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How To Do Perfect Mountain Climbers

Published May 15, 2019 (Revised: August 13, 2019)
how-to-do-perfect-mountain-climbers
<article> <section> <p>Mountain climbers are a potent and popular exercise that will work your body from head to toe. Whether you love them, hate them, or this is your first time giving them a shot, you can’t deny that mountain climbers are a powerful compound exercise that will stabilize your core, build full-body strength, and help you to <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/best-cardio-to-lose-fat/" rel="noreferrer">burn fat</a> with ease. </p> <p>We’ll break down exactly how to do mountain climbers a little later on so you know how to do them with perfect form and you can maximize your results.</p> <p>But first, let’s get to the core of why mountain climbers are such a powerful and effective workout.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>What Are the Benefits of Mountain Climbers?</header> <p>There are plenty of different benefits to mountain climbers, and here we’re going to take a closer look at three major ones: getting a full-body workout, creating core stability, and burning fat.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>The Perfect Compound Exercise</header> <p>Mountain climbers are a compound exercise which means that they train the whole body rather than one specific muscle group. Isolated exercises have their place, but if you’re looking to burn fat and increase full-body strength effectively, compound moves are a great addition to your workout.</p> <p>Key to the mountain climber’s effectiveness is the plank position that is the foundation of the movement. The plank might seem simple, but it’s actually incredibly tough to hold. Your chest, shoulders, and triceps fire hard to support your upper body, while your abs, legs, and toes keep your body stable. Try holding this pose for 30 seconds, and you’ll see just how tough of a workout the plank offers.</p> <p>As you shift between positions, your legs, core, chest, and arms each take turns working and stabilizing the body, making this compound move perfect for quickly building muscle and strength while meeting your <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/how-to-set-realistic-fitness-goals-you-can-achieve/" rel="noreferrer">fitness goals</a>.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Creating Core Stability</header> <p>Strengthening your core promotes greater stability throughout the body. A <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/3-core-exercises-for-seniors-to-improve-stability/" rel="noreferrer">stable core</a> offers some serious benefits:</p> <ul> <li><b>Better balance.</b> Your core actually plays a major role in keeping you upright and balanced. The stronger your abs, the easier time you’ll have keeping your balance. </li> <li><b>Decreased back pain.</b> A weak core puts excess stress on your back, which might be causing you pain—particularly in the lower back. Improving core strength and stability can even out this imbalance to decrease pain<sup>1</sup>. </li> <li><b>Improved posture.</b> A strong core keeps you from slouching, which decreases pain, enhances alignment, and even makes exercise easier.</li> <li><b>Easier time completing everyday tasks.</b> We all have to bend, squat, sit, and reach throughout the day. Having a stable core makes all of these movements much easier, plus it’s beneficial for your workouts, too!</li> </ul> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/slim-belly-measuring-tape-0175.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/slim-belly-measuring-tape-0175.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/slim-belly-measuring-tape-0175.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/slim-belly-measuring-tape-LR-0175.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="slim-belly-measuring-tape-0175"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Can Mountain Climbers Burn Belly Fat?</header> <p>Of course, we can’t talk about the core without touching on a sensitive subject: belly fat. While you can’t target the spots on your body where you lose fat, you can trigger fat loss by doing full-body, high-intensity exercise. Workouts that incorporate cardio and strength training are the holy grail of fat loss.</p> <p>And, mountain climbers aren’t your average cardio. They’re a form of workout known as <i>high-intensity cardiovascular training</i> (HICT) which involves doing short, high-intensity bursts of exercise followed by a period of rest. </p> <p>You can see the same results from doing a just a few minutes of mountain climbers each day as you would from doing a long, steady cardio session. In fact, a 2015 study in <i>The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research</i> confirmed that over a <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/3-at-home-workouts-to-build-strength/" rel="noreferrer">30-minute</a> period, participants who did high-intensity training as opposed to normal cardio burned 25 to 30 percent more calories<sup>2</sup>. </p> <p>The benefits last beyond the workout itself. Mountain climbers are a move that triggers <i>excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption</i> (EPOC)<sup>4</sup>. To put that in simpler terms, unlike regular cardio, HICT keeps your body burning oxygen long after the workout is done. As you burn oxygen, you also continue to burn calories, which keeps your metabolism high. This effect can last for as long as 48 hours. You might be done with your workout, but your body is still burning fat long after you’re done!