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Mountain climber exercise is a type of plyometric exercise. The term 'plyometrics' refers to jump training. Mountain climber exercise provides a total body workout. It works several muscles, which include deltoids, biceps, triceps, pectoralis major, obliques, rectus abdominals, lower trapezius, latissimus dorsi, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip adductors, and hip abductors. There are quite a few variations of mountain climber exercise that can help strengthen the muscles of the arms, thighs, and a few core muscles. The following sections provide instructions for performing these exercises, along with the benefits they offer.

Exercises

It must be noted that these exercises should not be performed by individuals who are affected by back problems. Here are the steps that you need to follow:

Exercise #1
Lie down on your stomach.
Assume a push up position, keeping your hands under your chest at shoulder-width apart.
Lift your body, keeping your arms straight. Your body must form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles, while the balls of your feet touch the floor.
Lift your right foot off the floor. Slowly raise your knee as close to your chest as you can.
Return to the starting position.
Repeat these steps with your left leg.
Perform this exercise, while alternating between the right and left leg for the desired number of repetitions.

Exercise #2
The starting position is the same as the first exercise. So, lie with your face down.
Assume a push up position. Keep your hands under your chest at shoulder-width apart.
Lift your body, keeping your arms straight. Your body must form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles, while the balls of your feet touch the floor.
Lift your left knee upwards toward your right arm, and back down to the starting posture.
Then, lift your right knee towards your left arm.
Keep alternating your legs with each repetition, and perform at least 5 repetitions.
As you feel more comfortable doing this exercise, you can increase the speed, as well as the number of repetitions.

Exercise #3
In this exercise, instead of placing your hands on the floor, you have to place them on a Swiss ball or a balance trainer dome that has been placed upside down.
Assume a push up position. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart on the Swiss ball or dome, with your shoulders directly over your wrists.
Your body must form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles, while the balls of your feet touch the floor.
Lift your left knee upwards toward your chest, and back down to the starting posture.
Then, lift your right knee towards your chest.
Keep alternating your legs with each repetition, and perform at least 5 repetitions.
As you feel more comfortable doing this exercise, you can increase the speed, as well as the number of repetitions.

Exercise #4
In the duck walk exercise, you will have to jump with both legs forward and land in a squatting position, with your legs slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
Then, drop your left leg from the squat to front and then repeat with your right leg.
The sequence should be repeated for around 30 seconds.

Benefits

Though these exercises are mainly used while training for mountain climbing, they can be included in workouts for the following benefits.

This exercise helps strengthen muscles. By performing sequenced mountain climber exercises, you can design your own core strength training program.

It helps simulate the physical challenge of climbing a mountain, without any deprivation of oxygen or cold.

These exercises can help work the abdominal muscles.

These exercises can also help increase the speed for your cardiovascular exercises.

These exercises help tone your body.

Tips

Make sure you keep in mind the important tips mentioned below while performing mountain climbing exercises.

Maintain steady breathing, and try to follow a good and slow rhythm.

Balance your body well throughout the workout, and maintain a neutral back. Don't slouch.

While performing the first exercise, make sure the twist comes from the core and hips, and never from your shoulders.

In the first exercise, for endurance training go really slow and hold your knee by your arm for 2 seconds, and then bring it down.

Make sure you do a warm up before exercising, and stretch all the muscles after your exercise. Also, follow a good diet to get the best results.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only. Always consult a physician before starting any physical fitness program in order to reduce the risk of injury.