Focus On: Mountain Climbers

Hey friends! Happy Weekend to you all :)

It’s always a tad relaxing around here on Fridays because my body is SO tired by 3 p.m. So yesterday was chill, and it was nice!

By the way, if you want to get to know me a little more (since I am so cool and all 😉 ) read this survey.

{did I mention I am in love with this guy??}


Today, my friends, we talk about the awesome mountain climbers. I love mountains. I love climbing. So what’s not to love about mountain climbers?!

{love the mountains.}

Apparently I am really cheesy too. Oh well.

Focus On: Mountain Climbers

This move is a good mix of cardio and strength training and stability and core work. What more could you ask for? And that my friends, is the reason most people avoid doing this move and/or do it incrorrectly: because it is hard.

Well, let’s break it down so we all do it right and have rock solid bodies after 30 reps, shall we?

First a few pictures:

As you can see above, the body is supported by the arms. I love how it is animated and you can see the move throughout the process. However, what is VERY incorrect above is this: he lets his butt swing upwards during the change (the knee in and then back out), which reduces the work of the abdominals. That is HUGE. Please don’t let that happen!

Otherwise he is doing the move correctly.

See how her body is in a straight line? The second you lift your butt above your navel (ala downdog), you’re just wasting your time, and putting too much unwanted/unneeded pressure into your shoulders. She is looking a little bit ahead of her on the floor: correct.

To do the move:

  • Come down into a pushup/plank position
  • Pull a knee up toward the chest, while keeping the abs braced, the butt down, and the gaze ahead of you on the floor
  • Switch feet (pulling the opposite knee in as the first leg goes out) without pulling the butt upwards
  • Switch knees back and forth for a total of 20 seconds.

The move can also be done on a Bosu, a stability ball, or across the body style:

{click on any picture for source}

Here’s the best tip of all: if mountain climbers feel too easy, you’re doing them wrong.

I hate being so honest sometimes :)

I am off to do some serious damage at the gym. I have some stress and excitement to get out–so watch out BodyPUMP class :)

Have a lovely WEEKEND!!

Where and when do YOU usually do mountain climbers?? Any more questions about the move?? Any requests for a Focus On POST??? 

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  1. I’ve been doing them wrong for ages! I’d love a Focus on Post on things like squat jumps, tuck jumps…also a post on body somotypes and exercise myths (ectomorphs and long distance running, etc.) I think it’d be fascinating to see your take on it! :)

  2. I have to be honest in saying when I see people doing these during fitness training sessions at the Y, I am reaaaaaaaaaaaaaallly glad I am heading off to Yoga 😉 They look painful on the knees!

    PS, just looking at those pictures of you and your man, it’s blatantly obvious that you two are just so into each other, and that’s the way it should be. Life is so good when you’re in love isn’t it???

    • Hah. It is more painful to the abs. Ouch. These are killer!

      Awwww, it is THE best. The other night I turned over to him (while he was still asleep) and I just sighed with gratitude knowing my best friend loves me :) So cool. So sappy! hah.

      Hope you’re doing well!!!

  3. caroline says:

    I agree with Blond Duck- the focus on posts rock, keep em up!

  4. oh yes, mountain climbers are brutal! they’re up there with burpees being SO bittersweet in my opinion. 😉 i like throwing them in circuit workouts!

  5. i do mountain climbers during your killer circuits :) they are such a great way to get your heart rate up and engage all body parts! question: side lateral raises make my shoulders feel weird… like when i bring my arms up (to shoulder level) my shoulders sometimes click… so i have to lift really light or sometimes stop altogether.. i haven’t had any shoulder problems in my life but my shoulders have always been “loose” (said a doc when i was little)… what other exercise works those same muscles? (front delt raises dont bother me)

    • SO true–it’s a total body move that gets the core working and the HR up!

      For the side lateral raises, make sure your elbow does not go above shoulder level. It should always be below <----most people do this incorrect in the gym. Same with MAC raises. Keeping the slight decline from the shoulder level to the elbow actually makes the shoulders work harder, instead of putting unwanted pressure on the joints, it uses the muscles in a controlled range of movement. Hope that helps!

  6. I love mountain climbers! Well, love and hate them haha. They are always challenging for me but I like feeling that way. I like to do them in tabata workouts or mixed in with weight lifting to add a cardio component!

  7. I think this is one of those moves that 85% percent of people do wrong. Because it is SO easy to do. It really seems unnatural to keep your booty from moving. But if you do it right, man your abs will be hurtin’! Thanks for the tips.

  8. I never know whether to put the front of my foot onto the floor when I bring my knee in, or to keep it in the air. I usually alternate, because then I’m at least doing it 50% correctly!
    And, uh, they don’t feel easy either way. :)

  9. I love your mountain pictures! I wish I had mountains where I live



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