</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>The Mountain Climber</header> <p>Now that you know how mountain climbers can effectively help you to build strength, increase core stability, and burn fat, let’s learn how to do them with perfect form!</p> <div class="sub-head">Instructions</div> <ol> <li>Start in a plank position.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-high-plank-0175.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-high-plank-0175.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-high-plank-0175.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-high-plank-LR-0175.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="tyler-high-plank-0175"> </picture> <li>Draw your right knee up towards your right elbow. Once you’ve gone as far as you can, bring your right leg back to the starting position.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-mountain-climber-0175.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-mountain-climber-0175.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-mountain-climber-0175.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-mountain-climber-LR-0175.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="tyler-mountain-climber-0175"> </picture> <li>Now draw your left knee to your left elbow as far as you can. Bring it back to the starting position.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-mountain-climber-right-0175.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-mountain-climber-right-0175.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-mountain-climber-right-0175.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-mountain-climber-right-LR-0175.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="tyler-mountain-climber-right-0175"> </picture> <li>Continue alternating until you’ve reached the desired number of repetitions.</li> </ol> <p>As with all of the exercises we teach, good form is crucial if you want to see the greatest benefit from this move. </p> <p>It’s especially important to set yourself up in the perfect plank right from the start. In the plank position, press the pads of your hands into the floor hard, grip the ground with your fingers, and point the pits of your elbows so they face forward to activate your triceps and the muscles along the side of your body. Squeeze the glutes and the abs hard to keep your body in a straight line from head to toe. The key is to stay active during the exercise in order to maximize your benefits, so pay close attention to these cues.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>How Do You Make Mountain Climbers Easier?</header> <p>Mountain climbers may be a beginner move, but they’re still incredibly challenging. If you’re not able to do them just yet, try placing your hands on a chair rather than the floor. This allows you to perform the same movement in a position that’s easier to hold.</p> <p>When you get into the exercise itself, start slow at a pace that feels comfortable. Get the form right first, then as you get more accustomed to the movement with each workout, pick up the pace. Make sure to give a powerful exhale as you draw your knee up, and inhale as you return to the starting position to keep the blood pumping and to help you stay focused on your form.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/angry-runner-on-track-0175.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/angry-runner-on-track-0175.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/angry-runner-on-track-0175.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/angry-runner-on-track-LR-0175.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="angry-runner-on-track-0175"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Wrapping Up</header> <p>At Warrior Made, we’re all about providing exercises that people of any fitness level can do from the comfort of <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/3-at-home-workouts-to-build-strength/" rel="noreferrer">their own home</a>. The mountain climber is no exception! You can do these as part of your normal workout, or you can try incorporating a few repetitions of them into your day when you’re on a break from work or even during the commercial break of your favorite show.</p> <p>You’ve got all the cues that you need to do the mountain climber perfectly—plus a little background on how they can help you reach your health and fitness goals—so get out there and give them a try!</p> <div class="sub-head">Resources</div> <ol> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/the-real-world-benefits-of-strengthening-your-core" rel="noreferrer">The real-world benefits of strengthening your core</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25162652" rel="noreferrer">Caloric expenditure of aerobic, resistance, or combined high-intensity interval training</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.jarcet.com/articles/Vol11Iss2/Petrofsky1.pdf" rel="noreferrer">Post Exercise Basil Metabolic Rate</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol8/iss4/37/" rel="noreferrer">HEART RATE AND EXCESS POST-EXERCISE OXYGEN CONSUMPTION</a></li> </ol> </section> </article>

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