support your weight.
  • Breath properly throughout the exercise. Aim for a rhythmic pattern that holds your breath steady.
  • Maintain a tight core with a neutral back. Shoulders should remain parallel to the ground while lifting your knees. Avoid twisting.

Variations of Mountain Climbers

  • Standing

    Standing mountain climbers are similar to the standard version with the exception that you remain standing. As you perform the exercise, you raise on hand over your head while lifting the opposing knee above your hip crease.
  • Sliding

    Using towels, paper plates, or some other object that will slide across the floor, you perform sliding mountain climbers the same as a regular one with the exception your feet stay on the ground and slide on the object.
  • Slow down the motion to increase time under tension

Progressions for Mountain Climbers

  • Planks
  • Push-ups
  • Elevate the plank position by using a box, couch or chair.
  • Return your foot fully to the floor before bringing the opposite knee to your chest
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