Are Mountain Climbers Good For You?

As with all things, there is always good and bad to everything. Mountain climbers appear to be the exception, though, any exercise can cause an injury if performed incorrectly. Be sure to wear sneakers with good tread to avoid slipping and whacking your face on the floor. Your fellow gym goers in the studio might appreciate the comedy act, but your ego certainly won’t.


More and more, making use of full body, and body weight exercises have started to become popular once again. Probably because more and more people are hitting the gym trying to lose weight and improve their overall health. We can all be sure to add this great exercise to our next day at the gym because it has quite a few benefits that most people don’t realize.

Muscles Worked While Performing Mt Climber

As you know, you are in plank position alternating knee thrusts for this exercise, but it is so much more than that. When performing a mountain climber, we work 12 muscles! Crazy right, you wouldn’t think that at first because while you are performing this you don’t realize just how many muscles are engaging for a simple movement, but the list is quite large.


You work your: deltoids, triceps, biceps, pectoralis major, obliques, rectus abdominis, trapezius (lower), latissimus dorsi, hamstrings, quadriceps, hip adductors, and hip abductors.


Wow, the list is long, but how the heck could all of these be engaged from a leg movement? Simple really!


Your delts, biceps, triceps, and pecs are engaged by keeping your body up, by supporting your body weight, along with the motion of your back rising and falling slightly that occurs when you are switching your feet.


Your obliques, rectus abs, traps, and lats are working by way of supporting body weight as well. Keeping your core engaged during this exercise helps with obliques and abs as well, along with supporting your back while performing the movement.


Your hamstrings, quads, hip abductors, and hip adductors are being worked from the movement of your legs switching. At first glance you might think that this exercise only works legs and lower abs, but that is simply not the case.

Making it Harder on Yourself

We are always a glutton for punishment, so the perfect way to make this exercise a little more difficult is to add a weight to your back. Nothing crazy, try putting a 25 on your back and see if you can perform the exercise without throwing the weight on the ground first before trying heavier weight.


Overall, mountain climbers are the perfect full body, bodyweight exercise for beginners along with gym going veterans. With the amount of muscles worked with this simple exercise, it would be silly to skip it.


Be sure to always use proper form while performing any exercise, mountain climbers are definitely no exception to that golden rule.

How To Do a Mountain Climber

Exercises to Note


Whether you are looking to add a new exercise to your arsenal, or just trying to figure out how to perform the perfect full-body exercise, mountain climbers are often overlooking, without good reason. Mountain climbers are a full body exercise that can be quite grueling if performed properly.


The first thing you will do is to get down on all fours. I personally like to do these on a carpet, if I’m at home, or on top of a few mats at the gym.


You will then get up on your hands and toes. Now, your hands should be about shoulder width apart, or slightly wider, whichever position is more comfortable for you. Your foot placement is not important, straight back and a little separated is perfectly fine.


Next, you will bring your knee to about hip height underneath of you, this is your start position for this particular exercise. You might notice that your back will want to bend excessively almost going into a ‘cat back’, try to remember to keep your back as flat as you can. If you are not exceptionally flexible you might not be able to keep yourself from arching your back, but this is okay. Try stretching and working on your flexibility, this will help with all other facets of your exercise routine, so it’s important to work on!


From your start position you will switch leg positions. You want to try and be as explosive as you can be from this position because it will work your quads more, the more explosive you are with the exercise, which is really one of the reasons why we want to add this to our routines.


The leg that was bent underneath of your torso in the start position will go back straight and support your weight on your toes as the leg that was back will shoot up underneath and replace your start position leg.


You will repeat this exercise switching legs back and forth for the number of reps and set you want. Personally, I count two leg movements as one rep. You right leg going up and back counts as one rep. Doing this will ensure that you are getting the same amount of reps per leg.


Or if you are just starting out, you can also do this mountain climber exercise for a specified amount of time, and get as many reps as you can in the time allotted. This is good for beginners because you won’t have to support your weight on your hands and toes for a very long time, as compared to doing a certain amounts of reps would could take longer.


Now that you know how to perform the perfect mountain climber, be sure to add this to your next workout and feel the burn!