Reaching New Heights with the Mountain Climber

Mountain Climber

A Part of Fierce Play's Grounded Gymnastics Series

The mountain climber is an exercise where the athlete holds a plank position while attempting to bring their feet up toward their hands in a swift alternating motion. This movement engages the athlete’s core muscles, as well as the legs and arms. Unlike static core-strengthening exercises, such as the plank or hollow hold, where an athlete holds the same position without moving the body, the mountain climber is a dynamic core exercise that requires the athlete to be moving constantly while keeping the core stabilized, giving you more bang for your buck.

Watch the video clip below for a full explanation of technique, tips and tricks for performing the movement with efficiency, as well as precautions for staying safe.



  1. Hold a Plank Position: Start by setting up in a proper plank position with your shoulders directly above your hands, your abs tight and back flat. You will hold this position throughout the mountain climber movement.
  2. Feet to Hands: One leg at a time, bring your knee and foot toward your hand, and then replace your leg back in the starting position of the plank. Switch legs and do the same thing on the other side, continuing to alternate legs back and forth. The goal is to alternate legs swiftly.
  3. Move Knees Outward: Instead of having knees directly under your chest as you move legs back and forth, focus on pushing your knees outward toward your elbows to better engage the sides of your abdomen. This will increase your core strength much faster and provide maximum value from the movement.
  4. Count it Out: Work toward increasing the number of reps you do in each set of mountain climbers. Be sure to keep the number of reps even on each side as you move through the exercise, to ensure your core muscles are worked equally on both sides of the body. Move faster to increase intensity.
  5. Max Time: Another method for mountain climbers is to simply go as long as possible! Max time simply mean that you attempt to do the mountain climber for as long as you can before dropping down to rest. Set a goal for yourself as you complete your max times to continue to drive improvement. Even reaching for that additional ten seconds of hold time can make a big difference in your core strength!


QUESTIONS: Ready to get started, or curious to learn more about how Fierce Play can help you meet your health and wellness goals? Contact us for more information. Also feel free to check out more of our videos series to learn how to perform the basics with solid form and efficiency. 


Fierce Play’s Grounded Gymnastics Series focuses on proper technique, as well as tips & tricks, to master some of the foundational movements that will be integrated into many of the workouts you will perform. Start your next workout with the confidence and skills to do the movement safely and effectively.