The mountain climber is a high-intensity exercise that works your body form head to toe, including your abs. The mountain climber exercise requires no special equipment and can be performed anywhere as long as you have enough space. Get the best results by performing four to five sets of the mountain climber ab exercise, taking a 30 second rest between each set.
The mountain climber exercise targets your chest, shoulders, back, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors and abs while also working your cardiovascular system. Begin in pushup position with your legs straight out behind you and your arms extended with your hands directly below your shoulders. Pull your belly button in and contract your abs. Bend your right leg and bring your knee toward your right arm. Return to the starting position and then bring your left knee to your left arm. Continue to alternate legs as quickly as you can until you have completed 20 reps with each leg. Make this exercise easier by placing your hands on a platform or step to elevate your upper body.
Advanced Mountain Climber
The advanced mountain climber exercise is a challenging variation to the basic mountain climber that requires arm movement in combination with the standard leg movement. The advanced version works your arms, back and shoulders more intensely and gives you a total body workout. Begin in pushup position with your arms and legs extended. Stabilize your abs and back. Drive your right knee toward your right arm while simultaneously moving your right hand forward 6 to 8 inches. Immediately return your right leg and arm to the starting position and repeat the movement with your left side. Continue to alternate sides until you have completed 15 repetitions on each side. This is a difficult exercise so it may take several attempts before you can perform it properly.
Mountain Climber Twist
The mountain climber twist intensely works your obliques while also strengthening your arms, chest, back, and shoulders. Begin in a pushup position with your legs extended and your hands directly under your shoulders with your arms extended. Stabilize your abdominal muscles and straighten your back. Bend your left leg and bring your knee toward your right arm. You should feel a contraction in your left side. Take your left leg back to the starting position and then take your right knee toward your left arm. Continue to alternate knees until you complete 20 reps on each side.
- Fitness Magazine: Iron Mountain Climber
- "The Official U.S. Air Force Elite Workout"; Andrew Flach; 2004
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.