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Mountain climbers are a great way to include a bodyweight cardio workout in your strength training program.

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Joe Holder Teaches Fitness and Wellness FundamentalsJoe Holder Teaches Fitness and Wellness Fundamentals

Master trainer Joe Holder teaches you his holistic approach for better workouts, more effective nutrition, and a healthier mindset.

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What Is the Mountain Climber Exercise?

A mountain climber is a bodyweight exercise that activates muscles throughout your body. Perform mountain climbers by getting into a high plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart beneath you. Activate your core to keep your upper body and lower body formed in a straight line. Lift your right knee under your body toward your chest before lowering your right foot back to its placement on the floor. Repeat this movement with your left knee, alternating sides with each repetition.

How to Do Mountain Climbers With Proper Form

For mountain climbers, begin by performing 2–3 sets of 10–20 repetitions on each leg. Choose your sets and repetitions based on your ability to maintain good technique throughout all sets and repetitions.

  1. Get into an all-fours position with your knees and toes flexed and in contact with the floor. Your hips should be over your knees, and your hands should be slightly wider than your shoulders.
  2. Grip the ground with your hand and rotate your shoulders outward to engage your lat muscles.
  3. Straighten your legs to lift your knees and enter into a plank position. Your legs should be hip-width apart.
  4. Pre-tension your shoulders and hips while engaging your core.
  5. Squeeze your quads and glutes while keeping your pelvis slightly tucked, your ribs down, and your chin tucked.
  6. While maintaining your alignment, bring one knee towards your chest, then return to the starting position.
  7. Repeat the movement on the opposite leg.
  8. Alternate your legs at a pace that allows you to maintain alignment, and continue alternating back and forth until you have completed your desired number of repetitions.
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3 Benefits of Mountain Climbers

Incorporating mountain climbers into your workout routine can have several benefits.

  1. Mountain climbers are a full-body exercise. The mountain climber exercise activates muscle groups throughout your entire body, including your triceps, quadriceps, hamstrings, deltoids, and hip flexor muscles.
  2. Mountain climbers can increase your core strength and stability. With proper form, mountain climbers activate core muscles like the transverse abdominis and obliques.
  3. Mountain climbers can improve your cardiovascular health. Mountain climbers can increase your heart rate and calorie burn rate.

How to Work out Safely and Avoid Injury

If you have a previous or pre-existing health condition, consult your physician before beginning an exercise program. Proper exercise technique is essential to ensure the safety and effectiveness of an exercise program, but you may need to modify each exercise to attain optimal results based on your individual needs. Always select a weight that allows you to have full control of your body throughout the movement. When performing any exercise, pay close attention to your body, and stop immediately if you note pain or discomfort.

In order to see continual progress and build body strength, incorporate proper warm-ups, rest, and nutrition into your exercise program. Your results will ultimately be based on your ability to adequately recover from your workouts. Rest for 24 to 48 hours before training the same muscle groups to allow sufficient recovery.

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Want to Dive Deeper Into Your Wellness Journey?

Throw on some athleisure, fire up a MasterClass Annual Membership, and get ready to sweat it out with exclusive instructional videos from Nike Master Trainer and GQ fitness specialist Joe Holder. Want to improve your cardiovascular endurance? Give Joe’s HIIT workout a go. Trying to get a little swole? He’s got a strength training workout for that. From fitness tips to nutrition hacks, Joe will have you feeling healthier in no time.

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