The climber (or mountain climber, as you can find it translated) is a multi-joint exercise with its own weight, which manages to load the whole body and can be used in your programs for endurance, fitness, balance and coordination, and especially as (part of ) your cardio session.


  • In the presence of injury to the ankles, knees , hip joints , shoulders, elbows or wrists consult appropriate specialist.
  • The same recommendation applies to people with disc herniations, spinal deformities or changes in the arch / shape of the feet.
  • In both cases, proceed to the exercise only under the supervision of a trained specialist and after an explicit recommendation from a medical professional.

Participating muscles


  • Quadriceps femoris
  • Large gluteus maximus
  • Posterior thigh muscles (Biceps femoris, Semitendinosus, Semimembranosus)
  • Oblique abdominal muscles (Obeliques)


  • Hip folds (Iliopsoas)
  • Rectus abdominis
  • Soleus
  • Calves ( Gastrocnemius )

Extras and dynamic stabilizers

  • Large pectoral muscles, large and small heads (Pectoralis major, Sternal & Clavicular)
  • Shoulder muscles, anterior heads (Deltoids, Anterior heads)
  • Triceps brachii
  • Serratus (Serratus Anterior)
  • Small pectoral muscles (Pectoralis minor)

Options according to the position of the hands

  • With hands on the floor – the main option.
  • With hands on a stable base (bench, block for step aerobics, …) – an easier option, recommended for beginners with poor mobility in the hip joints;
  • With hands on an unstable support (Swiss ball, barefoot, …) – an option for the advanced, activating more stabilizing muscles.
  • How To Do The Mountain Climber Exercise | Benefits, Form Guide And Variations | Coach Exercise Guides

Leg movement options

  • Consecutive execution – in this variant one leg remains stretched and stepped on the floor. It is suitable for beginners with poor coordination and when learning the exercise.
  • With an alternative movement of the legs – one leg is on the floor and bent to the chest, and the other – stretched again on the floor. From this position you change the places of the legs. Preferred by some variant of the exercise, which you can use as an intermediate before moving on to the main.
  • Simultaneously with both legs – the main variant of the exercise.

Variants according to the amplitude

  • Incomplete amplitude – performed with a shorter amplitude in trainees with mobility problems.
  • Full amplitude – this is the main variant of the exercise.


  • Stand in a push-up position, placing your palms at a distance slightly wider than your shoulders;
  • Fold one leg to the chest;
  • Tighten the abdominal muscles;
  • Assemble the blades together.


  • From the starting position, change the positions of both legs at the same time, lifting the pelvis upwards and folding the unfolded leg towards the chest, while stretching the previously folded leg backwards;
  • Repeat the required number of times.

Comments and recommendations

  • You can make the exercise more difficult by speeding up the pace of performance;
  • Choose the right option to start climbing. In case of insufficient mobility in the hip joints, use a higher arm pad.
  • If you confuse the steps, you can count the steps step by step, or use the option with shorter jumps, as well as the one with consecutive instead of simultaneous change of legs;
  • Also, make sure that the surface on which you are going to make them is not slippery;
  • Do not allow the abdomen and / or pelvis to sink down;
  • Do not bend too much in the opposite direction, but keep the spine neutral;
  • Always warm up well before doing the exercise.

Fitness and fitness training

Fitness and fitness trainers can use the climber in their training schemes. This is especially true for ladies who build their workouts according to the circulating online videos of well-shaped ladies, showing exercises mainly with their own weight.

Strength and strength training

The climber can be used by strength trainers as an additional conditioning element, in the warm-up, or in any training outside the gym.

Fitness bodybuilding

Those who train according to the classic bodybuilding schemes can use the climber in the pre-competition preparation in view of the increased energy consumption during its performance.


In crossfit, the exercise occurs mainly in complexes with only its own weight.

Street fitness

The climber can be used by the levers during the warm-up, as well as as part of their cardio session. However, this is an exercise with its own weight and can be done on the outdoor gym.

The DO's and DON'T's of the Mountain Climber Exercise - Rejuvage