Mountain Climber – How To Do Them + 5 Variations

mountain climber

Mountain Climber – How To Do Them + 5 Variations To Your Work Abs Better

Want an ab workout that will get your heart rate up and rip up your obliques? Mountain climbers will light a fire on your abs, hip flexors, shoulders and triceps in the support position. 

Today I’m going to:

  • Beginner or Advanced I’m going to show you how to do them properly
  • Give you a great ab workout
  • Explain some of the benefits and why you should be doing mountain climbers
  • Answer some frequently asked questions
  • Stack your shoulders on top of your wrist
  • Tuck your pelvis to engage your lower abs, here is a good drill to master
  • Inhale and drive your knee to your tricep as you exhale
  • Return back to the hand plank and squeeze your glutes

How To Engage Your Abs

Any time you are in a push up position your body needs to be in a “hollow body” see the image below. When you get into this position whether on your back or your hands it is step one of learning how to engage your ab muscles properly. 

mountain climber

Shoulders are stacked over the wrist, pelvis is tucked, arms are locked out, and I’m pushing the floor AWAY aggressively to round my upper back. This is the “hollow body” on hands. 

mountain climber

Scap Push Ups are a good drill to practice that movement, see the video below.

Mountain Climber Workout Variations From Beginner To Advanced

  1. Slow Mountain Climber
  2. Mountain Climber Hold
  3. Elbow Plank Mountain Climber
  4. TRX – put your feet in the straps 
  5. Ring Mountain Climber – put your hands on the rings like this
  6. Alligator Roll – not a mountain climber but a killer variation for your obliques

Comment below which variation you found the most challenging!

Mountain Climber Ab Workouts

Within our online training programs we know the importance of core strength and that’s why each one of our workouts have 5-8 minutes of daily abs. Here is are a few examples below:

Ab Workout 1

6 Minute EMOM (Every minute on the minute)

18 x V Up OR Tuck Up

24 x Elbow Jack OR Plank x 50 seconds

When the clock hits 6:00

One set of:

30 seconds per side x Mountain Climber Hold

We have a complete guide for workout for abs as well, just click here.

Ab Workout 2:

4 Minute EMOM (Every minute on the minute)

  1. 35 x Hanging Tuck Raise OR Tuck Pulse
  1. 35 x Straight Leg Crunch       

Every 30 seconds x 3 sets

  1. 12 x  Slow Mountain Climber
  1. 10 x Hanging Leg Raise OR Kipping Knee To Chest

Frequently Asked Questions:

How many should I do? 

  • They don’t require any equipment so what’s stopping you? Probably not knowing exactly what to do. That’s why having a program to follow is so useful. It takes the guesswork out and you just execute. 
  • A short fun way to get a lot of reps is Tabata Style. Go to Tabata Songs, choose a song and follow along! 
  • Tabata is 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes. 

 Can they burn belly fat? 

  • Mountain climbers will work your abs, and when coupled with a high intensity interval training program you will get stronger. To lose belly fat you have to clean up your nutrition, and spend time getting quality strength and conditioning workouts in. 

What are two common mistakes? 

  • Not tucking the pelvis and getting into a proper hollow body first to engage your abs
  • Not having your shoulders stacked on top of your wrist

Why are they so hard and will they give you abs? 

  • If it doesn’t challenge you it doesnt change you. Keep working hard. 

Conclusion

Mountain climbers will rip up your obliques and give your abs a good burn when you do them properly. Try some of the variations:

  1. Slow Mountain Climber
  2. Mountain Climber Hold
  3. Elbow Plank Mountain Climber
  4. TRX – put your feet in the straps 
  5. Ring Mountain Climber – put your hands on the rings like this
  6. Alligator Roll – not a mountain climber but a killer variation for your obliques

Tired of piecing exercises together and coming up with your own workouts? Check out https://ksquaredfitness.com where we make fitness simple. 

If you have any additional questions or things you would like to learn about, post them in the comments below. Keep training hard!

mountain climber
Your coaches Kevin & Katie

Other Post To To Check Out:

  1. How To Do Handstand Push Up
  2. Ring Muscle Up Workout
  3. 5 Exercises You Need To Be Doing For Killer Legs

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