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  • Writer's picture Caitlin of Caitlin Live

Better Planks Series: Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers are a plank variation that combine the movement patters of plank and crawl to work on strength and stability in your core and strength and mobility in your legs.

A mountain climber whose movements mimic the exercise called Mountain Climbers.

Step 1: Set Your Plank

Before you start moving through your Mountain Climbers, you need to set your plank to have a stable foundation for movement.

For the Mountain Climbers variations I’m featuring today, start by placing your hands on an elevated surface.

For a challenge: place your hands on the flat side of a BOSU or balance board.

To scale down and make it more doable: place your hands on a stool, sturdy firm chair, or bench for a starting position further from the ground.

Then stack your shoulders over your hands and step your feet back one at a time to find your strong and straight starting position. Pull your belly button towards your spine and press back through your heels to engage your legs.

Mountain Climbers 3 Ways

Mountain Climbers come in many variations of intensity. Today, we’re moving slow and controlled and changing intensity by playing with our points of contact.

  1. For the first variation step forward one leg at a time between your hands and touch the ground with your foot.

  2. Make it slightly harder by removing one point of contact and keeping your foot off the ground as you step forward.

  3. Work on your hip flexibility by stepping your foot outside of your hands when you step forward.

Take a look at the video for an example of these three variations.

Depending on your goals, I’ll play with elements of instability, time, or load to find the variation that meets you where you are and pushes you towards your goals. Mountain Climbers are a great exercise for either an all out 30 second bout of quick Mountain Climbers to work on increasing your aerobic capacity, or slow and controlled elevated Mountain Climbers to ease out hip or back pain. Ask me about a new variation to try during your next session.


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