Mountain Climbers Exercise Guide

Reviewed by Valerie Zeller Valerie Zeller Printable version

The Mountain Climber is a bodyweight exercise that serve as a great full-body workout. This plyometric plank movement does it all: increases core strength, defines the shoulders, chest and upper back, works the quads and glutes -- all while raising the heart rate.

Mountain Climbers

How to do Mountain Climbers


Put hands on board, slightly broader than shoulder width. On forefeet, put one leg forward bent under body and stretch other leg back.


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.


  • When this movement hurts your wrists, hang onto blunt-edged dumbbells instead of keeping your palms down on the floor to relieve wrist discomfort.

  • After you've learned the fundamentals, hold your hips small and even with your knees and shift your legs at a quicker speed. You may also pursue other combinations, including pulling the knees in diagonally around.

  • When you're just practicing this step, holding your buttocks higher than your thighs. slow down the step, holding weight balanced to support the shoulders.


  • Intensity can be increased by stepping faster.

  • Don't lift your hips too high. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.

Exercise Benefits

  • Core Strength

  • Leg Strength

  • Glute Strength

Illustrated Guide

Learn how to do mountain climbers from this step-by-step illustrations:

Mountain Climbers 1
Mountain Climbers 2
Mountain Climbers 3

Muscles Worked

The muscles used for mountain climbers may change slightly based on the your trained range of motion and technique, but in the most general case, the muscles used for mountain climbers are:

Primary Muscles

  • Abs
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes
  • Hip Flexors
  • Front Deltoids

Synergyst Muscles

  • Traps
  • Deltoids
  • Lats

Frequently Asked Questions

What muscles does Mountain Climbers work?
Mountain Climbers works abs, hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, hip flexors, front deltoids.
What is Mountain Climbers good for?
Mountain Climbers is beneficial cellulite, for conditioning, for endurance, for stretching, for weight loss, love handles, side fat, to lose fat and to strengthen. It works the best for buttocks, core, hips, legs, lower body, shoulders, thighs, upper body, upper legs and waist, as it works abs, hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, hip flexors, front deltoids. Mountain Climber is a great bodyweight exercise for men, men over 50, women and women over 50.
Is Mountain Climber a good exercise?
Mountain Climber is a popular bodyweight exercise for abs, hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, hip flexors, front deltoids.

Training, Progressions and Regressions

Interested in how to improve your Mountain Climbers faster?

Mountain Climbers Training and Progressions

Standards and Averages

Wonder how do others perform in Mountain Climbers and how should you?

Mountain Climbers Standards and Averages


Wonder how to work the same muscles with other exercises?

Mountain Climbers Alternatives


Wonder how to make Mountain Climbers either easier or more challenging?

Mountain Climbers Variations

Discover more