Burpees may be one of the most efficient (and hated) exercises, but mountain climbers are a close second. If you don't do them regularly, you should add them! Not sure how to do mountain climbers? Here's how to do them, and four reasons to integrate them into your fitness routine.
What Are Mountain Climbers?
Preparation - Place hands on floor, slightly wider than shoulder width. On forefeet, position one leg forward bent under body and extend other leg back.
Execution - While holding upper body in place, alternate leg positions by pushing hips up while immediately extending forward leg back and pulling rear leg forward under body, landing on both forefeet simultaneously.
4 Benefits of Mountain Climbers
If mountain climbers sound challenging, that’s because they are. The good news is that see and feel the amazing benefits, including the following:
1. They are very efficient. As a compound exercise, mountain climbers work multiple muscle groups at the same time. They deliver serious results because mountain climbers target so many muscles - core, including your back, hips, and abs; as well as, glutes, legs, and shoulders.
2. They improve mobility. The dynamic nature of mountain climbers greatly improves mobility. Every time you repeat the mountain climber motion, you strengthen and stretch your hip and knee joints - improving range of motion and enhancing overall function.
3. They strengthen your cardiovascular system. While mountain climbers do focus on moving the lower body - the quick and consistent leg change also boosts your heart rate. As you get stronger and move faster, the cardiovascular benefits quickly increase.
4. They focus on functional fitness. Mountain climbers are a method functional training “train[ing] your muscles to help you do everyday activities safely and efficiently (Mayo Clinic). If your goal is to improve your coordination, strength, and flexibility, the mountain climber movement can help you become more agile - something that can be a benefit in many areas of life.
If you’re just starting your fitness journey, modify your mountain climber by moving slower and placing your hand on a bench. This can improve your strength without overdoing it.
Once you’ve conquered basic mountain climbers, there are a number of different variations aimed at adding to the challenge, including sliding mountain climbers, cross-over mountain climbers, and power mountain climbers.
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